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Supreme Court refuses to direct EC to expedite Delhi poll schedule


New Delhi, Nov 11 (PTI) The Supreme Court today refused to direct the Election Commission to announce Delhi Assembly poll schedule at the earliest.

“The Election Commission will now take over. We can’t direct this,” a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu said while disposing of the plea of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) seeking dissolution of Delhi Assembly.

The AAP’s plea was disposed of after the Centre informed the court that the decision to dissolve the Assembly and hold a fresh election has already been taken.

“The Assembly has been dissolved. The petition is disposed of,” the bench, also comprising justices J Chelameswar, A K Sikri, R K Agrawal and Arun Mishra, said.

Prashant Bhushan, appearing for AAP, had made a plea that a direction be issued that the poll schedule be announced at the earliest. The plea, however, was declined.

Earlier, the court had expressed satisfaction over Lt Governor Najeeb Jung’s recent moves to explore the possibility of government formation in Delhi and had said that he should be given more time.

It had asked AAP, which said that there was no possibility of government formation, to wait till today and had observed that there could be a minority government with an outside support of some political outfit and, hence the LG be given some time.

The Centre had told the court that the President has given his consent to the LG’s proposal to invite BJP to form government.

BJP had emerged the single largest party after the Assembly polls in December last year with 31 seats apart from the support of ally Akali Dal’s one MLA in the 70-member House. But its numbers had come down to 28 after three of its legislators–Harsh Vardhan, Ramesh Bidhuri and Pervesh Verma–were elected to Lok Sabha.

After falling short of majority by four seats, BJP had refused to form the government, saying it did not have the numbers and that it will not resort to any “unfair means” to take the reins.

AAP with 28 MLAs had formed the government with the support of eight Congress MLAs. AAP’s strength had also come down to 27 after expulsion of party MLA Vinod Kumar Binny.

The UPA government had imposed President’s rule in Delhi after Arvind Kejriwal along with his Council of Ministers resigned on February 14.

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