Jharkhand law for civic poll in tribal areas challenged

March 24th, 2008 - 7:38 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday issued notices to the Jharkhand government and the State Election Commission on a petition challenging the legality of a state law to conduct municipal polls in tribal areas. A bench of Justice Altmas Kabir and Justice Markandey Katju issued the notice on a petition by the Jharkhand Scheduled Tribes Students’ Union, which contended that the state legislature had “no legislative competence to enact Jharkhand Municipal Act, 2002″ and an amendment to it in 2006.

The petitioner contended that only the central government was empowered to enact such a law.

Also, these areas are listed in the Fifth Schedule of the constitution and only the central government is empowered to enact such a law, the petitioner contended.

It also pleaded to the court to suspend the municipal elections in tribal areas of the state, which are to take place Tuesday, saying when the very law enacted to hold them is questionable, the poll is bound to be rendered illegal.

While the bench refused to suspend the election, it issued notices seeking responses of the state government and the State Election Commission within three weeks on the petition.

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