UP HC quashes state govt’s order on reservation of seats for Panchayat polls

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Lucknow, Mar 15 (PTI) The Allahabad High Court Monday quashed an Uttar Pradesh government order on the reservation of seats for various categories of candidates, including SC, ST, OBC and women, for the upcoming three-tier panchayat elections in the state, issued on the basis of the 1995 population.

After quashing the February 11 order, a Lucknow bench of the high court asked the government to issue a fresh order providing for the reservation on the basis of the 2015 population.

The bench of justices Rituraj Awasthi and Manish Mathur passed the order after the state Advocate General Reghvendra Singh conceded the government’s mistake in providing for the reservation of seats, taking 1995 as the base year.

Terming the government’s order as a mistake, Singh told the court that the government itself was interested in reserving seats on the 2015 population.

While asking the government to issue a fresh order for the reservation for various category of candidates, including those belonging to the scheduled castes and tribes and other backward classes, the bench also extended the deadline for completing the panchayat election by May 25.

The bench passed its order on a public interest lawsuit by a Lucknow resident, Ajai Kumar, who had challenged the legality of the government’s February 11 order, which had provided for the reservation of seats for the panchayat elections on the basis of the 1995 population.

The petitioner's lawyer Mohammad Altaf Mansoor had questioned the legality of the government's decision, terming it against a September 2015 notification, which had provided 2015 as the base year, considering the changes in the demographic situation in UP. PTI CORR NAV RAX RAX