BMC elections process challenged in HC
The PIL says that the election process is violating the fundamental rights of the voters and the candidates, reports Urvi Jappi.india Updated: Jan 17, 2007 22:06 IST
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections which are to be held on February 1 will come under the scanner of the Bombay High Court following a public interest litigation (PIL) filed on Wednesday challenging the upcoming elections.
A city-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), Sarthiseva Sangh has filed a PIL challenging the upcoming municipal elections contending that the election process is violating the fundamental rights of the voters and the candidates.
The petitioner states that the election commission while granting reservations to backward classes have not specified whether the backward classes denote 'Other Backward Classes' or social, educational and economical backward classes. The reservations were granted by the government by issuing a notification. The PIL prays that the notification be declared null and void and it be quashed. Also, a fresh notification be issued that specifies all the backward classes.
On behalf of the candidates, the petitioner has raised the issue of granting just seven days time to the candidates for the election campaign this year as against the standard 15 days time.
The petitioner states that the seven days time from January 22 to January 29 to finalise their contesting candidates, symbol and other formalities granted to the candidates by the Chief Election Commissioner is not enough. "Seven days is a very short period and might deprive the candidates to exercise their fundamental rights with respect to the election campaign," the petition states.
The NGO claims that seven days may be sufficient for the 'settled parties' who already have their own symbol as they can have their promotion material ready. However, independent candidates will be issued their symbols only on January 20 after which they have to proceed with their manifesto and pamphlets and also campaign for themselves.
The petitioner has also raised a grievance that this year the nomination forms given to the candidates are only in Marathi. Normally, during every elections the notification forms are made available in local language (Marathi) and also in English. The PIL states that as most of the candidates do not know Marathi, the court make it mandatory for every notification form to be given in Marathi and English or Hindi.
The PIL will come up for hearing before the division bench of Acting Chief Justice HL Gokhale and Justice VM Kanade on Thursday.