Poll code can’t come in the way of judicial orders, rules Punjab and Haryana HC - Hindustan Times
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Poll code can’t come in the way of judicial orders, rules Punjab and Haryana HC

By, Chandigarh
Apr 26, 2024 09:04 AM IST

In the case at hand, the adjournment was sought in February from the high court to comply with an order whereby a candidate was to be issued an appointment letter for the post of a male constable.

The Punjab and Haryana high court has made it clear that authorities are under a legal duty to execute order of the court without any specific permission from or intervention of the Election Commission of India (ECI) even as model code of conduct (MCC) is in place due to Lok Sabha polls.

In the case at hand, the adjournment was sought in February from the high court to comply with an order whereby a candidate was to be issued an appointment letter for the post of a male constable.
In the case at hand, the adjournment was sought in February from the high court to comply with an order whereby a candidate was to be issued an appointment letter for the post of a male constable.

“No code of conduct issued by Election Commission of India or any order of instructions issued by any other authority can be permitted to stand in the way of execution of order of the high court. The authorities are fully authorised and under legal duty to execute high court orders,” the bench of justice Rajbir Singh Sehrawat observed while dealing with a contempt case relating to Haryana.

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In the case at hand, the adjournment was sought in February from the high court to comply with an order whereby a candidate was to be issued an appointment letter for the post of a male constable.

The order was not complied with and when the court questioned the government counsel about the same, he had submitted that an appointment letter had been issued but could not be given effect due to the model code of conduct.

The court observed that there is no clause in the model code of conduct under which issuance of appointment letters even pursuant to the high court’s order might be required to be kept in abeyance and an “unnecessary excuse” was being taken by the authorities.

The court noted that in a large number of cases of non-compliance of order from Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh the stand being taken was that it was not complied with due to model code of conduct. Now the court has directed that this order be supplied to chief secretaries of both the states of Punjab and Haryana and administrator to the Chandigarh administration for their “knowledge and necessary compliance”. It further directed that these orders be communicated to all the departments under them.

“It is clarified that no further excuse of prevalence of model code of conduct would be entertained by the court as a ground for non-compliance of the orders passed by the high court”, it asserted adding that the situation is being clarified so that authorities would comply with the orders passed of the high court irrespective of enforcement of the model code of conduct on account of Lok Sabha elections or any other election, unless the orders are stayed by the some appellate court.

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