Kochi: In a setback to the UDF government in the State, the High Court on Thursday refused to stay a single judge's direction setting aside the official order forming 69 new panchayats and corporations.
A division bench, comprising Chief Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice A M Shaffique, gave its order on the two petitions filed by the government.
The state government had filed a statement arguing that if the election process is withheld during the pendency of appeals, the entire election process will be further delayed.
The government also sought stay of the single judge's order till the disposal of the appeals so that the election commission and government can proceed with remaining work.
Advocate General K P Dandapani, who appeared for the state, had said by deployment of additional employees, time now stated by the Election Commission can be reduced to a total of at least 86 days instead of five months and two days.
Earlier, the Kerala State Election Commission had informed the court that elections to the local bodies are to be conducted as scheduled and the process has to be completed on the basis of 2010 delimitation.
The commission had also stated that they have to stick to the constitutional mandate of Art 243 to complete election process in a time-bound manner.
The single judge had earlier quashed the government order forming 69 new village panchayats by carving out parts of various villages. This would mean that the local bodies elections, due in October, have to be conducted on the basis of earlier delimitation.