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    HC rejects PILs on extending TN, Pondy polls

    Chennai: The Madras High Court on Wednesday declined to issue a direction to the EC to postpone the April 13 elections to Tamil Nadu and Puducherry assemblies. The Court was disposing three petitions seeking a direction to the EC to postpone the polls in view of the Higher secondary and SSLC exams being held from March 2 to April 11.

    "Since the election will be held in the state of Tamil Nadu and Union Territory of Puducherry after all the examinations, including the Higher Secondary, are over, we do not think it just and proper to issue direction to the Election Comission of India to postpone the election," the First Bench, comprising Chief Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice T S Sivagnanam, said.

    However, the Bench imposed conditions which, it said, should be followed strictly the EC and Chief Electoral Officer of Tamil Nadu.

    No teachers of schools, where exams are held, should be deployed or called for training before the completion of the examinations, it said, adding, no vehicles owned by educational institutions should be requisitioned or seized
    before April 11 for the purpose of the elections.

    Election commission authorities should take special care, before requisitioning state transport vehicles for the convenience of students, who use the same for reaching their examination centres,the Bench said.

    The court directed that there should no campaigning or election canvassing by any political party, its followers or sympathisers within 200 metres of any school designated as examination centres.

    Makkal Sakthi Katchi, a political party, and two others had filed the PILs seeking a direction to the EC to postpone the elections, scheduled for April 13, to some other day, "taking into consideration, more particularly, welfare of
    students, whose annual exams are scheduled during the period."