EC told to state 24 Bihar councillors’ term by draw of lots

New Delhi, July 3 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Election Commission to file an affidavit stating that upon the election of 24 members of Bihar legislative council, their term would be decided by draw of lots as one-third of these members had to retire every two years.

The order was made by a bench of Chief Justice H.L.Dattu, Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Amitava Roy.

The 24 members of the Bihar legislative council are those to be elected by an electoral college comprising the members of the local bodies. Eight of them have to retire after every two years and as a consequence, one set of eight members will have only a two-year-term, another eight members a four-year term and the rest eight would their full term of six years.

The situation arose as the cycle of eight members retiring every two years got disturbed because elections to local bodies had not taken place in Bihar for quite some time.

In pursuance to the court’s earlier suggestion, the poll panel on Friday told the court that it would go ahead with the conduct of election telling the contesting candidates that their term in the legislative council would be subject to the outcome of the matter being heard by the court.

However, it washed off its hands in identifying which of the eight members would retire after two years and which other eight members would retire after four years.

The apex court order asking the Election Commission to file affidavit came as none of the options that were placed before it could find favour either with the court or the contesting parties.

The Bihar legislative council has 75 members, out of which 24 members are elected by the local bodies, 27 by MLAs, six by a college of graduates, six by teachers and 12 are nominated by governor.

The Election Commission will submit its affidavit by Monday when matter will be taken up for further hearing.

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