Supreme Court refuses to stay Municipal Corporation of Delhi polls

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea to seek stay on the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections as infructuous since the polling is slated in three days on Sunday.

Petitioner, the national youth party leader Sanjay Gupta and a resident Welfare Association, challenged a Delhi High Court order refusing to stay the elections, citing a settled position of law that an election, once notified, cannot be stayed by the court.

The matter was listed before a bench comprising Justice Kaul and Justice AS Oka. “Passage of time has made the petition infructuous as the election is in three days,” the bench said while dismissing the petition.

Gupta argued in his plea that the reservation of municipal wards for Scheduled Castes had been carried out by the State Election Commission in an arbitrary manner and claimed that the SEC order on the reservation of wards contained legal infirmities, defeating the purpose of inserting Article 243T in the Constitution of India. The said provision provides for reservation to the SC population by rotation to different constituencies in a municipality.

“The base for delimitation of the wards in 2017 and 2022 is the same (i.e. the census of 2011) and the formula for reservation of the wards in the years 2017 and 2022 is also the same (i.e taking the highest percentage of SC in descending order) and due to said repeated formula the municpal wards remains un-rotated and still remain reserved in 2022 for the SC population for the MCD election,” Gupta’s said.

The number of wards in the MCD was reduced to 250 from 272 by way of the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Act, 2022. The Act also provided for the re-unification of the three different municipal corporations — East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) — into one entity.

The Delimitation Committee completed the exercise and submitted a draft report to the Centre on August 25. On September 10, the Centre issued a notification fixing the total number of seats as 250, out of which 42 seats were reserved for members of the SC community. The window for objections or suggestions closed on October 3 and the final notification was issued on October 17.

Elections to the 250 wards of the MCD will be held on December 4. The results will be declared on December 7. 

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