Supreme Court allows OBC quota in Madhya Pradesh local body polls, directs poll notification in a week

The apex court directed the Madhya Pradesh election commission to notify election local body elections in one week.

By Aalok Sensharma
Wed, 18 May 2022 03:38 PM IST
Minute Read
Supreme Court allows OBC quota in Madhya Pradesh local body polls, directs poll notification in a week

New Delhi | ANI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave the green signal for OBC reservation in the local body elections in Madhya Pradesh. A bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar accepted the OBC commission report and allowed OBC reservation in the Madhya Pradesh local body elections.

The apex court directed the Madhya Pradesh election commission to notify election local body elections in one week.

Earlier, in an interim order, directed the State Election Commission to issue an election program without any further delay on the basis of the wards as per the delimitation done in the concerned local bodies where the elections had become due and to notify the election program without any further delay in respect of local self-government whose election(s) had become due; and in the present case, overdue in respect of 23,263 local bodies across the State of Madhya Pradesh, as of now.

The top court had earlier said, "We direct the State Election Commission by way of the interim order, to issue election program without any further delay on the basis of the wards as per the delimitation done in the concerned local bodies when the elections had become due consequent to the expiry of 5 (five) years term of the outgoing elected body or before coming into force of the impugned Amendment Act(s) whichever is later."

"On that notional basis, the State Election Commission ought to proceed without any exception in respect of concerned local bodies where elections are due or likely to be due in the near future without waiting even for the compliance of triple test by the State Government for providing reservation to Other Backward Classes. We have no manner of doubt that only such direction would meet the ends of justice and larger public interests consistent with the constitutional mandate that the local self-government must be governed by the duly elected representatives uninterrupted except in case of its dissolution before the expiry of the term on permissible grounds," the top court had said.

The top court had earlier observed that the chart handed over to the Court by the counsel for the Madhya Pradesh State Election Commission, indicates that there are about 321 urban local bodies, where elections have not been held from 2019 to 2020. The local bodies at the grassroots level (rural local bodies)where elections have not been held in the same manner are around 23,073, as of now.

The court was hearing a petition assailing the validity of Section 10(1) of the Madhya Pradesh Municipal Act, 1956, Sections 12, 23, and 30 of the Madhya Pradesh Panchayat Raj Avam Gram Swaraj Adhiniyam, 1993 and Section 29 of the Madhya Pradesh Municipalities Act, 1961 as being arbitrary and usurping the powers and independence of the State Election Commission.

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