The Supreme Court on Friday accepted Karnataka state's submission that the necessary notifications regarding delimitation of wards or for determining OBC reservation percentage for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike(BBMP- Greater Bengaluru Municipal Corporation) be completed and notified not later than eight weeks from today.
Further he had submitted that in the absence of such a finding on these limited grounds, the government cannot be directed to ignore a law validly enacted by the State Legislature. Article 243-U cannot be read in isolation. The various provisions of Part IX-A must be read as a whole and must be given effect to.
He had also said that on a holistic reading, it is clear that proper delimitation of wards, is also an essential feature of Part IX-A. There is no objection to the prayer that timely elections must be held, and the State Government would be welcome any directions as to the timelines within which, new delimitation process and subsequent elections are to be held. The delay caused was only due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which created extraneous circumstances. The number of wards has been increased from 198 to 243.
Senior Advocate Prof Ravivarma Kumar, appearing for one of the petitioners, had argued that as per Article 243-U (3), there is a mandatory obligation on the part of the State government to ensure that the elections to the BBMP are conducted before the expiry of such term, i.e. before September 10 in the present case.
"Issue notice. Until further orders, there shall be a stay of operation ofthe impugned judgment(s) and order(s) passed by the Karnataka High Court", stated the order passed by the bench after hearing Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who appeared for Karnataka.
The Karnataka government challenged the High Court direction by contending that elections ought to be held to 243 wards instead of the 198 wards of BBMP as directed by HC. According to the State, the effect of Karnataka Municipal Corporation Third Amendment Act, 2020, (Amendment Act), which increased the number of wards to 243, will apply to the elections.
Case Title: State of Karnataka v. M. Shivaraju