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UP Panchayat Elections: Allahabad High Court stays finalizing of list of reserved seats

The Court has ordered a response from the State Government and the Election Commission on March 15 with a stay on the reservation and allocation action.

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The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Friday has stayed the listing of final reserved seats in the Uttar Pradesh Panchayat Elections, which are to be held soon.

The Court has ordered a response from the State Government and the Election Commission on March 15 with a stay on the reservation and allocation action.

The Division Bench of Justice Rituraj Awasthi and Justice Manish Mathur passed this order while hearing a PIL civil filed by Ajay Kumar.

The petition has been filed against GO dated February 11, 2021 with regard to reserved seats in the forthcoming panchayat elections.

The Counsel for the Petitioner submits that provisions for reservations in the elections are to be determined as per the Uttar Pradesh Panchayat Raj (Reservation and Allotment of Seats and Offices) Rules, 1994  with Rule 4 providing allotment of seats for reservation on a rotational basis.

It has been further submitted that pursuant to amendment in Article 243D of Constitution of India, the rules were notified and for the purposes of allotment of seats as per reservation under Rule 4 of Rules of 1994, the base year was taken as 1995.

It is also submitted that subsequent elections in 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010 were held in accordance with the Rules of 1994.

The Counsel has thereafter drawn attention to GO dated September 16, 2015 in which it has been indicated that due to substantial demographic changes in Districts in the Gram Panchayat and Khetra Panchayat territories in view of the census of 2001 and 2011, it is no longer conducive to have 1995 as the base year for purposes of applying reservation as per Rule 4 of Rules of 1994.

As such, the base year in view of the changed demographic situation was required to be taken as 2015.

The Counsel submits that ignoring the GO dated September 16, 2015, the opposite parties are proceeding to reserve the seats in terms of Rule 4 of Rules of 1994 by taking 1995 as the base year instead of 2015.

It is further submitted that GO dated September 16, 2015 is still in existence and the previous elections held in 2015 were also in accordance with the GO.

The Counsel stated that even otherwise in view of the changed demographic situation as noticed by the State Government itself in GO dated September 16, 2015, it does not stand to reason that the base year for purposes of reserving seats in terms of Rule 4 of Rules of 1994 should be taken as 1995.

The Counsel for opposite parties are granted a day’s time to seek instructions with regard to submissions.

The Court fixed the next hearing of the petition on March 15.

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