Tamil Nadu State Election commissioner M Malik Ferozh Khan and its secretary S Rajasekar today tendered an unconditional apology in the Madras High Court on a contempt plea by the DMK over failure by the poll body to conduct the civic elections as directed by the court.
They submitted that preparatory steps have been taken by the State Election Commission (SEC) for conducting the civic polls as directed by the court.
“There is neither wilful nor wanton disobedience” on complying with orders of the court on conducting the local body elections”, they submitted and prayed to close the contempt petition.
When the contempt petition came up for hearing on November 10, first bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar adjourned the matter to November 14 which meant the SEC had to appear on that day again.
The matter relates to the contempt petition filed by the DMK, represented by its organisation secretary R S Bharathi, seeking to punish the officials for not complying with the orders of the high court which had earlier directed that the polls be completed by November 17.
The SEC and the secretary had appeared in the court on November 6 and 7 also when their counsel made a plea seeking exemption from their further appearance, which was strongly opposed by the DMK’s senior counsel P Wilson.
The DMK counsel alleged then that the SEC was deliberately postponing the civic polls. The dispensation of the officials’ personal appearance was not a matter of right and they should continue to appear before the court till the disposal of the contempt petition, the counsel said.
As carried in PTi