HC asks UP govt to follow 2015 rules for panchayat polls

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, on Monday, directed the state government to follow the 2015 rules for seat reservation in the upcoming panchayat elections.

The High Court bench comprising Justice Rituraj Awasthi and Justice Manish Thakur also directed the state administration to ensure that the UP panchayat election process is completed by May 25.

A PIL filed by a person named Ajay Kumar had challenged the February 11 government order which had fixed 1995 as the base year for rotating the reserved seats in village, blocks and district local bodies.

He claimed that it was in violation of an earlier order dated September 15, which had fixed 2015 as the base year. The last polls were held as per the September 2015 order, the petitioner pleaded.

Earlier in February, the Allahabad High Court had asked the Uttar Pradesh Election Commission to hold panchayat elections by April 30 this year as it rejected the poll panel’s undertaking to hold the rural civic body elections by May 2021.

The High Court had noted that as per the mandate of the Constitution, the election of the panchayat should have been held on or before January 13, 2021.

After the expiry of the five-year term of panchayats on December 25 last year, the state government had asked the district administration to take over panchayat administration.

Assistant development officers were then appointed and given charge of the panchayat administrators of all panchayat bodies.

After the high court order, the Uttar Pradesh government HAD released the reservation policy for the panchayat polls. The government said that reservation by rotation will be implemented in the panchayat elections.