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Why Local Body Polls Deferred Till December If COVID Restrictions Are Relaxed? Karnataka HC Asks SEC

Mustafa Plumber
9 Aug 2021 1:26 PM GMT
Why Local Body Polls Deferred Till December If COVID Restrictions Are Relaxed? Karnataka HC Asks SEC
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The Karnataka High Court has directed the State Election Commission to justify its decision of postponing all the elections to local bodies till December 2021. A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice N S Sanjay Gowda, while hearing a suo-motu petition said, "Prima facie, we find that the State Election Commission will not be bound by the said recommendation of the...

The Karnataka High Court has directed the State Election Commission to justify its decision of postponing all the elections to local bodies till December 2021.

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice N S Sanjay Gowda, while hearing a suo-motu petition said,

"Prima facie, we find that the State Election Commission will not be bound by the said recommendation of the State Government. Moreover, after 17th May, 2021, there is a considerable improvement in the situation created by the second wave of COVID-19. As far as the State of Karnataka is concerned, most of the restrictions on account of COVID-19 have been relaxed and even places of worship, shopping malls, etc. have been permitted to be opened. Therefore, the State Government will have to justify the decision taken in the Cabinet on 17th May, 2021 suggesting postponement of the elections of all the local bodies till December 2021."

Senior Advocate K N Phaneendra appearing for the State Election Commission informed the court that a meeting was convened by the State Election Commission on July 28 and a decision shall be shortly taken on the question of issuing the calendar of events, in the case of Municipal Corporations at Belagavi, Hubballi-Dharwad and Kalaburagi and the Municipal Councils at Doddaballapur and Tarikere.

The bench said that,

"The elections are overdue and there is also a breach of the constitutional mandate incorporated in sub-clause (b) of clause (3) of Article 243U of the Constitution of India."

The court referred to its decision dated December 17, 2020, in which it was held that "The term of the Corporations constituted under the said Act of 1976 and the Municipal Councils constituted under the said Act of 1964 is of five years consistent with clause (1) of Article 243U of the Constitution."

Following this, the court directed the State Election Commission to immediately take an appropriate decision regarding the issuing of a calendar of events in relation to Municipal Corporations and Municipal Councils.

The court has directed the state to justify its stand by filing an affidavit and posted the matter for further hearing on August 13.

Case Title: The High Court of Karnataka and The State of Karnataka

Case No: WP 14925/2020

Click Here To Read/ Download Order


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