Polls in J-K can be held at any time, decision to be taken by poll panel: Centre to SC

New Delhi: Elections in Jammu and Kashmir can take place any time and a decision on the issue has to be taken by the poll panel, the Centre told the Supreme Court on Thursday while giving a roadmap for restoration of electoral democracy and complete statehood in the union territory.

A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud was told by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the decision on elections in J-K have to be taken by the Election Commission of India and the state poll panel.

Mehta told a bench that polls in J-K will be held in three stages – first there will be panchayat polls, second municipal polls and then legislative assembly polls.

On August 29, the Centre had told the top court that the union territory status of Jammu and Kashmir is not a “permanent thing” and that it will make an elaborate statement on the vexatious political issue in the court on August 31.

The five-judge constitution bench, hearing the pleas challenging the abrogation of Article 370, had asked the Centre to set a specific time frame for restoration of electoral democracy in the erstwhile state.