The Supreme Court Thursday sought responses from the Karnataka State Election Commission (SEC) and others on a plea challenging the high court verdict which had dismissed a petition against the disqualification of some persons as the councilors of the town municipal council, Anekal.
The apex court agreed to hear the plea against the May 30 judgement of a division bench of the Karnataka High Court which had dismissed an intra-court appeal filed against an order passed by a single judge in the matter.
A vacation bench of Justices M R Shah and Aniruddha Bose issued notice on the plea filed by three persons and posted the matter for hearing on June 15.
“It is made clear that the present order shall be confined to the petitioners only,” the top court said.
The petitioners were elected as councilors to the municipal council from the respective wards and the state SEC had issued a notice asking them to submit an explanation in writing for alleged non-submission of details of election expenditure spent in the poll and also directed them to furnish the details to the Tehsildar of the Taluk. In its verdict, the division bench of the high court had noted that in pursuance of the notice issued by the SEC, the appellants had submitted the details of expenditure to the Tehsildar.
It had noted that they had not replied to the show cause notice of the poll panel.
The high court had noted in its verdict that the SEC, considering the records, had passed an order in November 2021 under section 16-C of the Karnataka Municipalities Act, 1964, disqualifying them as councilors on the ground that they have failed to lodge true and correct account of expenditure with the returning officer within the time prescribed under section 16-B of the Act.
During the arguments before the apex court, the counsel appearing for the petitioners said that they had submitted the reply along with the statement of expenditure which was required to be furnished.
The three petitioners had initially approached the high court aggrieved by the disqualification order of November 2021. Their petition was dismissed by a single judge.
The division bench of the high court had noted that the appellants before it were elected as councilors to the town municipal council, Anekal, on May 31, 2019, and consequently, they were required to submit to the returning officer the account of election expenses.
It had noted that the appellants had not submitted the account of election expenses to the returning officer and the state SEC had issued notices to them.
The division bench had also noted that the appellants had replied to the notices and stated that they were not aware of the requirements of lodging accounts of electoral expenditure and prayed to condone the delay in filing accounts.
It had observed that after the dismissal of the writ petition by the single judge, the SEC had in April this year notified the calendar of events.
While dismissing the writ appeal, the division bench had observed that the process of election was set in motion by the time the appeal was filed.