Delimitation will delay Palike polls, SEC tells HC

Delimitation will delay Palike polls, SEC tells HC

The State Election Commission (SEC) on Thursday told the High Court that delimitation of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike wards would delay the election to the civic agency and result in waste of public money.

During the hearing on the Palike elections, the counsel for SEC submitted that it had already prepared voters’ list by spending Rs 2.5 crore. He said that ward boundaries would have to be redrawn to carry out delimitation at this juncture and it would result in shifting of polling stations. Sticking to the ground to hold elections with the existing delimitation and updated voters’ list, the SEC counsel said that fresh delimitation would cause delay in holding the Palike elections.

However, the Additional Advocate General (AAG) submitted that the State government would carry out delimitation and ensure preparation of voters’ list. The counsel for SEC countered that voters would blame the Election Commission if they do not find their names on the electoral roll. The government would also one day say that it wants to wound up the SEC and conduct the election itself. He claimed that the SEC would complete the election process by July 28 or 29.

The AAG submitted that the government cannot turn a blind eye to the huge disparity in population and would complete delimitation of wards by July 1.

The court noted that the government had turned a blind eye when the 2011 census report was published in 2013. Justice Nagarathna observed that delimitation of wards had nothing to do with trifurcation and both had to be dealt with individually.

Meanwhile, the court sought to know from the Karnataka State Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Commission in what way its interest would be affected if reservation list was prepared without fresh delimitation. It wanted to know why the Commission did not take any action when the census figures were first published.

The counsel representing former corporators submitted that the order of the Supreme Court cannot be modified or changed under any circumstance. The bench observed that Supreme Court's order cannot be interpreted and it must only be understood.

The court reserved its orders on the interlocutory application filed by the government seeking clarification on the single judge order which had directed the government to hold the elections with the existing reservation list and delimitation of wards.

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