Theweekendleader

SC asks TN to use 2011 census data for local polls

New Delhi

11-December-2019

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Tamil Nadu government and the state poll panel to consider the 2011 census instead of 1991 to conduct upcoming local elections.

In a plea, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) had alleged that the state poll panel didn't provide reservation for women and SC and ST candidates in accordance with 2011 census rather using 1991 census.

The DMK sought quashing of the December 7 contentious notification. A Bench, headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, said the state poll panel and the government should apply 2011 census to all impending elections despite number of seats determined by the delimitation commission after carrying out the delimitation exercise.

On December 6, the apex court had put on hold elections to local bodies in nine new districts, carved out of four. The court asked the state to comply with legal formalities, which included delimitation and reservation, within four months.

The Bench on Wednesday modified the order asked the delimitation exercise to be completed within three months instead of four in nine districts.

However, the top court said the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission (TNSEC) could proceed with the panchayats polls at village, intermediate and district levels in the remaining 31 districts.

Senior advocates P Chiadambaram and A.M. Singhvi, appearing for the DMK, alleged this state poll panel notification didn't comply with the Tamil Nadu Panchayats (Reservation of seats and Rotation of Reserved Seats) Rules, 1995.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the state government, contested this argument referring it a "bogus" petition with an aim to stall the election process.

The plea contended that the 2016 notification for reservation of seats was based on the census of 1991 and couldn't be used in view of the subsequent Delimitation Act 2017.IANS