The Delhi High Court on Friday reserved its verdict on pleas seeking quashing of the notification laying down the manner of allocation of wards for reserved categories and women in the upcoming MCD polls. “Arguments heard. Judgement reserved,” a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar said.
Terming the petitions as “absurd”, the Delhi state election commission has told the court that there was “no unreasonableness” in the process of the allocation of the seats. It argued that none of the political parties, who are the major stake holders in the present poll, has challenged their formula. “It was so, because they were part of the consultation process, after which only we have taken the decision,” the commission, represented by advocate Sumeet Pushkarna, said.
It was responding to the pleas by NGOs and several social activists, who have sought quashing of the notification laying down the manner of allocation of wards for reserved categories and women in the upcoming MCD polls. They have also challenged the commission’s February 6 notification, announcing the election for 272 wards of the three municipal corporations here.
The elections are scheduled to be held on April 22. In its pleas, the NGOs have said that 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. They said while the number of wards in each of the three corporations – 104 each in South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and 64 in East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) has remained the same, the number of wards in a few assembly segments has changed, ranging from three to seven.
Claiming that the present notification was contrary to the Constitution as well as Section 3 of the DMC Act, one of the pleas demanded that it should be quashed and a fresh circular issued in accordance with the law. It has sought direction to identify and determine the municipal wards for the purpose of reservation for scheduled caste, women and general category in terms of Article 243 of the Constitution.
The Article provides for reservation of seats for the scheduled castes in the municipal area by rotation to different constituency in the municipality.