Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday stayed the corrigendum issued by the State Government relating to reservation of wards in 60 municipal bodies covering 13 districts, including Hubli-Dharwad, Gadag-Betageri and Chickballapur.

The court, however, clarified that it had only stayed the corrigendum gazetted by the State a week ago and that it had not stayed the election process.

Justice B.S. Patil passed the orders on petitions by voters of Hubli-Dharwad, Gadag-Betageri, Chickballapur and other local bodies. The petitioners had challenged the corrigendum issued by the State Government changing at the last minute the reservation of wards in their area.

The petitioners contended that the corrigendum had been passed arbitrarily and that there was no application of mind. They said the corrigendum was gazetted on September 7 even though the State had issued the final list of reservation of wards after calling for objections.

They assailed the action of the State and urged the court to stay the corrigendum.

Mr. Justice Patil initially stayed the corrigendum issued by the State in respect of Hubli-Dharwad, Gadag-Betageri and Chickballapur. He then stayed the corrigendum in all other municipal bodies after advocate for the State Election Commission (SEC), K.N. Phanindra, said corrigendum was issued in respect of 60 local bodies covering 13 districts.

Mr. Phanindra contended that if the court stayed the corrigendum only in respect of petitions that had come up before it, there would be problems as voters of other local bodies would file petitions seeking a stay on the same grounds.