The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court on Tuesday granted a stay on the April 11 bypoll for the Katol Assembly seat.
A division bench of Justices S B Shukre and Pushpa Ganediwala was hearing a petition filed by Sandeep Sarode, chairman of the Katol Panchayat Samiti through his counsel Shreerang Bhandarkar.
The bypoll was necessitated as MLA Ashish Deshmukh had resigned from the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on October 3, 2018.
The petition said Section 151A of the Representation of the People Act 1951 mandates the Election Commission (EC) to fill casual vacancies in the Houses of Parliament and State Legislatures through bypolls within six months from the date of occurrence of the vacancy, provided the remainder of the term of a member in relation to a vacancy is one year or more.
However, the petition stated, that the six-month period since Deshmukh’s resignation ends on April 3, 2019 and the bypoll is being held after that.
Moreover, the petition contended that the MLA elected through the bypoll would have a term of just a few months since Maharashtra is scheduled to have Assembly elections later in the year.
The petition claimed holding the bypoll would entail loss of public money under “unnecessary and unwanted” circumstances.
The HC has asked the EC, Maharashtra State Election Commission and Nagpur District Collector to file replies on the petition by April 2, 2019, counsel Bhandarkar told agencies.