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HC upholds reservation of municipal seats by EC

Councillors challenged EC reserving seats for women, SCs.
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 01, 2012 01:06 AM IST

The Delhi high court on Wednesday virtually cleared the decks for MCD polls.

It dismissed petitions filed by 12 councillors challenging the notification issued by state election commission’s reserving seats for woman and scheduled caste (SC) candidates. The elections are scheduled to take place in April.

A bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Rajiv Shakdher found “nothing wrong” in the mode and manner of reservation. The court also did not find fault with the Delhi government delegating the Election Commission (EC) the power to reserve seats.

“We are of the unequivocal view that no fault can be found with the delegation of power under Section 490B of the said Act (Delhi Municipal Corporation Act) by the notification dated January 24, 2012 and the challenge to the same is misplaced,” the court held.

OP Saxena, the lawyer for some of the petitioners, said they will challenge the high court verdict in the Supreme Court.

Besides finding fault with this delegation of power to the election commission, the councillors had also contended that it was wrong on the part of the poll body to prepare a list of reserved seats in all three corporations of Delhi on the basis of 2001 Census.

“The Election Commission has no role whatsoever in reservation of seats or rotation of seats prior to an election. Its role is limited only to preparation of electoral roll and the conduct of elections,” the councillors contended.

The plea was opposed by the Election Commission which said the only rationale behind the reservation was to give due representation to SC candidates.

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