Karnataka

BBMP polls cannot be postponed even if there is defect in delimitation of wards, SEC tells HC

The preparation of voters’ list has commenced based on the final notification issued by the government on July 14 on delimitation of wards.

The preparation of voters’ list has commenced based on the final notification issued by the government on July 14 on delimitation of wards. | Photo Credit: BHAGYA PRAKASH K

The State Election Commission (SEC) on Tuesday told the High Court of Karnataka that any discrepancies or illegalities in the process of delimitation of 243 wards of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) cannot come in the way of holding elections to the BBMP at present.

The SEC also said that if any illegalities or discrepancies are found in the delimitation of wards, the High Court can issue guidelines to be followed by State government for delimitation of the wards only for the next election as the present election process, initiated based on the directions issued by the Supreme Court, cannot be stalled.

The submissions were made before Justice Hemant Chandangoudar, who is hearing a batch of petitions filed by some political parties, aspirants for BBMP elections, and a few electors. The petitioners questioned the legality of delimitation of the wards on various grounds.

Appearing for the SEC, senior advocate K.N. Phanindra contended that the delimitation of wards had been done strictly as per Section 7(1)(a) and (b) of the BBMP Act, 2020, and no ward boundary is spread across two Assembly constituencies.

Pointing out that it was for the first time that wards had been carved out, as far as possible, within the Assembly constituency, Mr. Phanindra told the court that the government had maintained the average population among wards in each Assembly constituency.

Stating that the process of the preparation of voters’ list had commenced based on the final notification issued by the government on July 14 on delimitation of wards, the SEC said that any interference by the High Court at this stage would render the entire exercise carried out, based on the apex court’s directions, useless.

On the petitioners’ contention against use of 2011 census for delimitation of wards, the SEC said that the government had rightly considered the figures of 2011, which is the last preceding census report. The basis of ascertaining the population is only as mentioned in the census report 2011 and the numbers or figures as found in the voters’ list cannot be taken into consideration, the SEC clarified.


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Printable version | Aug 17, 2022 10:47:32 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bbmp-polls-cannot-be-postponed-even-if-there-is-defect-in-delimitation-of-wards-sec-tells-hc/article65776032.ece