The Nagaland State Election Commission was directed by the Supreme Court to complete the elections of local bodies and declare the results by the end of January, next year.
A Division Bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M.M. Sundresh passed the order on a petition filed by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and women rights activist Rosemary Dvuchu.
The petition challenged the Nagaland Assembly’s resolution of September 22, 2021, exempting operation of Part IXA of the Constitution of India, which mandated 33 per cent reservation for women in Municipalities and Town Councils of the state.
The Apex Court observed that the election process has to be completed and the results need to be declared before the end of January, 2023. A schedule has to be worked out, it added.
The state of Nagaland had informed the Apex Court in April that it will give 33 per cent reservation to women in local self-government institutions, in line with earlier orders passed by the court.
The Apex Court then directed the State Election Commission to inform the schedule for the polls.
The Counsel for Nagaland State Election Commission told the Bench today that the state government had filed two affidavits in the matter.
When Advocate General K.N. Balgopal sought more time to complete and declare the results of elections, stating that during December and January, the attendance of officers would be very weak because of cold weather conditions, the Court told him that 12 years have passed and that the elections need to be conducted now.
The Court then listed the matter for the second week of February, 2023, to hear the compliance of the verdict.