The Supreme Court on Friday refused an urgent hearing on a plea seeking that the Union Budget for 2017-18 be deferred till April in view of assembly elections in five states. The public suit by advocate M.L. Sharma came in the wake of the staggered election dates being announced for five state assemblies between February 4 and March 8. Thus, presenting the budget now would violate the Model Code of Conduct which has come into force with the announcement of the election schedule, the petitioner contended.
A bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice N.V. Ramana and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said that they would decide the issue when it comes in its normal course. On Thursday, the opposition parties had approached the Election Commission seeking the defferment of the Union Budget’s presentation in view of polls in five states. The EC on Wednesday announced assembly election dates in Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Manipur.
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