HC tells BBMP to rectify errors

Population capped for old and new wards

Hearing pleas related to the elections by former mayor P R Ramesh, B K Venkatesh and others, the division bench comprising Chief Justice P D Dinakaran and Justice A S Bopanna capped the population for the old as well as the new Palike wards. The bench said the High Court will monitor the election process for the next 15 days.

Accordingly, the population for the old wards has been fixed at an average of 30,000 with a buffer of 20 percent more or less. For the new wards, the bench stated, the limit should be around  20,000 people.

Earlier the Advocate General, Ashok Harnahalli, submitted that the State had already issued a notification for the creation of 198 wards. The government had even completed the reservation process.

30 days’ time sought

“But we need to complete the rotation system of the wards, which requires at least 30 days’ time,” he said. Besides, the EVMs will be arriving on August 17 and the State has agreed to release the funds required for it, he added.

Counsel for the petitioner, Basavaprabhu Patil said that the grant of time is not required as the entire process can be completed within 24 hours. “What is the reason behind this 30 days’ time, the entire list is before them. EVM is not a reason for delay, as the elections can be conducted using ballot papers,” he said.

Bench refused

Pointing out that the State had violated the Constitution mandate, he requested the Court to monitor the election process. However the bench refused to do so saying that the Election Commission is already playing its role.

The Counsel for the petitioner pointed out that the State had not filed an application seeking the extension of time, and the State was not serious about the matter. “This is a fit case for suo moto cognisance,” he said.

The Court said that though it cannot issue directions in this regard, it would monitor the pre-election schedule for the next 15 days and directed the State to file details by August 13. The bench also directed the State to bring in the necessary notification to conduct elections and amendments regarding the use of EVMs.

The bench dismissed a petition seeking to implement the Dr Kasturi Rangan report which had recommended direct election for the City mayor’s post.

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