Examine STs on for proportional seats: SC asks EC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has asked the Election Commission to examine a plea for providing proportional representations to Scheduled Tribes in Uttar Pradesh in future assembly elections though it declined to pass any direction for the coming polls.

A Bench of justices Altamas Kabir and J Chelameswar, asked the Commission to consider petitioner Virendra Pratap's plea to provide the benefit by evaluating the necessary seats after obtaining relevant data from the Registrar-General of Census Operations or the petitioner.

The apex court passed the direction while turning down the plea of Virendra Pratap, a tribal, for providing proportional representation to the Scheduled Tribes in the coming Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.

Counsel for the Commission told the court that the petitioner's plea for the present polls could not be considered as it might require about four months to complete the exercise of reserving seats on the basis of population.

Earlier, the petitioner alleged the Commission had not discharged its constitutional responsibility in providing proportional representation to STs on the basis of the 2003 Presidential order for the UP Assembly polls.

Attorney-General G E Vahanvati suggested to the court that the Registrar-General of Census Operations could release its data to the Election Commission for considering the question of reservation of Assembly seats for STs.

On behalf of the Election Commission, it was stated that despite the Presidential Order of 2003 there was no statutory legislation or direction to it for proceeding in the matter.

The grievance of the petitioner was that prior to their inclusion as STs, the communities were identified as Scheduled Castes.

However, after being listed as Scheduled Tribes by Parliament through the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) (Uttar Pradesh) Order, 1967, the newly-created STs failed to get proportional representation in the 2012 assembly polls.