Redo ward reservation, HC directs government

Redo ward reservation, HC directs government

 
The court ordered the government to submit to it the revised reservation schedule within two weeks. However, the Court directed the State Election Commission to go ahead with the BBMP election schedule announced on Monday.

Hearing several petitions challenging the notification dated 30 November, 2009, relating to the reservation of wards, the division bench comprising Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice B V Nagarathna partly allowed the petitions, by quashing the reservation notification. 

The Court, which continued the hearing from Monday, observed “Reservations should be based on the total population of the municipal area under Section 21 (3) of Karnataka Muncipal Council Act 1976. The State has to make rules for determination of wards and fixing reservations. It is mandatory under the law. Without making such rules, using executive powers is not permissible under the law.”

Pointing out that the reservation guidelines issued on 21 July, 2009 and notification dated 30 November, 2009 were against Article 243 of the Constitution, the Court refused to accept the State’s defence that making such rules was not mandatory as it had executive power under Article 162. “These contentions are rejected by the Court because framing of such rules is the statutory obligation of the State Government,” the bench observed. 

Following the memo by Additional Advocate General K M Natraj that the State Government would reissue the reservation list, the bench, apart from directing to redo the reservation for 198 wards as per KMC act, also quashed a portion of notification dated 21 July, 2009 regarding the guidelines on reservation. As per these guidelines, the State had directed to fix reservation on the basis of an Assembly segment as a whole.
But the Court has refused the petitioners' plea to quash the State Election Commission's notification dated 7, December, 2009 and directed the State and the SEC to go ahead with the election as per schedule.

“In the view of the submission by the State, this Court feels that interfering in the election process is not necessary. We direct the SEC to go ahead with the polls as scheduled,” the court observed. The Court also said there will not be any extension of date related to BBMP elections.  It has also directed that the State redo reservations of all City Corporations before fixing reservations or delimitations as well as frame the rules within six months.

List to be read soon: UDD

The Urban Development Department has said it would prepare the ward-wise reservation list much before the timeline given by the High Court.

Sources said, they would reserve the wards much earlier than the time limit. "All we have to do is to take the wards and based on the 2001 census, identify which ward has the maximum SC/ST and backward castes," said the sources.

No change in schedule: CM

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters in Shimoga, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said, the calender of events for BBMP elections will remain unaltered and the Government will follow the suggestions from High Court on ward reservation.

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