The State Election Commission (SEC) on Wednesday alleged before both the High Court of Karnataka and the Supreme Court that the State government appears to be seeking three more months to issue a fresh notification to fix the reservation for the wards of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike “only with a view to prolonging and delaying the conduct of election to the BBMP beyond May 2023”.
“The election to the State Legislative Assembly will be due before May 2023 and if the election schedule for the Assembly is declared then the elections to the BBMP would get postponed indefinitely,” the SEC said in its statement opposing the government’s application seeking three more months, with effect from November 30, to issue the fresh notification on reservation.
Also, the SEC filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the government to issue the fresh notification on reservation immediately.
Taking note that the SEC had sought direction from the apex court, Justice Hemant Chandangoudar adjourned the hearing on the application filed by the State government seeking three more months.
The government had sought three more months while stating that the dedicated commission, headed by a retired judge of the High Court, which is examining the political reservation for other backward classes, was yet to give clarifications sought by the government.
However, the SEC has contended that even though the Commission had already communicated its stand on reservation for OBCs, the government appears to have sought clarification only with a view to overcome directions issued by the High Court and the apex court.
Referring to the communications between the government and the dedicated commission, the SEC has said that apparently neither the government nor the commission had the empirical data available with them with respect to political backwardness.
The High Court, in its September 30 verdict of quashing reservation for OBCs and women, had directed the government to issue a fresh notification by November 30 after getting a fresh report from the dedicated commission on OBC reservation based on empirical data.