HC reserves order on plea for holding polls to BBMP council
The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday reserved its order on petitions seeking direction for holding elections to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) council ignoring the increase of number wards to 243 as elections would be delayed as the process for creation of new wards and related procedures take one more year.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice S. Vishwajith Shetty reserved the verdict on completion of arguments on behalf of the State Election Commission (SEC) and other petitioners.
The SEC itself had sought a direction from the court to go ahead with the process under way to hold elections to 198 wards ignoring the increase in the number of wards to 243 as such a process violates constitutional mandate of timely holding of elections to local bodies.
Earlier, it was contended on behalf of the State government that elections cannot be held ignoring the amendment made in October 2020 to the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, which increased number of wards for BBMP area. The government claimed that delay for holding elections, due by September 10, 2020, was because of the COVID-19 pandemic as a committee had began deliberation on amending law before the pandemic but process got delayed owing to lockdown.
However, it was contended on behalf of the SEC that the committee was set up only after the commission filed a petition in the High Court in January this year seeking directions to government to complete process of delimitation of 198 wards as per 2011 Census and fix reservation for wards to enable the SEC to hold elections before the expiry of term of the BBMP council.