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Madras HC puts Puducherry civic poll process on hold

The Madras High Court on Monday put on hold the civic body poll process in Puducherry after allegations of anomalies in reservation for Scheduled Castes (SCs), Backward Classes (BCs), and women.

A bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P.D. Audikesavalu gave the order as several petitions had come up for hearing on anomalies in reservation for these categories.

“The process of receiving nominations which have already begun would be kept in abeyance. Let the anomalies be addressed first and removed before the process is undertaken afresh,” it said.

The order came as Additional Solicitor General R. Sankaranarayanan, appearing for Puducherry, said that the Union Territory was advised by the Central government to defer the polls.

The court said that the ASG had informed it that the civic body polls in the Union Territory of Puducherry scheduled to be held from October 21 would be deferred.

The filing of nominations was scheduled to begin from September 30 but it was stayed by the court, which asked the UT authorities to come up with a satisfactory response on rectifying the anomalies. On Friday, the court had allowed the filing of nominations.

The first phase of the polling was scheduled for October 21, the second phase on October 25, and the third phase on October 28.

Independent MLA J. Pragash Kumar, and a former civic body councillor, Periannan filed the petitions before the court seeking a stay on poll proceedings.

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