Madras HC issues Notice to SEC on Plea seeking Reservation of Chairman Post of Town Panchayat

Madras Hc Law Insider

Mitali Palnitkar

Published On: February 03, 2022 at 15:59 IST

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court issued a Notice to the State Election Commission (SEC) on a Plea that sought Reservation for the post of Chairman of Town Panchayat for Scheduled Tribes (STs).

The Division Bench comprised of Justices Pushpa Sathyanarayana and P Velmurugan. The Counsel who appeared for the Petitioner was Advocate R Karunanidhi.

The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by K Veeraputhran, who belongs to Hindu Nayakar community. He had challenged the Government Order of Municipal Administration and Water Supply (Election Department) dated January 17, 2022. The Order had allocated the post of Chairman of Paravai Town Panchayat to the General Category.

The Petitioner contended that the Chairman post had 15 wards reserved for STs by the Additional Chief Secretary in an Order passed in 2016.

The Petitioner’s Counsel argued that Scheduled Tribes could not get the benefit of the Government Order as the Local body election was cancelled in 2016 and postponed until the recent notification. The Petitioner stated that the Respondent authority went against the previous Order passed by it. It was contended that the Order disregarded Articles 243-D and 243-T of the Constitution of India.

Section 3-W of Tamil Nadu Municipalities Act, 2020 was also referred to, which mandates that seats must be reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in every Town Panchayat. The Petitioner argued that the Order had been passed in contravention to this provision.

The Counsel for the Petitioner also argued that the Order had violated the Tamil Nadu Town Panchayats, Third Grade Municipalities, Municipalities and Corporations (Elections) Rules, 2006. It was also alleged that the Order contravened Article 16 (4B) of the Constitution that mentions about carrying forward unfilled vacancies that are reserved to succeeding years as a separate class.

Based on the contentions mentioned above, the Petitioner sought an Interim Stay on the Government Order dated January 17, 2022. The Petitioner also sought to reserve the Chairman Post of Paravai Town Panchayat for STs in the upcoming Local Body Polls in 2022.

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