K'taka granted time to redo delimitation of panchayats

One-liner: The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday granted the state govt 10 weeks to redo the delimitation and reservation process for the zilla panchayat and taluk panchayats.

Petition pending before bench: The Advocate General on Wednesday mentioned the petition pending before the division bench headed by Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale, and sought 10 weeks' time from the day to redo the delimitation and reservation lists and issue the notifications. 

Direction to state: The HC recorded the submission made by the AG as an undertaking given to the court. It directed the State to furnish the necessary notifications of delimitation and reservation for zilla panchayats and taluk panchayats in 10 weeks and file a compliance report. 

  • It also directed the State Election Commission (SEC) to take necessary steps thereafter. The hearing of the petition was directed to be listed after 11 weeks

For polls: The SEC had prepared for the ZP-TP polls in Karnataka in April and May of 2021. It had completed the delimitation exercise on constituencies and the final list of voters was also published, following which the reservation draft was also announced by the SEC. 

New delimitation panel: However, before the SEC could announce the election schedule, the then BJP govt ruling the state amended the Karnataka Panchayat Raj and Gram Swaraj Act, withdrawing the powers of the Commission to redraw the constituencies and prepare the reservation list. A new delimitation panel was created by the State to conduct the exercise.

Delaying tactics: The elections for ZP-TPs are pending ever since, following the SEC's challenge to the govt's amendment before the HC. The HC had in Dec 2022 imposed a cost of ₹5L on the govt for its delaying tactics.