Tamil Nadu appeals in SC over age limit of SEC
New Delhi, Apr 26 (UNI) The State of Tamil Nadu has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court challenging a Madras High Court order dated March 16, 2006, striking down second amendment to the Tamil Nadu Panchayat (second amendment in 2005) doing away with the limit of age of retirement for the State Election Commissioner (SEC).
According to the unamended act, a person can be appointed as SEC for a term of two years and can have aggregate of six years and the age of retirement was 62 years. According to the proviso to section 239 (2) (b), the SEC will have to relinquish his office on attaining the age of 62, even if he has not completed a term of two years. The State of Tamil Nadu brought in an amendment for the present SEC of Tamil Nadu Thiru V Palanisamy, an IAS officer. The amendment removed the maximum age limit, meaning thereby that the SEC shall have no age of retirement.
A Congress MLA, claiming to be the Leader of Opposition in Tamil Nadu State Assembly, S R Balasubramanyan, filed a writ petition in the High Court challenging the impugned amendment as unconstitutional and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. The High Court struck down the amendment as unconstitutional, holding that there can be no post without having the age of retirement/superannuation.
The Tamil Nadu government, in its special leave petition (SLP) filed in the Apex Court, has contended that the Panchayat Election in the State are held every five years and an SEC appointed for two years may not be able to conduct even a single Panchayat Election during his tenure.
The State has also pleaded that it is going to bring an ordinance to cure the defect by fixing the age of retirement.
UNI AKS/SC SHB DB2007