SC clears way for Karnataka urban local bodies polls

New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday directed the Karnataka government to extend full cooperation to the state Election Commission in the conduct of polls to local bodies in urban areas.

The apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice H.L. Gokhale directed the Karnataka chief secretary and his subordinate officers to extend full cooperation in holding elections to local bodies while permitting with "reluctance" the Dalitha Sangarsh Samiti - Karnataka's plea to withdraw its petition.

Making it clear that it could not appreciate the way Dalitha Sangarsh Samiti has approached it, the court said: "You don't find fault with the state government, rather you faulted the State Election Commission. Coming to the Supreme Court is not a joke. It seems this is shadow boxing."

"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 and subordinate officials to extend full cooperation in holding elections for urban local bodies," the court said, passing the order.

As it cleared the way for the holding of elections to town panchayats, city municipal councils, town municipal councils and city municipal corporations, the court cautioned officials to desist from making any attempt to frustrate the elections to local bodies.

"No officials can make any attempt to frustrate the election process," the court said.

The election to urban local bodies would take place on the basis of 2011 census figures.