The poll panel today informed the Delhi High Court that the allocation of wards for reserved categories and women in the upcoming MCD polls was done in the "right manner" and there was "no illegality" in the process.
"The reservation for the reserved categories were taken in the right manner and there was no illegality in the process of the state election commission in allocation of seats," a bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar was told by the Delhi state election commission.
It was responding to the pleas by NGOs and social activists, who have sought quashing of the notification laying down the manner of allocation of wards for reserved categories and women in the upcoming MCD polls.
Terming the petitions as "absurd", the poll panel said that there was "no unreasonableness" in the process of the allocation of the seats.
The commission, represented by advocate Sumeet Pushkarna, further submitted before the court that "we have reserved the seats as per the population in a particular ward."
"We have tried to distribute the seats equally among all the wards of Delhi. We are trying to put in transparent and reasonable formula under which everybody can contest election," the poll panel's counsel contended.
It submitted that there are over 800 serious candidates who will be contesting the MCD election for 272 wards of the three municipal corporations in the city, but about ten are having problem with the reservation policy.
The arguments remained inconclusive and will continue
The bench was hearing pleas filed by NGOs challenging the poll panel's February 6 notification, announcing the election for 272 wards of the three municipal corporations here.
The elections are scheduled to be held on April 22.
Many social activist had earlier also approached the high court seeking stalling of the MCD polls, but the plea was declined by the bench.
In its pleas, the NGOs said the Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) in 2011 was divided into three zone -- North Delhi Municipal Corporation, East Delhi Municipal Corporation and South Delhi Municipal Corporation.
The petitioners sought quashing of the January 13 order with regard to delimitation of 272 wards.
They said while the number of wards in each of the three corporations - 104 each in South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and 64 in East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) has remained the same, the number of wards in a few assembly segments has changed, ranging from three to seven.
In 2012, ahead of the MCD elections, a notification was issued regarding allocation of wards amongst schedule caste, women and general category, the pleas stated.
Claiming that the present notification was contrary to the Constitution as well as Section 3 of the DMC Act, one of the pleas demanded that it should be quashed and a fresh circular issued in accordance with the law.
It has sought direction to identify and determine the municipal wards for the purpose of reservation for schedule caste, women and general category in terms of Article 243 of the Constitution.
The Article provides for reservation of seats for the schedule castes in the municipal area by rotation to different constituency in the municipality.
The pleas have alleged that the poll panel, government and others agencies have not made reservation to different constituencies in a municipality by rotation.