CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the Puducherry Union Territory (UT) and its State Election Commission (SEC) to file a counter within July 21 on a plea challenging the move of the UT election commission to withdraw the reservations of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) in the election notification.
The second division bench comprising Justice M Duraiswamy and Justice Sunder Mohan passed the direction on hearing petitions filed by DMK’s state organizer R Siva and others.
The leader of the opposition for the Puducherry legislative assembly prayed for a direction to quash an election notification issued in October 2021 since seats were not earmarked for the OBCs and STs.
“The move of the election commission to withdraw reservations for OBCs and STs would offend democracy by infringing on the will of the people and the principle of inclusivity. The withdrawal of reservation for OBCs and STs is in violation of constitutional mandates 243D (6), 243 T (6), 243D (1), and 243 T (1) as well as the Puducherry Village And Commune Panchayats Act, 1973,” the petitioner submitted.
He further submitted that the UT election commission had issued an election notification in September 2021.
“Since it had anomalies, several had approached the Madras HC. When the court directed the election agency to set the notification right, the UT election commission submitted that it is withdrawing the notification and will release the fresh one. However, while releasing the fresh notification, it has rescinded the reservations provided for OBCs and STs, ” the petitioners argued.
Recording the submissions, the division bench directed the Puducherry UT and Election Commission to file the counter within July 21.