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The Supreme Court Tuesday said the suggestions of the commission appointed by the Maharashtra government on grant of OBC reservation in local bodies polls cannot be accommodated for the areas for which the election programme has already been notified.
A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and J B Pardiwala said it will not stop the poll process till it reaches its logical end and interfere only where it has not commenced.
"Issuance of notification itself is commencement of election. Dates can be altered but elections cannot be retrieved by the State Election Commission. Once the nomination process starts we cannot interdict. There is a constitutional bar," the bench observed.
At the outset, counsel for one of the parties sought adjournment which was opposed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for Maharashtra.
Mehta said the triple test has been complied with and the Backward Classes Commission has undertaken exhaustive exercise.
"In view of the letter circulated by advocate on record for petitioner, though request for adjournment has been objected to by the State, we defer the hearing till next Tuesday," the bench said.
On May 4, the apex court had directed the Maharashtra State Election Commission (SEC) to notify the programme for local bodies elections within two weeks.
The top court on March 3 said it is "not possible" to permit any authority to act upon the recommendation made in the interim report of the state Backward Classes Commission which has said that up to 27 per cent reservation can be granted to the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the local bodies in Maharashtra, subject to the condition that the total quota shall not exceed 50 per cent limit.
In December last year, the top court had directed the SEC of Maharashtra to notify 27 per cent of seats in the local body, which were reserved for the OBCs, as general seats so that the poll process can be taken forward.
On January 19, the top court had directed the state government to submit data on OBCs to the commission to examine its correctness and make recommendations on their representation in elections for the local bodies.
The court had also asked the commission to submit the interim report to the authorities concerned in two weeks of receiving information from the state government.
In its application filed in the apex court, which is hearing pleas about the OBC reservation in local bodies in Maharashtra, the state had said that in the light of the interim report, the future election should be allowed to be conducted with OBC reservation.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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First Published: Wed, July 13 2022. 09:15 IST