BBMP elections overdue, anomalies in reservation of wards can’t come in the way: SEC to High Court

Petitioners claim flaw in reservation process and request court to stay notification

September 27, 2022 10:15 pm | Updated September 28, 2022 12:24 pm IST - Bengaluru

Bengaluru / Karnataka : 19/08/2020 :  A view of High Court of Karnataka  on 19 August 2020.  Photo : V Sreenivasa  Murthy/The Hindu.

Bengaluru / Karnataka : 19/08/2020 : A view of High Court of Karnataka on 19 August 2020. Photo : V Sreenivasa  Murthy/The Hindu. | Photo Credit: SREENIVASA MURTHY V

While the State government on Tuesday defended before the High Court of Karnataka the reservation of wards of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to various categories, the petitioners have alleged that reservation was “biased to suit political party in power” while also finding fault with the reservation of wards for Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

Meanwhile, the State Election Commission (SEC) said that elections cannot be postponed indefinitely while emphasising that only a week’s time can be granted for the government to redo the reservation of seats for women if there is any discrepancies. Other anomalies in reservation for any other categories can’t be considered for the present as the elections are overdue, the SEC contended citing the apex court’s verdicts.

These arguments were made before Justice Hemant Chandangoudar during the hearing of the petitions challenging the notification issued by the government fixing reservation for 243 new wards of the BBMP.

The petitioners have sought stay on the reservation notification.

Population data

It was argued on behalf of some of the petitioners that a Commission, which was set up to identify castes that are politically backward and deserve political reservation, had recommended reservation for OBCs citing a data even though no data of population of OBCs is available in the census 2011.

In some petitions, the legality of reserving all the wards under an Assembly constituency for women has been questioned while contending that wards for various categories should have been reserved Assembly-constituency wise.

However, the government said that it has reserved 28 wards for SCs and four for STs based on the 2011 census, which states that there are 9,61,549 SCs and 1,55,080 STs of the total population of 84,49,004.

While the reservations of wards in favour of Backward Classes A, Backward classes B categories and women have been reserved by employing randomisation as the method, the reservation in favour of SCs and STs have been done in descending order of their population ward-wise based on 2011 census, the government has stated.

The court adjourned further hearing till September 28 while also asking the government’s response on whether it wants to rectify the discrepancies, as pointed out by the petitioners, in a short period.

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