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HC directs DC Srinagar to conduct elections for KCCI within a month

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Srinagar: The J&K High Court has directed the Deputy Commissioner (DC), Srinagar, to get the elections of KCCI conducted expeditiously and at the earliest.

“Taking an overall view of the matter and considering the fact that it is because of the obstacles and hindrances created as is evident from the conduct of the committee members that this court is left with no option but to direct Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, to get the elections of KCCI conducted expeditiously and at an earliest,” Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul directed.

The bench further directed that Joint Registrar (Judicial), Srinagar Wing, along with Assistant Commissioner (Revenue), Srinagar, to be nominated by Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, shall conduct and conclude the elections of KCCI within one month.

For the smooth conclusion of elections of KCCI within the prescribed period, the members already nominated by this court vide order dated 23.03.2021 shall provide all assistance to the aforesaid officers, the order said.

The court made it clear “in the event any of the members of the committee is/are not in a position to render the assistance as was/is required of him/them, the aforesaid officers shall be free to take all steps as may be required and deemed appropriate by them for conduct and conclusion of elections of KCCI”.

It said the caretakers appointed by the High Court in terms of order dated 23.03.2021, shall cease to be the caretakers from 27.02.2023 or from the date the elections are concluded, which is earlier.

It also directed the trade body to pay a fee of Rs 50,000 to Joint Registrar Judicial.

The  Court vide order dated 09.05.2022 had reiterated and directed that the elections of KCCI be conducted and concluded within a month with a direction to DC, Srinagar, to take all steps and ensure the conclusion of elections within one month and report accordingly.

The DC filed his report in compliance and stated that steps were initiated in terms of the orders of this court to ensure the conduct of elections of KCCI.

“But the elections could not be held as the committee sought some time to allow fresh nomination or withdrawal from previously nominated candidates. Besides, some members disagreed with the mode and conduct of elections as they insisted that elections were to be held for the year 2022-23 in terms of the notification issued in the year 2020-21, for which term was to expire in September 2022,” read the report by the DC.

The court noted that the position in relation to KCCI elections is the same as it existed in March 2021.

“The elections are yet to be conducted given the obstacles created under one pretext or the other ostensibly by the Committee members, making it imperative to have alternative option/measure for conducting and concluding the elections of KCCI,” it said.

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