BHOPAL: The Gwalior bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court on Saturday stayed reservation process for mayors of municipal corporation and chairperson of municipalities in the state. Additional Advocate General Advocate Ankur Modi said, “High Court has stayed the reservation of rotation system for mayor and municipalities president in the state. Today, the HC has passed the order.” The PIL was filed seeking quashing of notification dated December 10, 2020 issued by the State government reserving offices of presidents of various Municipal Councils and Mayors of Municipal Corporations situated in the state. The challenge is based on the ground that all these offices are reserved for the same category (SC or ST) for which it was reserved in the last election i.e. 2014. The public cause raised is that the scheme for reservation in municipalities as constitutionally provided u/A.243-T though recognizes the concept of rotation but has been given a go-bye by allowing these offices of President and Mayor of all the Municipalities (including Municipal Corporations) to be reserved again for the same category (SC or ST) for which they were reserved in the last election (2014).
The High Court observed that if the State is allowed to proceed on the basis of notification issued without adopting policy of rotation in terms of Article 243-T then the entire process of election which is yet to commence would render vitiated in law. Unless the policy of rotation is followed in respect of all the offices of the President of Municipalities situated in the entire State of MP before commencement of any subsequent election then, Chairperson situated anywhere in the State of M.P. would be adversely affected. Reason being that if repeat reservation without following mode of rotation is permitted then such offices would be deprived of being represented by non-SC/ST candidate. Correspondingly, the offices which are unreserved shall be deprived of being represented by SC/ST candidate. Thus, the exercise of reservation by adopting the mode of rotation which ought to be carried out before the declaration of the election programme (which has not happened yet) is vital to bring the reservation in line with the object behind Article 243-T or else the entire subsequent election to all the offices of Chairpersons to different Municipalities situated in The State of Madhya Pradesh shall stand vitiated. Earlier, the Bench had stayed the Notification/Order dated December 10, 2020 to the extent the same reserved the office of the Chairperson of Municipal Council Indargarh, District Datia (M.P.) for SC. The said stay order granted in Indargarh Municipal Council was followed in Dabra Municipal Council, District Gwalior and Municipality Indargarh, District Datia.