KARNATAKA

Court seeks State’s reply on not holding BBMP polls

Staff Reporter



Notification on delimitation of wards to

BBMP challenged

Court not to give more time for holding

the elections



BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday once again came down heavily on the State Government for failing to hold elections to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and directed it to file an explanation for not complying with an earlier order directing it to hold elections.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran, and Justice A.S. Boppanna passed the order on public interest litigation (PIL) petitions by the former Bangalore Mayor P.R. Ramesh and others challenging the failure of the State in holding elections to the BBMP within the time-frame stipulated by the High Court.

The petitioners also challenged a notification by the State Government on July 17, 2009 on delimitation of wards to BBMP. They said the notification is flawed and that the delimitation has been deliberately done in such a manner.

They said the failure of the State to honour the High Court verdict amounted to breakdown of the constitutional machinery and that the High Court could direct the State to hold elections without issuing any further notification.

The Bench took the State Government to task for failing to hold the election on time and sought to know the root cause for the delay. It orally observed that the notification seemed to be only a drama enacted by the State.

The State Election Commission (SEC) said it had sought eight weeks time to hold the elections as the wards are yet to be reserved. It said the law regarding ballot papers would have to be amended to ensure use of electronic voting machines (EVM).

It said 9,000 EVMs are needed for holding the elections to the BBMP. Besides, there would be 9,000 polling stations in the city. It said 5,000 EVMs are expected in Bangalore by August 17.

Formalities

The SEC said that before holding elections, a lot of formalities are necessary after the Government hands over the notification to it.

The Bench again came down on the Government and asked the Government advocate for the notification. It also wanted to know from the Government when it would complete the process of reservation of seats and delimitation. It said it would not give any more extension of time to the government for holding elections.

It asked the Government to file an explanation for delaying elections to the BBMP in spite of an order by the High Court on March 31, 2009 asking it to hold elections.

The Bench adjourned further hearing of the cases.

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