SC seeks UP govt's reply on quota row in municipal bodies
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday sought response of the Uttar Pradesh government on a petition challenging reservation of the post of chairperson of certain municipal bodies for members of the SC, ST and OBC communities.
A bench of Justices KS Radhakrishnan and JS Khehar, while issuing notice to the UP Government, posted the matter for further hearing to Monday.
The Supreme Court had on June 5 decided to examine the plea against the UP government's May 25 notification reserving the posts of chairperson for people belong to scheduled castes, tribes and backward classes and women in some of the state's municipal bodies.
Rakesh Gautam, a general category candidate for the post of Khair Nagar Palika chairperson in Aligarh, has urged the apex court to stay the impugned notification issued by the state government.
He has submitted that the poll process was vitiated as the posts were being reserved indiscriminately without any rationale and in a manner, discriminatory to the general category candidates.
In all, there are 630 local bodies comprising 13 municipal corporations, 194 'nagar palika parishads' and 423 'nagar panchayats' in the state.
The petitioner has submitted that reservation of the posts of chairpersons can be done only by rotation. In other words, if a post is reserved for a particular term, then in the subsequent term, it has to be de-reserved, allowing a general category candidate to contest for it.
The UP government, however, in the purported exercise of its powers under Section 9 A of the UP Municipalities Act, 1916, has reserved 28 seats in favour of different castes despite the fact that the posts had been reserved in 2001 and 2006 elections, the petitioner has said.
Elections to the nagar palikas in UP are to be held from June 12 and would conclude by July 10, the petitioner had said.
According to him, in 2001, the office of chairperson, Nagar Palika, Khair was reserved for general category women. In 2006, it was reserved for Schedule Caste women, he had said.
On January 15, 2012, the then Mayawati government notified the Nagar Palika chairperson post for general category candidate.
However, after the Akhilesh Yadav government assumed power on April 25, the state issued a fresh notification reserving the seat for SC candidates.
According to the petitioner, though the Allahabad High Court had held that the notifications reserving the posts were illegal, yet, it directed the petitioner and other aggrieved candidates to approach the respective district judges by way of election petitions.