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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Dead woman wins election in Tuticorin

Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has admitted a writ petition seeking to declare the 'runner up' in the civic polls to the Meerankulam panchayat in Tuticorin district as the 'winner', since the election was won by a dead candidate.

The petitioner Sakthikani submitted that in the panchayat, reserved for women, there were four contestants, including herself, Helen Jesila, A Karpagam and M Jayantha for the October 13 polls.

Helen died ahead of the polls on October 1 in a road accident. But the elections were held without the Returning Officer deleting Helen's name. The election officials had said that the deletion, after the date of withdrawal, would halt the poll process. They had hoped that the electorate would not elect a dead woman.

The deceased won the polls with 664 votes, while the petitioner got 496 votes.

The Returning officer did not declare the election results. Sakthimani contended that she should have been declared winner under ‘natural and normal circumstances’.

The Judge Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar said the writ jurisdiction could not be invoked to resolve such disputes and only the district court could act on it.

Even if the writ was maintainable, the judge wondered if the petitioner could claim to be the winner especially when she had not secured majority of votes. The matter was posted for hearing on October 30.

Source: Finiancial Express

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