Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court, in an interim order, stayed the first meeting of the Madikeri City Municipal Council (CMC) called by the Election Officer for electing the president and vice-president of the civic body.

Justice Ravi Malimath passed the order on a petition by K. Gangadhara of Madikeri who had challenged the election of 31 councillors to the civic body under the new delimitation. In his petition, Mr. Gangadhara claimed that according to the 2001 census, Madikeri was divided into 23 civic wards. The Government on June 16, 2007 increased the number of wards to 31. The Election Officer of Madikeri had issued a notification calling upon all the elected councillors to attend the first meeting so that the president and vice-president of the civic body could be elected. Mr. Gangadhara challenged the April 19, 2008 order of the Election Officer calling for the meeting.

Justice Malimath, in his interim order, stayed the order calling for the meeting and adjourned further hearing on the case. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with 13 members, is the single largest group in the 31-member CMC, followed by the Congress with nine members.