Model Code of Conduct won't affect relief work in J&K: EC to SC

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New Delhi, Nov 7: The Election Commission on Friday told the Supreme Court that its Model Code of Conduct will not come in the way of ongoing relief and rehabilitation work for flood victims in Jammu and Kashmir, which is going to polls in five phases from November 25.

"All relief work and enabling administrative work can be undertaken by the governments," the counsel for the Election Commission (EC) told the bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu.

The poll panel also apprised the bench that various communications among Cabinet Secretary, Chief Secretary of the state government and the Chief Electoral Officer of Jammu and Kashmir have been made in this regard and it has been clarified on November 5 that relief and rehabilitation work can go on "unhindered".

The bench, however, said that it will not deal with other aspects of the case today and fixed the PIL, filed by Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party chief Bhim Singh, for hearing on November 14. Meanwhile, the bench also asked the Centre to apprise it of their stand on the state government's demand of Rs 44,000 crore for relief and rehabilitation work.

On allegation that poor quality food articles were being supplied to flood victims in the state, the bench said, "We expect good governance from the state government".

During the last hearing, the apex court had favoured relaxation of Model Code of Conduct in poll-bound Jammu and Kashmir to remove any hindrance in government's relief and rehabilitation work following the recent floods.

The court had also sought response of the EC on the issues and questioned why political parties did not approach the Commission for postponement of elections when it has been claimed that life has not returned to normal.

PTI

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