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January 24, 2002
1725 IST

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DMK moves HC for postponement
of Andipatti poll

After failing to get the Election Commission to postpone the high-profile Andipatti assembly election where All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief J Jayalalithaa is a candidate, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Thursday moved the Delhi high court seeking postponement of the poll.

Party candidate Vaigai Sekar filed a petition seeking a direction to the EC to defer the poll alleging that 17,000 bogus names had been included in the electoral rolls of the constituency.

Seeking deletion of such names and the preparation of the voters' list afresh, Sekar alleged that the names had been included in the voters' list with the "active connivance" of the administration to facilitate Jayalalithaa's smooth election to the state assembly.

Justice Manmohan Sarin, after a brief hearing, postponed the matter for January 29 without issuing any notice and asked senior advocate P N Lekhi, appearing for the petitioner, to satisfy him whether the court had jurisdiction to hear the petition.

The petitioner's counsel said since the EC was based in Delhi, the high court had the jurisdiction to hear the petition.

EC counsel P R Chopra opposed the petition saying once the election process under Article 329 (b) of the Constitution had been set in motion, the court had very limited power to issue a direction to stay the polls.

The petitioner alleged that the names, including those of minors, had been added to the electoral roll with the full backing of the administration.

Jayalalithaa filed her papers from Andipatti on Thursday.

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