The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court on Tuesday quashed the state government’s draft notification on urban local body elections and ordered holding the polls without reservation for the OBCs. The verdict was passed by a division bench of Justice DK Upadhyay and Justice Saurav Lavania.
A division bench of Justice DK Upadhyay and Justice Saurav Lavania also annulled the draft notification issued by the Uttar Pradesh government on December 5 for reservation of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the urban local body elections. The verdict comes on the back of PILs challenging the preparation of the OBC reservation draft without following the triple test formula prescribed by the Supreme Court.
The petitioners had pleaded that the state government must follow the apex court formula and constitute a dedicated commission to study the political backwardness of OBCs before fixing the reservation. The state government pleaded that it had conducted a rapid survey and said it was as good as the triple test formula.
The Lucknow bench on Saturday completed its hearing on the issue of urban local body elections, which had been stayed for a fortnight. The bench, which broke for its winter vacation on Saturday, said it would hear the case during the recess as the matter pertained to local bodies’ elections and democracy.
The state government had earlier this month issued a provisional list of reserved seats for mayors of 17 municipal corporations, chairpersons of 200 municipal councils and 545 nagar panchayats for the three-tier urban local body elections and sought suggestions/objections within seven days.
According to the December 5 draft, four mayoral seats -– Aligarh, Mathura-Vrindavan, Meerut and Prayagraj — were reserved for OBC candidates. Of these, the mayor’s posts in Aligarh and Mathura-Vrindavan were reserved for OBC women.
Additionally, 54 chairpersons’ seats in the 200 municipal councils were reserved for OBCs, including 18 for OBC women. For the chairpersons’ seats in 545 nagar panchayats, 147 seats were reserved for OBC candidates, including 49 for OBC women.
Reacting to the high court order, Samajwadi Party Spokesperson Sunil Singh Sajan said, “It is a conspiracy by the BJP government to deprive the backward classes of reservation.”