The Madras High Court has directed the Union Territory of Puducherry and the local unit of the Election Commission to complete the entire election process for the civic body within five months from Thursday.
The first bench comprising Chief Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice T S Sivagnanam gave the direction on Thursday while passing further interim orders on a public interest writ petition by former local councillor Ananthalakshmi challenging a notification by which the State Election Commission had allotted the revised/rotated seats and officers of chairpersons at the levels of panchayats.
The petitioner contended that the notification did not confer to the respective classes of population as was indicated under Article 243 of the Constitution and therefore, could not be acted upon. Further, on account of want of delimitation, it had resulted in serious errors such as wrongfully identifying wards, which had only members of SC to be a general ward.
Considering all the facts and circumstances of the case, the bench directed the Puducherry government to take immediate steps to obtain the approved census of 2011, preferably within two months from Thursday.
On obtaining the approved final 2011 census, the government should carry out the delimitation of municipal wards and village wards and the reservation for backward classes. After completion of the delimitation process, a reservation notification should be issued and forwarded to the local State Election Commissioner, who should proceed to notify the elections to the civic bodies in the Union Territory.
The election process should be completed by the State Election Commission within three months from the date of receipt of the delimitation notification from the government, the bench said and made it clear that the notification dated September 27 this year should not be implemented. The matter will be taken up again after five months.