Civic polls: Supreme Court asks Karnataka to cooperate with poll panel

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court today asked the Karnataka government to extend "full cooperation" to the state election commission in holding upcoming polls for urban local bodies.

"Keeping in view the background facts and the orders passed by the High Court and this court, we consider it appropriate to direct the Chief Secretary of Karnataka government and subordinate officials to extend full cooperation in holding of elections for the urban local bodies," a bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi said.

The court also directed its registry to intimate the state government about its order by tomorrow on the issue. "No officials can make any attempt to frustrate the election process...," the bench said and allowed a PIL filed by Dalit Sangharsh Samithi to be withdrawn.

Earlier, during the hearing, the court said it seemed that the Samithi was involved in "shadow boxing" as the petition did not allege anything against the state government.

"You do not find fault with the state governmment and rather you faulted the state election commission. Coming to the Supreme Court is not a joke. It seems it is a shadow boxing," the bench observed when the Samithi sought the

permission to withdraw the PIL.

However, the bench allowed the withdrawal of the petition with a direction to the state government to extend cooperation to the poll panel in holding the elections for the urban local bodies--Town Panchayats, City Municipal Councils, Town Municipal Councils and City Municipal Corporations--there.

Earlier, the apex court had dismissed another petition filed by Raju Chavan, a social activist, who pleaded that the election be conducted on the basis of revised data on the state's population and the reservation list for the urban local bodies polls prepared based on those figures.

The court had said the commission can go ahead to hold elections on the basis of 2011 census figures. The earlier elections to the local bodies in 2007 were held on the basis of the 2001 census figures.

... contd.

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