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Supreme Court remarks that holding UP local body elections without reservation for OBCs would not be correct

07:58 PM Jan 04, 2023 IST | India Legal

The Supreme Court has put a partial stay on the order by the Allahabad High Court’ that directed the Uttar Pradesh government to hold pending urban local body elections without any reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs).


The top Court has said that the stay is limited to the High Court stating that polls should be held by January 31

A Bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha said that holding elections without OBC reservation is not be right,. It addded that even as a constitutional vacuum in terms of vacant seats cannot be allowed.


The Apex Court said that pending further orders, such direction shall remain stayed. It added that to ensure administration of local bodies is not hampered, the government will be at liberty for delegating responsibilities and financial powers.

On December 27, a bench of High Court comprising Justice Saurabh Lavania and Justice DK Uphadhyaya had directed the State Election Commission (SEC) to conduct elections on an immediate basis without OBC reservation, since the concerned State notification failed to fulfil the triple test formula laid down by the Supreme Court


The Top court added that this is subject to the caveat that no major policy decision shall be taken by the administrator.

The State Government had informed the Apex Court that they had already constituted the OBC commission, in such a situation, the local body elections should only be conducted after the report of the commission.


The petition stated that the UP government has urged to stay the decision of the High Court, to approve the conduct of elections only after the report of the commission.

The Uttar Pradesh government on last Wednesday constituted a Backward Classes Commission in the state.


An official statement issued by the UP government mentioned the the commission, shall be chaired by retired Judge Ram Avtar Singh.

The statement also said that on the basis of the commission’s report, the backward class reservation will be decided for UP’s municipal body elections.

Former IAS officers CS Verma and Mahendra Kumar, along with former legal advisor Santosh Kumar Vishwakarma and former additional legal advisor and additional district judge Brijesh Kumar Soni will be the members of the commission.

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court ordered the government for conducting urban body elections in UP without implementing the OBC quota.

As per this, there shall be a rapid survey of backward classes to be conducted by the state government in every municipal body.

Since 1991, all the elections to municipal bodies (1995, 2000, 2006, 2012 and 2017) have been conducted on the basis of these provisions given in the Act and the report of the Rapid Survey.

.The judges had, directed the authorities for including the reservation for women as per the Constitution.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta during the hearing said that the commission may be directed to complete its exercise in three months.

CJI asked as to why should there be a constitutional vacuum for 3 months? Again, holding polls without OBCs will not be correct since a large part will go unrepresented. Cannot the commission form a preliminary report?

The CJI reminded the SGI about Article 243(u) which talks about the tenure of municipality members.

The SG apprised the court that tenure would get over was only on January 31.

The Bench, questioned about the efficacy and speed of the exercise, while looking for terms that have already expired.

Tags :
OBCSReservationSupreme CourtUP local elections
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