NEW DELHI: Today, the Supreme Court of India rejected a plea of Delhi High Court challenging to stay MCD Elections which will be held on December 4, Sunday.
The bench held by Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and A.S. Oka. Justice Kaul noted, “The elections are on Sunday” and the Bench passed the order dismissing the plea.
Passage of time has made the petition infructuous as the election is in 3 days.”
On 09.11.2022, the Delhi High Court had refused to stay the MCD elections.The Division Bench of the High Court said that it is a settled position of law that once an election notification is published, the same cannot be stayed by the Court. However, the High Court had issued notice in three pleas filed by National Youth Party, one Sanjay Gupta and a resident welfare association challenging the delimitation of wards of the civic body.
The plea moved by Sanjay Gupta argues that the State Election Commission has reserved the Municipal wards for Scheduled Castes population in an arbitrary manner. It has been claimed that the reservation order suffers from legal infirmities and has also defeated the purpose of inserting Article 243T in the Constitution of India.
Article 243T provides for reservation to Schedule Caste population by rotation to different constituencies in a municipality.
“The base for delimitation of the wards in the 2017 and 2022 is same (i.e. the census of 2011) and the formula for reservation of the wards in the year 2017 and 2022 is also same (i.e taking the highest percentage of Schedule Castes in descending order) and due to said repeated formula the Municipal wards remains un-rotated and still remains reserved in 2022 for Scheduled Castes population for the MCD election,” the plea adds.
The Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Act, 2022 reduced the number of wards in the national capital to 250 from the earlier 272 and combined three different municipal corporations into one.
Earlier, the Delimitation Committee had completed the exercise and submitted a draft report to the Centre on August 25.
Thereafter, Centre had issued a notification on September 10 fixing the total number of seats as 250, out of which 42 seats were reserved for members of Scheduled Caste in the Municipal Corporation. A public notice was thereafter issued asking the public and others to file their suggestions or objections, if any, in respect of the said Draft Delimitation on or before October 3. The final notification was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on October 17.
In October, the High Court had issued notice in a similar plea which argued that the delimitation exercise had been done without making serious changes in the formation of wards and “in complete ignorance of relevant factors.”