The State government on Thursday gave an undertaking to the Karnataka High Court that it would publish details of reservation of seats for the 209 local bodies before December 17 to enable the State Election Commission to conduct elections before the expiry of the term of the elected councils of these bodies.
The government also said that the reservation for the posts of presidents and vice-presidents of 44 city municipal councils, 93 town municipalities, 65 town panchayats, and for posts of mayors and deputy mayors of seven city corporations would be published before January 31, 2013.
The Secretary of Urban Development Department filed an affidavit during hearing of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition, filed by the State Election Commission. It was complained in the petition that the government was delaying fixing reservation, though repeated reminders had been sent in the past many months.
Following the undertaking, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B.V. Nagarathna disposed of the petition indicating that the undertaking would be binding on the Government.
It was also stated in the undertaking that the draft reservation list would be published before December 4 with the last date for receiving objections as December 12.
During arguments earlier, commission counsel K.N. Phanindra complained that it had become a practice for the government to considerably delay publication of reservation list every time resulting in the expiry of the term of the elected councils.
This, in turn, enabled the government to appoint administrators to these bodies, he said.
He also pointed out that the government took five months to announce reservation for the posts of presidents and vice-presidents of these bodies in 2007.
Though the elections were completed in September 2007, after approaching court for reservation, the elected councils could hold their first meeting only in February 2008 as elections to the posts of presidents and vice-presidents could not be held for five months as the government delayed the process of reserving these posts as per rotation norms.
Following this, the Bench asked the government to fix the date for publishing reservation of these posts and accordingly, the Government gave the undertaking that it would be published before January 31.