The Delhi High Court Friday sought the state election commission’s response to a plea that has challenged the earmarking of seats as reserved for the Scheduled Castes (SC) in the April 2012 elections to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).
A bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Rajiv Shakdher Friday issued a notice to the poll panel on a petition of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) councillor Anil Yadav and advocate Kuldeep Singh, who sought the quashing of the Jan 27, 2012, notification reserving the seats for the Scheduled Castes.
The court, however, did not suspend the operation of the notification.
The poll panel, which sought a week’s time to file its reply, was also directed not to issue any more notifications regarding the upcoming elections without informing the court.
The petitioners in their plea contended that the notification is “arbitrary, malafide and without any logic” as the commission has reserved seats for the SCs on the basis of 2001 census and not the recent 2011 census.
Arguing that there is no rational basis of earmarking seats as freserved for gthe Scheduled Castes, advocates Shyam Sharma and O.P. Saxena, appearing for petitioners, submitted that the panel take into consideration the average population of the Scheduled Castes in a ward on the basis of the latest 2011 census and not the 2001 census.
The election commission has “acted without any logic” in reserving the seats on the basis of 2001 census – reserving those seats where the SC population is only 12 percent, and making those as general seats where the SC population is more than 40 percent, they contended.
The petition also stated that the very objective behind reserving seats is frustrated because the benefit will not reach those constituencies or wards where the percentage of the Scheduled Castes population is higher as per 2011 census.