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Civic polls likely soon

THE CIVIC bodies elections may be held soon, with the Supreme Court not granting any relief to the State Government over the reservation of posts of mayor and chairman.

india Updated: May 12, 2006 01:13 IST

THE CIVIC bodies elections may be held soon, with the Supreme Court not granting any relief to the State Government over the reservation of posts of mayor and chairman.

According to sources, the State Government might bring an amendment to the UP Nagar Palika Act 1916 and the UP Nagar Nigam Act 1959 for reservation of these posts before notifying the date of the election.

“We are prepared for the election and the final voter list would be published within a day or two,” SEC officials said.  The State Government has appointed administrators to manage the affairs of the civic bodies whose tenure expired in November 2005.

The appointment of the administrators was challenged in the Allahabad High Court. In its order, the High Court said the five-year tenure of the civic bodies had expired and the State Government should hold elections within six months.

To comply with the High Court order, the State Government should have held the election in the first week of May.  Preparation for the elections started, but delimitation of wards was carried out according to the 1991 census. The government’s action was again challenged in the Allahabad High Court. After a court directive, delimitation of the wards was done according to the 2001 census.

When it seemed the election would be held smoothly, there was another hurdle. The State Government reserved some of the posts of the mayor, the Nagar Panchayat and the Nagar Palika Parishad chairman.

One Hira Lal challenged the reservations in the High Court. The court said that there was no provision for reservation in the UP Nagar Palika and Nagar Nigam Act. Though the State Government went to the Supreme Court for a stay on the HC order, it failed to get the desired relief.

A piquant situation has arisen now. If the State Government fails to issue a notification by May 31, it will amount to contempt of court. On the other hand, if the State Government decides to introduce an amendment to the act, it will take time and the date fixed by the HC for the notification of the poll will expire.