Panchayat polls in Haryana have been deferred indefinitely with the state government’s decision not to do away with mandating minimum educational qualification as a pre-requisite for the candidates. Representing Haryana government, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi Tuesday told a bench led by Justice J Chelameswar that the state would rather want Supreme Court to rule upon the new law’s validity.
“It would be inappropriate for us (Haryana government) to tweak the education qualification criteria at the moment,” said Rohatgi, who had a day ago sought time to seek instructions on whether the state government was willing to drop educational qualification as an eligibility criterion.
Acting on a PIL, the bench had last week stayed operation of Haryana Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Act, 2015 which requires that general candidates must have passed Class 10 exams while women and Dalit nominees need to have cleared Classes 8 and 5, respectively. Pointing at the stay order, Rohatgi said: “Let the petition be decided at the earliest,” he said. The bench replied it would start hearing final arguments from October 7 and asked Haryana government to file its formal affidavit in 10 days.
The state election commission said it would come out with a fresh poll notification after the apex court decides the petition.