Tripura: Conduct district council elections by May 17, says High Court
Agartala: The High Court of Tripura has ordered the state government to conduct elections for the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) by May 17.
The division bench comprising the Chief Justice Akhil Abdulhamid Kureshi and Justice SG Chattopadhyay issued the order while hearing a plea filed by an independent resident of the TTAADC area.
Speaking with reporters, advocate Mintu Debbarma, representing the petitioner, said the court ordered the election by May 17.
The TTAADC polls, earlier scheduled for May 2020, 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.
On December 23, the division bench ordered notice on the petition and fixed the next date of hearing for January 6 last. However, the advocate general later sought time to study the case following which the case was fixed to be hearing on January 12 (Tuesday).
“The ADC administration has been under control of the governor of Tripura since May 18 last year after the tenure of the district council over. Later, on November 17, 2020 the governor extended the administrators rule for another six months,” Mintu Debbarma said.
“My client Apu Debbarma had moved the petition with the Court seeking intervention for conducting early polls in the district council.
"After the final hearing, the High Court added that since the tenure was over, elections must be conducted before May 17,” Debbarma added.
The division bench said if the election commission and the state are prepared, then the election process can start as soon as possible.
In its counter affidavit, the state election commission has appraised the court that by January 15, they would complete preparing the voters list and publish the same.
Advocate Mintu Debbarmam and Tapan Debbbarma 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 30 seats, of which 28 are for elected members, while two are nominated by the Tripura governor.