On Thursday, the Election Commission of India told the top court that it will hold by-elections on vacant assembly seats in Tamil Nadu– Ottapidaram, Tiruparankundram, and Aravakurichi- within a “reasonable time”.

The counsel has appeared for ECI told this to a bench of Justices SA Nazeer and SA Bobde, which heard a petition filed by DMK seeking a direction to the election body for holding by-elections on these three vacant seats.  

The justice-bench, while taking on records of the submissions of ECI’c counsel, disposed of the plea and observed that the court cannot determine the election timing and it was for the election body to decide.

The counsel appeared for DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) had earlier told the court that there are in total 21 vacant assembly seats in Tamil Nadu but the EC has notified by-elections for only 18-seats.

It continued that by-elections on 18 vacant seats are scheduled on April 18 along with the Lok Sabha Elections in Tamil Naidu.

The DMK said that ECI should be asked to hold the by-polls on remaining 3 assembly seats along with April-May General Elections.

On March 15, the Supreme Court had directed the ECI to reply to DMK’s petition seeking by-elections for Aravakurichi, Ottapidaram, and Tiruparankundram assembly constituencies.

Earlier, the Election Body had reported the top court that the dates for by-elections for 3 assembly seats were not declared as some election petitions were pending in Madras High Court.  

The Aravakurichi constituency is represented by Senthil Balaji, while Ottapidaram constituency by disqualified AIADMK MLA Sundararaj, and AIADMK legislator is now with the DMK. And Thiruparankundram legislator AK Bose had died last year.

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