New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Election Commission to apprise it of methods to be adopted in deciding the tenure of 24 Bihar Legislative Council members to be elected on July 7.
The legal impasse has arisen out of a Patna High Court verdict fixing the tenures of two, four and six years to one-third council members out of a total of 24.
"In the event of the court deciding the matter, what is going to be the stand of identification of candidates? Will it be by a draw of lots? File an affidavit and we will record the statement," a three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and justices Arun Kumar Mishra and Amitava Roy told the Election Commission.
The bench, which also said it may direct deferring of the election by a month, has now fixed the pleas of Bihar Legislative Council and the poll panel against the Patna High Court verdict for hearing on July 6, a day before the scheduled poll.
Earlier too, the court had asked the Election Commission to suggest solutions to the legal impasse, saying "the matter requires second legal look. Either the election should go on or we should stay the election. Give us a possible solution".
The apex court wanted to know how the decision would be taken to retire one-third of the members every two years.
Senior advocates Ashok Desai and L Nageshwar Rao, who were appearing in the matter, had then said one of the options could be draw of lots.
Earlier, one-third members of the 24 member Bihar Legislative Council, a permanent house like Rajya Sabha, used to retire after two years.
"However, from 1978 to 2002, elections to local bodies were not conducted in Bihar and hence, all 24 seats remained vacant. Ultimately, when the local bodies' elections took place in 2003, the members of the Legislative Council were also duly elected and appointed for a term of 6 years from July 17, 2003 as there was no law enacted by Parliament curtailing their term.
"It is pertinent to note that the term of the candidates elected in 2009 is due to expire on July 7, 2015," the plea, filed by the Bihar Legislative Council, said.