Notices served on three officials

CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court on Monday imposed an interim stay on the recent ward delimitation and reservation of seats under Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC). The HC directive came while adjudicating over a PIL filed by some corporators of the civic body.

The bench of Justice B P Das and Justice R N Biswal while granting the stay issued notices to the State Urban Development Secretary, Director of the State Municipal Administration and to the commissioner of CMC to file counters.

The matter would come up for hearing on April 15, the bench said in its interim order.

The BJD corporator of Ward No. 2 Dharmesh Naik and two other fellow corporators had filed the PIL challenging the recent ward delimitation of the civic body in which the number of wards was increased to 54 from 48. The PIL has also challenged the reservation of seats of the civic body saying these have been made in an arbitrary manner.

Object of criticism

It may be recalled here that the recent delimitation notice of the State Government with respect to increase of number of wards and reservation of seats in both Bhubaneswar and Cuttack municipalities had received a lot of flak from various political leaders.

Leaders from almost all the major political parties had alleged massive irregularities in the exercises made by the government.

State Urban Development Minister K V Singh Deo had however, denied the allegations on the floor of the Assembly recently.

The PIL filed in the HC has alleged that the reservation of seats in CMC has not been made in accordance with the demography of the city. “While the wards of the present mayor, deputy mayor and some 11 corporators have not been touched in the delimitation exercise, the wards of some particular corporators are reserved in such a manner so as to ensure that they are unable to contest the elections in future”, the PIL said.

It also alleged that the Government had not taken note of some 100 objections filed by different political leaders while reserving the seats and fixing the limits of the wards. “While it was suggested to increase the number of wards from 48 to 61 by the CMC council, the government has not bothered to pay any heed to the suggestion of the elected representatives,” the PIL alleged.