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OBC quota in UP urban local body polls: Allahabad HC to deliver verdict on Dec 27

Lucknow: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court Saturday completed its hearing on the issue of urban local body elections that has been stayed for a fortnight.

The bench said it will deliver its verdict on December 27.

A division bench of Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyay and Justice Saurabh Lavania passed the order on the bunch of public interest litigation petitions filed by Vaibhav Pandey and others.

Arguing for the petitioners, senior counsel LP Mishra stressed that the reservation to be given to OBC in urban local body elections is different to that of the reservation given in the services and educational institutions.

He argued that reservation to OBC election is political and not social, educational and economical at all and therefore the apex court in the case of Suresh Mahajan has propounded its triple test formula for ensuring political reservation to OBC in local body polls after evaluating their political backwardness.

Opposing the petitions, additional chief standing counsel Amitabh Rai pleaded the state government had already conducted a very exhaustive survey and the samples had been collected door to door.

Rai said that the reservation prepared for the local body elections has been provided based on data collected in the Rapid survey.

The state government also followed the provisions of the Municipality Act in which there is also provision for OBC reservation in local body polls, Rai pleaded.

He also argued that the petitioners have not challenged the provisions of the Municipality Act and so the petitions are not maintainable at all.

Reacting to Rai’s arguments, the bench asked him even if it was assumed that the state government had got a detailed survey conducted, was any political representation given to OBCs in the report prepared by it.

Chief standing counsel Abhinav Naraian Trivedi added to the arguments of Rai in respect of the demand of reservation for the third gender and argued that there was no provision to give such kind of reservation to the third gender in the Constitution.

Additional Advocate General V K Shahi was also present in the court but did not make arguments before the bench.

After hearing the arguments, the bench reserved its order for December 27 and also extended the stay on issuing the poll notification till then.

The hearing in the matter could not be concluded on Friday and hence the bench posted the hearing in the matter on Saturday. Despite the winter vacation in the High Court, the bench decided to hear the matter on Saturday because of the nature of the litigation.

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