HC rejects Karnataka govt’s appeal, BBMP polls likely in July

Bengaluru: The State Election Commission (SEC) ruled off its preparations to hold  the BBMP elections by July-end after the Karnataka high court made it clear on Monday that the new council should be in place by August 5.
Dismissing interlocutory applications filed by the government, the Karnataka State Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and some others, Justice BV Nagarathna said: “The authorities are directed to comply with the spirit of the (high court) order of March 30, 2015 and the Supreme Court order of May 5, 2015 and take requisite steps for holding the election within the time (August 5) stipulated by the Supreme Court.“
The SEC has zeroed in on polls between July 24 and 30, but a decision is awaited.Sources in SEC said the election process will begin after the state government submits the ward-reservation list. Though the government had issued a notification on April 13 reserving 50% of the total 198 seats for women, it withdrew the list on April 25 after the March 30 order was set aside by a division bench of the high court. This gave the government a six-month leeway on the strength of its superseding of BBMP.
The SEC and a couple of city corporators challenged the division bench’s order before the Supreme Court, which, on May 5, directed the poll panel to complete the poll process in three months. In their applications, the government and the SCST commission had sought clarifi cation or modification of the March 30 order and to allow the authorities to undertake delimitation of wards before conducting the polls. The SEC had opposed these applications, saying this would further delay the process and result in violating the three-month limit set by the apex court. On the State SCST Commission’s application, the judge termed it mission was not not maintainable as the commission was not an aggrieved party.

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