Palike polls after delimitation, govt tells High Court

Palike polls after delimitation, govt tells High Court

The State government on Wednesday submitted in the High Court that it wants to complete the delimitation process of the wards and then hold the elections to the BBMP.

While seeking clarification to the single bench order which had directed the government to hold the elections with the existing reservation list and delimitation of wards, Additional Advocate General (AAG) A S Ponnanna said that the order of the single bench was coming in the way of the procedures to hold the elections. 

He said that government cannot issue fresh reservation list without carrying out the delimitation process.

Justice B V Nagarathna asked the AAG how long it would take for the government to issue a fresh reservation list without carrying out the delimitation process. The judge questioned the AAG why the government had not brought to the notice of the bench the issue of time required to carry out delimitation when the petition was heard by the bench earlier.

 The bench observed: “Only issue of trifurcation was submitted, but there was no question about delimitation of ward raised during the hearing.”

Justice Nagarathna asked the government whether a judge can change the order after the Supreme Court has upheld the order and observed: “This order should not become a precedent for the breakdown of law.”

Senior counsel Uday Holla appearing for the Karnataka State Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes said that there was a huge difference in the population of Scheduled Castes and Tribes, which will deny the opportunity for the reserved classes.

He submitted that in 2001 census, the population of SCs was 8.51 lakh which increased to 12.98 lakh in 2011 census.  The STs’ population was 86,000 in 2001, which is 1.90 lakh according to 2011 census. The total population of Bengaluru in 2001 was 65.37 lakh which has increased to 96.21 lakh in 2011.

K N Phaneendra, appearing for the State Election Commission (SEC), argued that the government had announced the reservation list and withdrew it.

However, the SEC has protected the rights of the SCs/STs. Out of the 198 seats in the Palike, the SEC has reserved 23 for Scheduled Castes and has increased the number by two. A total of four seats have been reserved for the Scheduled Tribes.

He said that the SEC had already started the process for elections which would be delayed if delimitation of wards came into picture. The bench adjourned the hearing to Thursday.

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