DEFENDING ITS rotation policy for reservation of wards for the next elections to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, the Chandigarh Administration on Monday informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that the petition filed by Dr Sat Pal Goyal cannot be entertained at this stage as it would hamper the entire election process.
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Elections to 26 wards of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation are scheduled in the third week of December and the state election commission would be announcing the election programme in a scheduled meeting on November 15, said the additional secretary of local government, Chandigarh Administration.
The reply was filed to a petition moved by Goyal claiming himself as senior vice-president of Lok Jan Shakti Party and keen to contest election from ward no. 23 from open category. Goyal has challenged the notification issued on October 14 wherein a total of 12 wards have been reserved for various categories, including Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Caste women, and women. He has submitted that ward no. 23 should have been open this time for general category.
As per the notification issued in December 2006, ward no. 23 was reserved for Scheduled Caste women and in 2011 elections, ward no. 23 was reserved for women and now as per the latest notification issued on October 14, ward no. 23 has been reserved for Scheduled Caste (men), the petitioner has submitted.
However, the Chandigarh Administration informed that a fair and transparent method had been adopted for the rotation of reserved seats in different wards based on the percentage of population of Scheduled Castes in the latest census. There is no violation in reserving ward no. 23 for Scheduled Caste (men) for the upcoming elections, the court was informed.
The Chandigarh administration informed the court that the returning officers had now prepared the list of polling stations of all the wards and the election observers had also been appointed. Hence the petition has been filed after immense delay and any interference at this stage would hamper the election process. It was also submitted that the present petition is not maintainable as the petitioner has not challenged the method adopted by the Chandigarh Administration vide notification dated September 19 prescribing the criteria for determination of seats for the reserved categories.
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