Chennai: Madras High Court on Thursday directed
the Election Commission to file a counter affidavit to a
petition seeking transfer of Madurai District Collector for
"influencing" voters by calling for a "change in government"
in the speeches made by him.
The first bench, comprising Chief Justice M Y Eqbal and
Justice T S Sivagnanam, passed the order on a petition by one
M Sathiavani who sought a direction to EC to immediately
transfer District Collector-cum-District Electoral Officer of
Madurai from the post, based on her representation.
After hearing submissions from the counsels, the Bench
posted the matter for further hearing on April 5.
The petitioner contended that after election notification
the DEO had participated in meetings in colleges for election
awareness campaigns, where he told students that a change
should come about in the state through elections.
His statement had been published in various newspapers,
she said, adding that the officer`s action indirectly conveyed
that a change should come with regard to the ruling party.
The petitioner also submitted that the DEO requested
students to inform their family members and friends to cast
their votes for change.
"The action of the officer is in violation of the
statutory right and contrary to the duties of the District
Electoral officer," she said.
Though she had made a representation to EC on March 29,
immediate action had not been taken and hence she preferred
the present complaint, the petitioner said.