Allahabad High Court


Allahabad High Court: Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Saurabh Srivastava, JJ has, in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the quota fixing in the Urban Local Body Elections, restrained the State Election Commission from declaring the results of urban local body elections till 20.12.2022.


The petition challenged the notification dated 05.12.2022, which the State Government issued in accordance with Section 9-A(5)(3)(b) of the Municipalities Act of 1916 and Rule 7 of the U.P. Municipalities (Reservation and Allotment of Seats and Offices) Rules 1994 on the ground that the State Government has completely disregarded the Supreme Court’s ruling in Suresh Mahajan v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 589 on the reservation of seats in the municipalities across the State of Uttar Pradesh.

In the said case, the Supreme Court had explicitly mandated not only Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, but all States and Union Territories and their respective Electoral Commissions, to complete the triple test procedure, as enunciated in Vikas Kishan Rao Gawali v. State of Maharashtra, (2021) 6 SCC 73. Reservations cannot be made for Other Backward Classes, if the procedure is not completed.

It was further argued that the Supreme Court had further ordered that seats (aside from those reserved for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes) must be announced as for the general category if such an exercise could not be completed prior to the State Election Commission issuing the election programme.

The State, however, vehemently opposed the writ petition, claiming that the notification dated 05.12.2022 is only a draught order and that the State Government has invited objections, so it is up to the petitioner and other parties who are wronged by the said draught order to file their objections and that, as a result, the writ petition is premature.

Court’s observation

The Court was, prima facie, of the view that the State Government would not have, at first hand, included the seats reserved for Other Backward Classes even in the draught order announced by the impugned notification dated 05.12.2022, if it had any intention to conduct the elections in accordance with the directive of the Supreme Court in the case of Suresh Mahajan (Supra).

The Court, hence, agreed to hear the matter in order to determine whether the State Government was adhering to the directive in the case of Suresh Mahajan (Supra) or not when reserving the seats for elections of the Urban Local Bodies of the State of U.P.

The UP Government was, hence, granted an extension of its order dated 12.12.2022, prohibiting the State Election Commission from declaring the results of urban local body elections, after the State submitted that it need three days to file a counter affidavit. The State Election Commission has been ordered not to announce Urban Local Bodies Polls until 20.12.2022 i.e. the next date of hearing.

[Vaibhav Pandey v. State of UP, 2022 SCC OnLine All 842, decided on 14-12-2022]

Advocates who appeared in this case:

Sharad Pathak and Piyush Pathak, Advocates, for the Petitioner;

C.S.C, Anurag Kumar Singh, Advocate, for the Respondent.

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