The district council has a total of 30 seats of which 28 are for elected members, while two are nominated by the governor of Tripura

Agartala: The High Court of Tripura has sought response from the Tripura government, State Election Commission, Election Commission of India (ECI), Tripura Governor and others on a plea challenging delay in conducting the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) polls on Tuesday.

The plea, filed by an independent resident of TTAADC area, was heard by the division bench comprising the Chief Justice Akhil Abdulhamid Kureshi and Justice SG Chattopadhyay.

Also Read: Did the BJP use COVID-19 as an excuse to delay elections in the tribal region?

After hearing both the state and counsels of the petitioner, the bench issued notice on the petition and fixed the next date of hearing for January 6 next year.

The TTAADC polls, earlier scheduled for May, were deferred by the state election commission citing COVID-19 restrictions, following which the administration was handed over to the Tripura governor for six months, and later extended for another six months on November 17.

Speaking with reporters, advocate Mintu Debbarma, counsel of the petitioner said that the ADC administration has been under control of the governor of Tripura and the polls in the district council have been deferred for the second time.

“My client Apu Debbarma, who is the resident of TTAADC area, had moved the petition with the Court seeking intervention for conducting early polls in the district council. The election commission of India has only issued broad guidelines for conduct of elections,” Debbarma said.

The petitioner, in his plea, mentioned recent elections in Bihar and neighbouring Assam’s Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), even as they are being repeatedly postponed in Tripura because of the COVID-19 situation.

“My client has sought the intervention of the courts so that polls are conducted at the earliest in the ADC”, Debbarma added.

After hearing both sides, the high court has served notices to the state government, principal to the Governor of Tripura, State Election Commission, Administrator, TTAADC, Election Commission of India and others.

Advocate Tapan Debbbarma and advocate Mintu Debbarmam on Tuesday represented the case on behalf of the petitioner.

The TTAADC covers 68% of the total geographical area of the state and is home to over one-third of the total population of Tripura. The district council has a total of 30 seats of which 28 are for elected members, while two are nominated by the governor of Tripura.

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