Reservation for panchayat polls is as per 2011 census, T.N. tells SC:
[12/11, 16:31] Sekarreporter: Reservation for panchayat polls is as per 2011 census, T.N. tells SC: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/reservation-for-panchayat-polls-is-as-per-2011-census-tn-tells-sc/article30271204.ece
[12/11, 16:31] Sekarreporter: ‘Quota not based on 1991 census, as wrongly claimed by DMK’
The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday countered an allegation made by the DMK in the Supreme Court that the panchayat election notification, issued on December 7, defied the mandated reservation requirements for women, the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in the State.
The apex court has scheduled the petition for urgent hearing on Wednesday (December 11).
[12/11, 16:31] Sekarreporter: The DMK had filed a petition stating that the election notification had reserved wards and seats for women, SCs and STs as per a 2016 quota notification, which was issued on the basis of a 1991 population census. It had not taken into account a fresh delimitation exercise completed in 2018 as per the 2011 census.
The State government, represented by Advocate General Vijay Narayanan and Additional Advocate General Balaji Srinivasan, filed a counter affidavit, contending that persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and women, had been provided reservation in accordance with the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act, 1994, and the Tamil Nadu Panchayats (Reservation of Seats and Rotation of Reserved Seats) Rules, 1995, on the basis of the 2011 census, and not the 1991 census, as “wrongly urged” by the DMK.
“The representation of reservation has been given proportionate [sic] to the population of the respective categories to the total population of the State, and reservation for women has been provided to the extent of not less than 50% of the total number of seats and offices of local bodies,” the State government submitted in its 15-page counter.
The State government said it had fully complied with a December 6 order of the Supreme Court to hold free and fair panchayat elections at village, intermediate and district levels in 27 districts of the State. It said the delimitation exercise and panchayat polls in nine newly constituted districts will be completed within four months, as ordered by the apex court.
The counter affidavit said the reservation of seats in the wards of local bodies for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women, made in the year 2016, was superseded on May 20, 2019 based on the delimitation of wards formed on the basis of the recommendation of the Delimitation Commission.
Finally, the State government rubbished the DMK’s allegation that it was in a “tearing hurry” as it wanted to catch other political parties off-guard. The government said it was “crystal clear” that a level-playing field was available for all political parties to participate in the electoral process.