Supreme Court directs Nagaland EC to hold ULB election, declare results by January 2023
Kohima, July 29 (EMN): The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Nagaland State Election Commission to conduct the urban local bodies (ULBs) elections and declare the results by the end of January 2023.
The apex court was hearing a petition filed by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and activist Rosemary Dzuvichu, challenging the Nagaland Assembly’s resolution to exempt Part IXA of the Constitution of India, which mandates 33% reservation for women in municipalities and town councils.
“We clearly put to them that the election process has to be completed and the results declared before the end of January 2023. Accordingly, the schedule has to be worked out,” read the order passed by a Division Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundresh, according to Live Law.
Earlier this month, the court had asked the state as to “when the notification for elections can be issued and would be issued by the State Election Commission”.
In response, the counsel appearing for the Nagaland State Election Commission, informed the Bench that the state government had filed two affidavits in the matter.
The matter will be heard for reporting compliance in the second week of February in 2023.
In the previous hearing on July 14, the Supreme Court had slammed the government for failing to give administrative approval for the final publication of electoral rolls (scheduled on November 24, 2022) in time.
“At each stage there has been a delay on the part of the State in its endeavour to defeat the rights of the women gender. It seems even 12 years is not enough delay for the State. It is only when the matter is listed before the Court that on the anvil of hearing something is done,” the Court had stated.
In March this year, the state government, in compliance with the Supreme Court order, announced its decision to conduct elections to the ULBs with 33% reservation for women as per the 74th Amendment Act of the Constitution of India but did not specify the date of election.
It may be mentioned that the first and only election in Nagaland under the Municipal and Town Council Act of 2001 was conducted in 2004 without reservation for women, which functioned till 2009. The state government announced polls to the ULB with 33% women reservation in 2017 but it was disrupted by violent protests which claimed two lives and damaged properties.