Petition seeking to postpone Nov 19 polls in TN dismissed
Chennai, Nov 14: The Madras High court today dismissed a petition, seeking to postpone the November 19 polls in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on the ground that demonetisation would result in black money worth more than Rs 50 crore of the cancelled Rs 500 and 1000 notes being distributed to voters. The court dismissed the miscellaneous petition of Sadik Ali, who sought cancellation of polls to Aravakurichi and Thanjavur Assembly constituencies, saying the same candidates on whom charges of corruption were levelled had been re-nominated by the two major parties in the elections.
Ali submitted there are Supreme Court directions, mandating that Election Commission conduct the polls only after concluding enquiries on disqualifying candidates to the election, if any. He alleged that EC was making contradictory statements on the one hand, saying it does not have powers to disqualify candidates unless the offences are proved, while on the other it has initiated an enquiry into charges of distribution of money and other gifts to electorate.
Countering the submission that the two major parties cannot be allowed to nominate the same candidates, the court said the parties in their wisdom had nominated the same candidates. It concurred with the submissions that the purity of elections must be maintained since it is the fundamental basis of democracy.
The court orally observed that as the EC found that the earlier process was impure, the elections were cancelled to make the present one pure. In the miscellaneous petition, Ali had submitted that both AIADMK and DMK have sound source of money and there are lot of chances for distribution of more than Rs 50 crore cancelled currency in Rs 500 and Rs 1000 to voters, who can easily encash it at the rate of Rs 4000 in a day by the exchange process introduced by the Union government.
By doing so, black money can easily be exchanged and the present elections will pave the way as a platform for converting cancelled currency into valuable currency, he said. As the Union government has granted time up to December 31 for exchange of old currency, there are lot of chances for floating of unaccounted black money in these constituencies. Hence the petitioner prayed for an interim direction to ECI to postpone the elections, which the court dismissed.