Court refuses to stall elections

SANDESH PRABHUDESAI, PANAJI | 24 April 2002 21:48 IST

After prolonged arguments for over a month on five different petitions of similar nature, the high court here denied to grant interim relief on the election process that has begun in Goa.

The court has also refused to restore the dissolved Assembly and prohibit the BJP government from continuing in power.

Pending hearing on other petitions, the local bench of Mumbai high court in Goa had to pass the order as the petitioners - Congress leaders Shantaram Naik and Mauvin Godinho - had sought directives from the Supreme Court in this regard.

Both the Congressmen, besides challenging Assembly dissolution of 27 February and drawing of funds from the contingency without presenting the budget, had appealed to the court to stall the election process. Meantime, elections were announced for 30 May, on 17 April.

The division bench comprising Justice A S Aguiar and Justice P V Hardas passed the order while stating that they do not wish to express any view on merit of the case as hearing on other petitions is nearing completion.

While dismissing the prayer to stay the election process, the court categorically stated that Article 329 of the constitution bars any court from interfering into the election matters.

Regarding the governor's order to dissolve the Assembly within 32 months on the advise of the cabinet and increasing limit of the contingency fund to meet three-month regular expenditure without presenting the budget, the court has decided to express its view only after hearing on all the petitions is completed.

Meanwhile, all the political parties including the opposition Congress is geared up for polls as official nominations would begin on 6 May. Changing its earlier stand in the petition, the Congress had later demanded immediate issuance of notification on elections.


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