The Cabinet took the decisions at its September 6, November 11 meetings

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday ordered issue of notice to the State government on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition challenging the decisions of the Cabinet to withdraw criminal cases filed against the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), student wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party, and two MLAs.

A vacation Division Bench comprising Justice Anand Byrareddy and Justice B. Manohar passed the order on the petition filed by Amruthesh N.P. challenging the decisions taken by the Cabinet in this regard during its meetings on September 6 and November 11. While asking the government to explain the powers of the Cabinet in taking such decisions, the Bench adjourned further hearing to December 20.

While the decision to withdraw cases against the ABVP registered in Dharwad, Raichur, Chickballapur, Haveri and Bidiar was taken in the September meeting, the November meeting decided to withdraw the cases registered in Shimoga and Tumkur. Many of these cases were registered post 2007, after the BJP government came to power in the State, and pertained to offences such as disrupting academic council meeting, vandalising public property and manhandling police personnel on duty during agitations on various issues. The Cabinet, in its November meeting, also decided to withdraw a case registered against B.B. Ramaswamy Gowda, Congress MLA, in Kunigal police station in connection with his agitation demanding water supply to Nelamangala town. Similarly, the meeting decided to withdraw the case registered against C.B. Suresh Babu, JD(S) MLA, in Huliyurdurga police station in Tumkur district.

Notice

The Bench on Tuesday ordered issue of notice to Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath and Urban Development Department Secretary Sreenivasachary P.N. on a contempt of court petition filed by the State Election Commission (SEC) complaining that they had failed to adhere to the affidavit filed by the government giving an undertaking to the court that the list of reservation for the 209 urban local bodies would be published by December 17.

Reserved

Meanwhile, the Bench reserved its verdict on the application filed by the State government seeking two more weeks to publish the final list of reservation for the 209 urban local bodies instead of the December 17 deadline fixed by the court following an affidavit filed by the government earlier.

The Bench also reserved its verdict on an application filed by the SEC seeking direction to the government to publish the list of reservation within two days, on a PIL petition that sought directions for holding elections after delimitation of wards in these urban local bodies based on the outcome of final population figures that is likely to be published in March next year.