‘Elections have to be held to 209 urban local bodies before their terms expire’

The Karnataka High Court on Thursday said it expected the State government to notify the reservation list in 209 urban local bodies within two weeks so that the State Election Commission (SEC) can conduct elections.

The court said that if the reservation list was not notified in the next two weeks, the Secretary, Urban Development, would have to be personally present during the next date of hearing of the petition filed by the SEC complaining that the government had failed to provide the reservation list.

“We expect the requirement as per the Supreme Court judgment in Kishen Singh Tomar vs. Municipal Corporation of City of Ahmedabad will be done in two weeks…”, a Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B.N. Nagarathna said, while adjourning further hearing till November 29.

SEC counsel K.N. Phanindra contended that the SEC had to conduct the elections before the expiry of the term of the elected body as per the apex court’s verdict. The terms of these local bodies were ending in February-March 2013.

“We have held meetings and written a number of letters asking for the same. But till today, nothing has come out. These lists for 5,000-odd wards have to be published by December 3so that we can hold elections within the time. Every time this is happening and we are being blamed for not holding time-bound elections,” he submitted.

NICE challenges order

Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises Ltd. (NICE), which is executing the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor project, and its representatives moved the court challenging the October 25 order of the Special Lokayukta Court ordering an inquiry into the alleged irregularities in the project.

When the petitions came up for hearing before Justice H.N. Nagamohan Das, he recused himself from hearing as he had represented activist T.J. Abraham when he [judge] was practising as an advocate.

He directed the petitions be placed before the Chief Justice for posting before another judge. The company and others contended that the order of the Lokayukta Court was without application of mind as the High Court and Supreme Court had upheld various aspects of the project holding it as in public interest.

The petitioners also stated that the Special Court has not yet released the copy of its order.