HC orders completion of KCCI elections within a month

 J&K High Court, Srinagar
J&K High Court, SrinagarMubashir Khan/GK File

Srinagar: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh Wednesday asked the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Srinagar to ensure elections of office bearers of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) were held within a month.

In this regard, a bench of Justice Sindhu Sharma asked the DC to take all steps to conclude the elections to the business body.

Last year on March 23, the court had observed that the parties were ready to hold elections to elect the office bearers of KCCI for which they had proposed and suggested the names of three persons each from rival factions to associate in conducting of elections.

Accordingly, the court had directed that these six persons would form and function as a committee for conducting elections.

Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar was directed to supervise the elections.

Subsequently, on May 9, 2022, the court was informed that the elections had not been conducted so far although a notification in this regard had been issued.

COVID restrictions were cited as a reason for not conducting the polls.

“This court in terms of order dated March 23, 2021, has directed six persons, named therein, to conduct elections. DC Srinagar was directed to oversee the elections and take all steps as may be required in this regard,” the bench said.

The DC Srinagar has submitted his report stating that steps were initiated in terms of the order of the court to ensure the conduct of elections of KCCI but the election could not be held as the committee sought some time to allow fresh nomination or withdrawal from previously-nominated candidates.

“Further, some members disagreed with the mode and conduct of elections as they insisted that elections are to be held for the year 2022-23 in terms of the notification issued in the year 2020-21 for which terms were to expire in September 2022,” he said in his report and sought appropriate directions from the court.

“The counsel for both the sides were given time to seek instructions. They have fairly agreed to the withdrawal of one of the nominated candidates, who has moved an application and fresh nominations, if any, in terms of the election notification already issued within a week,” the court said. “Elections are to be held in terms of the election notification already issued as per the directions of this court within a month.”

The bench said that as all other issues had already been considered by the court vide order dated March 23, 2020, a notification stood issued which prescribes the terms.

“The DC Srinagar, as well as the members of the committee, should conduct KCCI elections in terms of order dated March 23, 2022, read with an order dated May 9, 2022, within a month,” the court said. “DC Srinagar should take all steps and ensure the conclusion of elections within a month and report accordingly.”

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