Half of the obstacles for BBMP election cleared

BBMP: Tender for garbage disposal in 243 wards
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BBMP: Tender for garbage disposal in 243 wards

Highlights

High Court dismisses many petitions filed, challenging the re-structuring of BBMP wards in some Assembly constituencies of the city based on 2011 census

Bengaluru: In a setback to the petitioners who had fought a legal battle against the re-structuring of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) wards, the High Court dismissed many of the petitions filed challenging the re-structuring of BBMP wards in some assembly constituencies of the city. Thus, half of the obstacles to the BBMP elections have been cleared. A single member bench headed by Justice Hemant Chandangoudar on Friday dismissed the 14 separate petitions filed by MLAs Soumya Reddy, Zameer Ahmed and others seeking cancellation of the ward restructuring notification. After hearing the arguments, it dismissed all the petitions stating that it did not see any need to interfere with the notification issued by the government for re-structuring of wards. The High Court, which heard the petitions on September 13, said ward restructuring was a complex task. Wide areas need to be divided based on many factors. A specific guideline is followed for that. It is not easy to divide all the wards equally. In such a situation it is natural that minor problems arise. Therefore, if there are minor omissions, the court cannot intervene. It is significant that it was verbally stated that intervention will be done only if serious lapses are found.

Wards have been reconstituted based on 2011 census. The Supreme Court said that not only population but also geographical area and other factors can be considered while allocating wards. Therefore, without considering the contention of the petitioner, the election should be allowed. The Supreme Court has given a deadline to hold the BBMP elections.BBMP has not been governed by elected representatives for the last two years. The Election Commission has the constitutional responsibility to conduct elections in a timely manner. The commission requested that the court should consider these factors.

Reservation decision for September 21

The single-member bench of the High Court, which has already completed the hearing of the petitions submitted regarding ward reservation, will give the final verdict on September 21. The State Election Commission is making all preparations to conduct the BBMP elections. The voter list revision work is almost completed and the final voter list will be released on September 22. After that, BBMP will announce the date for the election. By then all the petitions in the court have to be settled. At present, if the applicants file an appeal challenging the dismissal of the applications related to ward redistribution, the announcement of the election date will go ahead again.

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