news Friday, April 24, 2015 - 05:30
The Karnataka High Court on Friday put off elections to the city's Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) civic body. Setting aside a single bench order, which directed the state election commission (SEC) to conduct the civic poll by May 30, a division bench headed by Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice Ram Mohan Reddy told the state government to hold the elections by six months, as per the 74th constitutional amendment. The state government filed a review petition on April 7 seeking a stay on the March 30 order of Justice B.V. Nagarathna to the SEC for holding the civic poll by May 30, as its five-year term was ending on April 22. State advocate general Ravivarma Kumar assured the bench that the state government would abide by its order and facilitate the SEC to hold the civic election in 198 wards across the city within six months. The two original petitioners (CK Ramamurthy and B Somashekar), who were Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporators in the dissolved BBMP, said they would approach the Supreme Court next week against the civic poll postponement. "Postponement of the civic poll is against a ruling of the apex court in a similar case, in which it ruled that a poll panel was bound to hold local body elections before or soon after its term ends in compliance with 74th amendment," senior counsel Sajjan Poovaiah, who argued on a PIL by Namma Bengaluru Foundation on the issue said. The state government sought more time to hold the civic poll on the grounds that delimitation of the wards, restructuring of the civic body and reservation in many wards as per the 2011 census were not completed for various reasons. Though arguments and counter-arguments were completed on April 22 after three hearings over the last two weeks, the division bench reserved its order till Friday.The BBMP was expanded in 2007 by including seven city municipal councils and one town municipal council and 111 surrounding villages to increase civic wards to 198 from 100. IANS