Puducherry local body polls put on hold

It was alleged that there were several anomalies in providing reservations for SCs, BCs, and women in the civic bodies.
Representational Image. (Photo | Debadatta Mallick, EPS)
Representational Image. (Photo | Debadatta Mallick, EPS)

CHENNAI: In the wake of allegations of anomalies in the reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes (SCs), Backward Classes (BCs), and women, the Madras High Court on Monday, October 4, 2021, ordered the local body poll process to be put on hold in the Union Territory of Puducherry. The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice PD Audikesavalu issued the orders following a submission made by the Union government’s counsel.

“... the process of receiving nominations, which has already begun, will be kept in abeyance... It is best that the anomalies be addressed first and be removed before the process is undertaken afresh,” the bench said. The filing of nominations for the first phase of the polling was scheduled to begin on September 30. After deferring it for a day, the court allowed the process from October 1.

The court’s order comes after a submission made by the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) R Sankaranarayan that the UT was advised by the Union government to defer the polls. He also wanted the court to give time, till October 7, to come back with more details. The ASG also said Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy will hold a high-level meeting to take a call on the poll process. The case was adjourned to Tuesday.

J Pregash Kumar, an Independent MLA representing Muthialpet in the Assembly, and N Periannan, an ex-councillor, had approached the court praying to stay the poll notification as there were several anomalies in providing reservation for SCs, BCs, and women in the civic bodies.


While wards 22, 24, 28, and 33 were reserved for SCs/women and have lower SC population, wards 6, 13, 17, 23 with higher SC population were not reserved, the petitioner had claimed, adding the SEC was evasive and not inclined to set right the errors. The court had fumed over SEC’s poor response before warning it might stop the poll process.

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