OBCs representation in local bodies: SC gives Karnataka govt time till March 31

The Supreme Court on Thursday granted the Karnataka government time till March 31, to complete the finalisation of OBCs political representation in local bodies.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Karnataka government, submitted before a bench of Justices S. Abdul Nazeer and Hima Kohli that a commission has been appointed to undertake the process, and it also includes the collection of empirical data for the purpose.

In October, the Karnataka High Court had set aside the state government’s decision to fix 33 per cent quota for OBC in 243 wards of the Municipal cCorporation of Bengaluru. While quashing the August 16 notification of the civic body quota matrix, the high court said that the decision was based on imaginary data and not through a scientific exercise.

The government ‘s decision was based on the recommendation made by a commission headed by former Karnataka High Court judge Justice Bhaktavatsala.

During the hearing on Thursday, counsel, representing the State Election Commission, submitted that it would lead to further delay in holding the polls. At this, the top court said: “This is an opportunity for representation of OBCs. Let them get representation. Give them some time.”

Mehta also contended that the poll panel should not be concerned about the delay.

The bench said that OBCs would not get representation, if polls were to be held without the completion of the process.

Citing the high court’s order, Mehta said a fresh exercise was being conducted to comply with the triple test norm, which was laid down by the top court to give reservation to the OBCs.

After this development, it is expected that there would be further delay in local bodies polls, which includes Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) whose term had expired in September 2019.

The high court said the state’s notification for reservation for backward classes, based on the report submitted by the commission, is contrary to the triple test set down by the Supreme Court.

20221215-182002

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