The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea challenging an order by the division bench of the Delhi High Court which refused a stay on the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections 2022, scheduled to be held on December 4.
“The elections are on Sunday,” noted Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, and dismissed the plea as infructuous.
The matter was listed before a bench comprising Justice Kaul and Justice AS Oka. “Passage of time has made the petition infructuous as the election is in three days,” the bench said while dismissing the petition.
A division bench of the Delhi High Court had on November 9 this year refused to stay the MCD elections citing a settled position of law that an election, once notified, cannot be stayed by the court. The court, however, issued notices in the three pleas challenging the delimitation of wards of the MCD. The pleas were filed by the National Youth Party, Sanjay Gupta and a Resident Wefare Association.
Gupta has argued in his plea that the reservation of municipal wards for Scheduled Castes had been carried out by the State Election Commission in an arbitrary manner and claimed that the SEC order on the reservation of wards contained legal infirmities, defeating the purpose of inserting Article 243T in the Constitution of India. The said provision provides for reservation to the Scheduled Caste population by rotation to different constituencies in a municipality.
“The base for delimitation of the wards in 2017 and 2022 is the same (i.e. the census of 2011) and the formula for reservation of the wards in the years 2017 and 2022 is also the same (i.e taking the highest percentage of Schedule Castes in descending order) and due to said repeated formula the Municpal wards remains un-rotated and still remins reserved in 2022 for Scheduled Castes population for the MCD election,” Gupta’s plea states.
The number of wards in the MCD was reduced to 250 from 272 by way of the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Act, 2022. The Act also provided for the re-unification of the three different municipal corporations — East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) — into one entity.
The Delimitation Committee completed the exercise and submitted a draft report to the Centre on August 25. On September 10, the Centre issued a notification fixing the total number of seats as 250, out of which 42 seats were reserved for members of the Scheduled Caste. The wondow for objections or suggestions closed on October 3 and the final notification was issued on October 17.
Elections to the 250 wards of the MCD will be held on December 4. The results will be declared on December 7.