The Karnataka High Court on Friday ordered the State government to hold the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike elections at the earliest for 198 wards and publish the final notification of reservation of wards within a month. The Division bench of Chief Justice of the High Court Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty passed the order hearing a public interest litigation filed by the former corporators M Shivaraju of Shankar Math Ward and Abdul Wajid and the Karnataka State Election Commission.
The bench directed the government to conduct the municipal elections in Bengaluru at the earliest. ”We direct the State Election Commission to hold election of BBMP as expeditiously as possible by publishing the election programme within a maximum period of six weeks from the date on which final reservation notification is published,” the bench said in its order.
It added further that the elections should be held for 198 wards as per the notification of delimitation of wards published on June 23, 2020. The BBMP elections were supposed to take place before September 10 when the term of the elected body of the municipal corporation came to an end.
The government put the election on hold and appointed senior bureaucrat Gaurav Gupta as administrator of the BBMP in order to increase the number of wards to 243. The Karnataka government had even issued a notification on October 14 to increase the number of wards in BBMP.
The court directed the government to hold the elections to the 198 wards at the earliest in view of the fact that the delimitation commission which was recently constituted has not yet submitted its recommendations for dividing the area of the BBMP in 243 wards. The court noted that the delimitation process will take considerable time.