SC stays Madhya Pradesh civic body polls to OBC seats
The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the election process on seats reserved for other backward classes (OBC) in the municipal polls in Madhya Pradesh, the second state after Maharashtra where the court has suspended OBC quotas in local body polls for want of data.
A bench of justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar said it passed an order on December 15 directing the state election commission in Maharashtra to renotify OBC catgeory seats in the local body polls as general due to a lack of empirical data.
“The same principle and analogy ought to apply to Madhya Pradesh as well…We direct the Madhya Pradesh state election commission to stay the election process in respect of OBCs seats only, in all the local bodies and to renotify those seats for general category,” the bench said.
Notified on December 4, the elections were scheduled for January and February.
In the Maharashtra case, the state government had bypassed an earlier decision of the top court requiring it to constitute a backward classes commission, collect empirical data on extent and backwardness of OBCs and reserve seats. Without doing this exercise, the Maharashtra SEC notified OBC seats in panchayat samitis and zilla parishads.
“The fact remains that the elections to all the local bodies in Madhya Pradesh have been notified provisioning for reservation for OBC category. To that extent, the election programme needs to be stayed forthwith as it is in conflict with the decision of the Constitution Bench of this court in K. Krishna Murthy & Ors. versus Union of India and reiterated by three-judge bench in Vikas Kishanrao Gawali vs. State of Maharashtra (decided on December 15),” the bench noted.
However, the bench clarified that election for general category seats shall proceed along with other elections already notified but results of all the seats (including renotified general seats) will be declared together on the same day