New Delhi: The election to the Radhakrishnan Nagar Assembly constituency in Chennai, that fell vacant on the death of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, will be held before December 31, Chief Election Commissioner A.K. Joti said here on Thursday.

The EC had countermanded the by-election that was scheduled to be held on April 12 after reports emerged of heavy bribery of the voters by a candidate.

Last month, hearing a public interest litigation (PIL), the Madras High Court had directed the Election Commission to hold the by-poll "preferably" by December 31 this year.

After a Lok Sabha or state assembly seat falls vacant due to any reason, the EC has to hold a by-election within six months to fill that seat.

Hearing the PIL, the High Court had said: "It is expected that the Election Commission of India will announce the election date at the earliest and conduct the elections preferably by December 31, 2017."

Joti said that as per court's directions the by-elections would be held before December 31.