The Supreme Court pulled up the Election Commission for exceeding the constitutional provisions and taking into consideration extraneous factors in reserving assembly seats for scheduled tribes in Uttarakhand.
Disposing of a petition, it took exception to the EC’s affidavit that tried to justify its mistake of reserving three instead of two assembly seats for STs. The EC had said the November 2000 order to increase the number of ST seats was passed “keeping in view the special requirements of the development of tribal areas and the aspirations of the people to be part of the mainstream”.
The petitioners had challenged the decision on the grounds that STs made up only three per cent of the population of Uttarakhand. Though the EC subsequently corrected its mistake, the court advised it to keep in mind the constitutional provisions and not be swayed by other considerations.