Reservation in ULBs: HC lifts ban, allows SEC to proceed with poll process

Cuttack: In a major relief the State Government, the Odisha High Court on Tuesday lifted all the interim orders passed in connection with notification of the former on fixing reservation for top posts of urban local bodies (ULBs).
 
The HC adjudicating on the State Election Commission’s (SEC) appeal to vacate the stay, also declined to interfere and allowed it to proceed with the poll process which is scheduled to be completed on or before September 29.
 
The High Court on July 16 had slapped the stay on the February 21, 2013 notification after hearing a petition filed by one Pramod Kumar Pradhan of Titilagarh. 
 
Objecting to the notification, the petitioner stated that reservation of the posts for different categories have been made in accordance to the census 2001 while the census 2011 report has been made public. The HC admitting the petition, had issued notices to the State Government and the SEC to file counters within two weeks.
 
The Commission however pleaded that by the time the notification was made, the report of the census 2011 was not made public.
 
The Director of Municipalities in its notification had mentioned that of the 97 ULBs, chairman posts of only 28 are unreserved while the remaining posts are reserved for SC, ST, OBC and women.
 
The ULBs where top posts are unreserved are -Athgarh, Angul, Balugaon, Basudevpur, Baripada, Bhadrak, Barbil, Bhawanipatna, Belguntha, Choudwar, G Udayagiri, Jharsuguda, Jatni, Jagatsinghpur, Konark, Kendrapara, Khurdha, Karnjia, Koraput, Kamakhyanagar, Keonjhargarh, Nilagiri, Polsara, Puri, Sambalpur, Sundargarh, Vyasanagar, Sonepur and Udala.