BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court on Thursday granted two months time, as prayed by the State Government, to issue final reservation notification enabling the State Election Commission (SEC) to conduct elections to 56 urban local bodies (ULBs) in the state.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum adjourned the hearing of a suo moto PIL to November 17, 2021, for compliance of the State Government’s direction. The court initiated suo moto PIL for delay in holding elections even after expiry of the term.
According to the status report filed by the SEC before the court, the elections to 56 ULBs, comprising city municipal councils, town municipal councils and town panchayats, are overdue though the term of office of those bodies have expired on different dates, commencing from May-August 2021.
The SEC has been unable to declare the election schedule and conduct polls since it is awaiting the final reservation notifications for the wards comprised in all 56 bodies across Bengaluru Urban, Chitradurga, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Belagavi, Vijayapura, Bagalkot, Haveri, Koppal, Ballari, Raichur, Yadgir, Vijayanagar, Gadag, Dharwad and Tumakuru districts.
The SEC has also stated that the mandate contained under Article 243-U of the Constitution and the law laid down by the Supreme Court has been violated, in view of the term of those local bodies already being expired and elections not being conducted.