Cuttack: The High Court on Friday stayed the State Election Commission (SEC) directive on banning support of political parties to the sarpanch, panchayat samiti member and ward member candidates for the ensuing panchayat poll.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice V Gopalagowda and Justice B N Mohapatra stayed the operation of the directive.
The stay came in response to a writ appeal filed by Hiramani Singh, a sarpanch candidate from Mithrapur gram panchayat who had approached the High Court stating that the SEC directive is infringing the Fundamental Rights of the candidates. But a single Judge Bench of Justice S K Mishra had dismissed her petition saying that the SEC decision was in sync with its political observation.
Not satisfied with the verdict of the single-judge bench, petitioner Haramani Singh again filed a writ appeal urging the High Court to hear her case by a Division Bench.
Now those contesting for the posts of ward members, sarpanchs and panchayat samiti members in the ongoing panchayat polls in the state can now use symbols and photographs of their respective political leaders and call themselves official candidates of the parties.
The next hearing on the issue will be on March.