SC stays Karnataka HC order over BBMP elections

SC stays Karnataka HC order over BBMP elections

'Until further orders, there shall be a stay of operation of the judgment and order passed by the Karnataka High Court,' the bench said in its order

Representative image/Credit: DH File Photo

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Karnataka High Court order for conducting BBMP polls on 198 wards, as opposed to 243 seats as mandated under 2020 amendment into the law.

The top court issued notice to the Karnataka's State Election Commission on a petition filed by the B S Yeddyurappa government against the High Court's order to conduct the polls as expeditiously as possible.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian sought a reply from the SEC and M Shivaraju and others whose plea had prompted the HC to deliver its judgement on December 4.

"Until further orders, there shall be a stay of operation of the judgment and order passed by the Karnataka High Court," the bench said in its order.

The Karnataka government was led by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and other petitioners Baskar and Dr B R Ambedkar Dalita Sangharsha Samiti by senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and C A Sundaram. Senior advocate Meenakshi Arora appeared for the other side.

The HC had directed for holding the BBMP polls on 198 wards as expeditiously as possible by publishing the election programme within the maximum period of six weeks.

The petitioners pointed out the Karnataka Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Act, 2020 has been enacted to increase the seats for Councillors from 198 to 243 wards by a notification on January 14, 2020.

"This was done to give due representation to Scheduled Castes and other marginalised communities in the municipal council of a large and growing city like Bengaluru," they pleaded.

They also said the SEC had no authority to question the validly enacted legislation by a writ petition.

The term of BBMP corporation expired on September 10, 2020.

With the top court's order, the delimitation exercise may resume for 243 wards in the BBMP.