Conduct local polls in 6 months: HC to Puducherry

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Monday directed the Puducherry government to "immediately initiate" the process for conducting elections to the local bodies and declare the results within six months.

The direction was given by a division bench comprising Chief Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice K B K Vasuki while disposing of a writ petition filed by Puducherry Communist Party of India (Marxist) secretary, V Perumal.

The court gave the direction after noting a submission made by Deputy Secretary (Local Administration) of the Union Territory, N Sumathi, seeking six months time for holding the elections.

Perumal had sought for a direction to the Centre and the Puducherry government to immediately hold the elections.

Refuting the allegation of the CPI-M that the people of Puducherry were being deprived of funds allotted towards welfare schemes by the Central government, Sumathi claimed the UT was getting substantial funds from the Centre for such projects.

However, she said no central assistance was being given to the local bodies in the UT as it was not covered by the terms of reference of the Central Finance Commission.