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Notify local body polls within 2 weeks: Supreme Court directs Maharashtra state election commission

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday has directed the Maharashtra State Election Commission (SEC) to notify the election schedule for local body elections within 2 weeks so that elections can be held soon.

The bench of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Justice Abhay S. Oka and Justice J.B. Pardiwala ordered that the election process for local bodies in Maharashtra should be notified immediately and elections should be held soon.

The Court said that it doesn’t want the election to be postponed like this. On May 4, the Apex Court had ordered that where the notification has been made, elections will be held without OBC reservation and in terms of the delimitation before March 11, 2022.

The Maharashtra government informed the Supreme Court today that the triple test required for reservation has been completed. Hearing the petition challenging the state government ordinance giving 27 percent reservation to OBC category, the Supreme Court asked on what basis was the 27 percent reservation arrived at? The Maharashtra government submitted that it has been given in proportion to the population.

After this, the Supreme Court approved OBC reservation in local body elections in Maharashtra. At the same time, the Apex Court said that on the basis of the earlier order, there will be no OBC reservation for seats for which notification of the election has been issued and there the election process will continue.

SEC counsel Senior Advocate Siddharth Bhatnagar submitted that though the election programme for over 350 local bodies had begun and is under way, they would enforce OBC quota for elections to local bodies which haven; been notified as yet.

The report of the Delimitation Commission appointed by the Maharashtra government for studying the percentage of quota required for OBC reservation had been filed earlier in July. The report had made a case for extending the OBC quota to local body polls.

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