Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Apr 3:
The Odisha High Court on Thursday directed the state government to stop the process for elections to the Sambalpur Municipal Corporation till further orders.
A single bench of Justice Biswanath Das, while hearing a petition filed by Ajay Mohanty, a retired employee of Central Water Commission (CWC) at Burla, asked the state government not to implement its order on the notification on delimitation and reservation of the wards it had issued earlier and furnish a reply in this regard within four weeks.
The petitioner had alleged that the state government, during the delimitation of wards for the elections to the municipal corporation, had not reserved the wards in Burla in proportion to the number of voters.
The petitioner had informed the court that out of a total of five wards in Burla, two wards have been reserved for the Scheduled Caste (SC) candidates, one for a SC woman candidate, one for a candidate of the general caste and another for a candidate of the backward community. However, the reservation of these wards has not been made in proportion to the number of voters in the respective wards, he had contended.
It may be mentioned that the Urban Development department had issued a gazette notification on January 15 this year on the delimitation and reservation of 41 wards for election to Sambalpur Municipal Corporation.
The department, after examining the complaints and objections, had announced the final list on reservation of the wards on February 15. Out of a total of 41 wards comprising Sambalpur Municipality, Hirakud NAC, Burla NAC and 12 panchayats. coming under the jurisdiction of the corporation, seven wards were kept unreserved while four wards were reserved for SC candidates, four for SC women candidates, three wards for Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates, three for ST women candidates, six for backward community candidates and six for women candidates from the backward community.
Besides, the post of Mayor of the corporation was reserved for a backward community candidate.