Delimitation: HC notice to govt. on petitions

August 10, 2022 10:40 pm | Updated August 11, 2022 09:31 am IST - Bengaluru

High Court of Karnataka. File

High Court of Karnataka. File | Photo Credit: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday ordered issue of notice to the State government on a batch of petitions questioning the correctness of delimitation of wards of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

Justice Hemant Chandangoudar passed the order on the separate petitions filed by Shantinagar Block Congress Committee, S. Ismail Zabiulla, S.D. Gururaj, and others. Further hearing on the petitions has been adjourned till August 22.

Contrary to Act

One of the main contentions in the petitions is that the division of wards are contrary to the Section 7(1((b) of the BBMP Act, 2020, which states that wards shall be divided within the constituency of a member of Legislative Assembly and no wards shall be spread over to constituencies.

Many of the new wards are split into multiple portions, which fall within the physical boundaries of other Assembly constituencies contrary to Section 7(1)(b) of the Act, it was pointed out in the petitions.

The splitting of wards has been done arbitrarily, without any rational basis, and are completely impractical, and the wards are delimited into odd boundary shapes and geographical areas, resulting in citizens being required to travel long distances for basic civic requirements and public participation, it was contended in the petition filed by Mr. Gururaj, a resident of KSRTC Layout.

Population data

It was contended in the petitions that the delimitation exercise is based on population data from the 2011 census, which is outdated and inaccurate, as of today, due to the exponential increase in population by over 61% since 2011.

Wards are created with political bias as number of wards are increased under the Assembly constituencies represented by the ruling party members, and in the wards like Chamarajpet the number of wards had been reduced by one though population per ward has seen steep rise, it was alleged in the petition filed by Mr. Zabiulla, an advocate and aspirant for BBMP council elections.

“The process of inclusion and exclusion of area with respect to wards is not scientific and comprehensive as it creates confusion and difficulties in the minds of people besides creating administrative obstacles. Delimitation carried out is not in good faith and it was only with a view to gain political advantage for a particular party, which is ruling the State,” the Shantingar Block Congress Committee said in its petition.

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