THE Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Madhya Pradesh State Election Commission (SEC) to notify the programme for local body elections in the State within two weeks. The apex court observed that election is due in respect of over 23,000 local bodies across Madhya Pradesh.
A bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar said until the triple test exercise, which was mentioned in a Constitution bench verdict of 2010, is completed in all respect, no reservation for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) can be provisioned. The top court said that election process cannot be delayed as it would result in creating a hiatus situation upon expiry of the five-year term and it is the constitutional obligation of the authorities to hold elections on time.
“As aforesaid, the SEC need not wait any further but shall notify the election programme without any further delay in respect of local self government whose elections had become due and in the present case, as aforesaid, overdue in respect of 23,263 local bodies across the State as of now,” the bench said, adding the SEC must do so within two weeks.
The apex court posted the matter, which pertained to local body elections in the State for hearing in July. On May 4, the top court had directed the Maharashtra SEC to notify the programme for local bodies elections within two weeks.
The bench had said the delimitation as it existed prior to March 11, 2022, in respect of local bodies concerned be taken as notional delimitation for the conduct of overdue elections and to conduct the same on that basis in respect of each of such local bodies.