Considering the petitions challenging the state government's instructions of making the 2008 roster as the basis of reservation of seats of sarpanches for the 2013 panchayat elections, the Punjab and Haryana high court has directed that the elections to the posts of sarpanch of Nangal Thathal and Kittna villages in Hoshiarpur district, if held, would be subject to the decision of the civil writ petitions.
A division bench of the high court, comprising Justice AG Masih and Justice NK Sanghi, on Monday issued these directions after hearing two civil writ petitions filed by Sukhwinder Singh of Nangal Thathal village in Bhunga block, and Kamaljit Kumar of Kittna village in Garhshankar block.
The petitions were filed challenging the instructions dated May 2, and the consequent notification of May 28 issued by the Hoshiarpur deputy commissioner reserving the seats of sarpanches of these villages for general category.
The petitions said the Punjab government had issued a circular on May 2 to all deputy commissioners, directing them that the 2008 roster would be made the basis for the reservation of seats of sarpanches for the 2013 elections. The petitioners alleged that earlier the reservation to sarpanches was being made on the basis of the 1998 roster.
In the petitions, Sukhwinder Singh of Nangal Thathal village and Kamaljit Kumar of Kittna village contended that no reservation of seat for women of the SC category had been made.
The state government, in written statements filed in both the cases through S Karuna, director, rural development and panchayats, pleaded that in 2008, the rules for reservation and rotation of seats of sarpanches were amended, and population of block was made the basis of reservation in place of the district. The statement, however, did not say as to how the amendment required shifting the basis of reservation from 1998 to 2008.
The petitions will come up for hearing on June 24.