Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought the responses of the Centre and the AAP government on a plea seeking to quash the notification laying down the manner of allocation of wards for reserved categories and women in the upcoming MCD polls in the national capital. A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal also issued notice to the state election commission and three municipal corporations in which the election are scheduled to be held for 272 wards in April.
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The court directed all the authorities to file their replies before March 8. The direction came after the NGO ‘We the citizens’ moved the court challenging the poll panel’s February 6 notification, announcing the election in three corporations.
In its plea, the NGO said the Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) in 2011 was divided into three zone — North Delhi Municipal Corporation, East Delhi Municipal Corporation and South Delhi Municipal Corporation. In 2012, ahead of the MCD elections, a notification was issued regarding allocation of wards amongst schedule caste, women and general category.
Claiming that the present notification was contrary to the Constitution as well as Section 3 of the DMC Act, the NGO demanded that it should be quashed and a fresh circular issued in accordance with law.
It sought direction to identify and determine the municipal wards for the purpose of reservation for schedule caste, women and general category in terms of Article 243T of the Constitution. The Article provides for reservation of seats for the schedule caste in the municipal area by rotation to different constituency in the municipality.
The plea alleged that the poll panel, government and others agencies have not made reservation to different constituencies in a municipality by rotation. “This is evident from the fact that in Sultanpur Majra Assembly Constituency (AC 10), there are four municipal wards out of which two were already reserved in the year 2007 for schedule caste. In the year 2012, out of four municipal wards one was reserved for schedule caste women and other three wards were made general,” the plea claimed.
It said that by the present notification all four municipal wards in the AC 10 have been reserved for the schedule caste. “Therefore, it is against the provisions of Article 243T and therefore it is unconstitutional,” it added.