CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Thursday sent notice to the State to file a response on a petition praying to quash allocation of more than 50 per cent reservation for women in the Greater Chennai City Corporation elections.
The first bench of Acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice PD Audikesavalu ordered the notice after listening to arguments made by the petitioner’s counsel S Prabhakaran. The bench also stated that the poll notification, if issued, will be subject to the outcome of the petition.
The petition, filed by advocate R Parthiban, prayed for direction to the authorities concerned to set right the discrimination against men in allocating 50 per cent quota in the Chennai city municipal corporation as notified in the Tamil Nadu Government Gazette No 228 dated May 24, 2019 and rectify the defect and reallocate the exact 50 per cent quota in wards to women and men equally as per Tamil Nadu Municipal Laws (Amendment) act, 2016.
In 2016, the Tamil Nadu Municipal Laws (Amendment) Act, 2016, was enacted, and section 5 of the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919 was also amended. And similar amendment was made in the Acts governing municipal corporations and district municipalities as well, said senior counsel Prabhakaran.
He noted that a gazette notification (no.228) was issued on May 24, 2019 specifying the reservation of wards. As per the notification, 16 wards were reserved for SC women, another 16 for SC general and 89 for Women general. This allocation accounts for 105 wards for women and it is not in consonance with 50 per cent reservation allocated to women as per the Tamil Nadu Municipal Laws (Amendment) Act, 2016 which is not properly followed in the reservation in Chennai city municipal corporation which has a total of 200 wards. He alleged that a wrong calculation was made to allocate 89 wards to women (general) and 79 to men out of 168 wards that fall in the general category. It should have been 84 each.