Tamil Nadu

Reservation of 105 Chennai wards for women challenged

Chennai, 11/4/2008: Madras High Court in Chennai on Friday. Photo: V. Ganesan.  

The Madras High Court on Wednesday agreed to hear on Thursday a writ petition, which insisted that the reservation for women candidates in elections to urban local bodies should not exceed 50% of the wards in every Municipal Corporation. The litigant said granting reservation beyond 50% was unconstitutional and amounted to discrimination against men.

Acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice P.D. Audikesavalu accepted a request made by senior counsel S. Prabakaran for an early hearing of the case, since local body polls to the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) could be announced anytime. He said the litigant had insisted upon a stay on the conduct of the election until the disposal of his case, seeking parity for men.

The petitioner, R. Parthiban of West Mambalam, said provisions relating to the reservation for women candidates originally provided one-third of the seats to them. But in 2016, the laws were amended to the effect that not less than 50% of the seats should be reserved for women in the elections to the post of ward councillor.

Observing that the phrase “not less than 50%” should not be construed to mean that reservation for women can be provided even beyond 50%, to the disadvantage of and discrimination against men, the petitioner said the fears had come true, as 105 of the 200 wards in the GCC had now been reserved for women.

Providing a break-up of the number of wards that had been reserved for various categories, the petitioner said 89 had been reserved for women (general), 16 for the Scheduled Castes (women) and 16 for the Scheduled Castes (general). The rest of the 79 wards had been left open for male candidates from the general category, he said.

The petitioner said only 84 wards should be reserved for women (general) candidates and an equal number provided to male candidates in the general category.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 11:35:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/reservation-of-105-chennai-wards-for-women-challenged/article37798541.ece

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