Verdict on reservation in MCD polls on Feb 29

The Delhi High Court will pronounce its verdict on Wednesday on petitions that seek quashing of the Election Commission’s decision to reserve seats for the Scheduled Castes candidates in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections slated for April.

A group of councillors belonging to both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress moved the court challenging the earmarking of seats as reserved for the SCs.

A division bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Rajiv Shakdher on February 16 reserved the verdict after counsel from both sides concluded their arguments.

The petitioners contended that the poll commission’s notification reserving the seats was “arbitrary, malafide and without any logic” as the commission had reserved seats for the SCs on the basis of the 2001 census and not the recent 2011 census.

The EC “acted without any logic” in reserving the seats on the basis of 2001 census - reserving those seats where the Scheduled Castes population was only 12 percent, and making those as general seats where the SC population was more than 40 per cent, they contended.

The EC opposed the plea, saying the rationale behind the reservation was to give due representation to the SC candidates. The state poll panel issued the notification January 27.

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