BBMP ward reservation stays


In an interim order, a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan stayed execution of the high court order related to the reservation of wards, elections to which are scheduled for February 21 next year.

The apex court’s order came in the wake of a petition filed by some Bangalore residents challenging the high court’s order which had recently ruled that the state government could conduct the civic body polls in accordance with the new electoral rolls, provided the reservation of wards was in order.

Appearing for the residents, advocate Raghvendra Srivatsa argued that the high court ruling was flawed.

Srivatsa’s submission stemmed from the high court’s order criticising the “unscientific” manner in which wards were reserved for the forthcoming elections.

Srivatsa claimed that the State government had been postponing the elections ever since the term of the elected body ended on November 23, 2006, and prolonged the process of delimitation of wards without any valid reason.
On December 8, the Karnataka High Court allowed the BBMP polls to be conducted as per schedule announced by the State Election Commission.
A day earlier, the high court heard a bunch of petitions challenging the reservation of wards and guidelines issued by the government.

At that time, the court pointed out that “reservations should be based on the total population of the municipal area” rather than the population in each Assembly segment, which was appealed by the Bangalore residents in the Supreme Court.
On the issue of reservation, the high court had directed the government to rectify the anomalies within a fortnight.

It had observed that reservation should have been conducted by taking into account the population at the ward level instead of considering the population at the Assembly segment level while reserving the wards.

“The high court dispensed with the framing of rules in the election. It quashed a Government Order in the form of guidelines reserving seats under each Assembly segment to Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST),” said Srivatsa.
While the writ petitions challenging the delimitation of wards were dismissed, those relating to reservation were disposed of by the court.

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