Gujarat High Court on Wednesday declined to intervene in a petition challenging the constitutional and statutory mandate of rotation in reservation for two reserved seats of Tapi district panchayat.
The high court while holding in favour of the petitioners on the issue of maintainability, refused to go into the issue of rotation of reservation at such a belated stage since the elections are imminent and hence any interference would lead to delay in elections.
The court has held that judicial review is part of the basic structure and hence the constitutional courts in their plenary powers can always intervene.
The main contention by the SEC and the state which have opposed the petition is that such petitions qua electoral issues are not maintainable at this stage as there is a bar on the same under Article 243-O.
As per the state government once the schedule of the elections is declared it means the election process has commenced and hence it contended that once the schedule is declared the bar under Article 243-O becomes operational.
The fact of the case is that for the last three terms i.e., 2010, 2015, and 2020, a seat in village Borda and Chimer of Songadh Taluka of Tapi District continues to be reserved for Scheduled Tribe (woman) thereby depriving others an opportunity to participate in the election process.
It is stated that the rationale for rotation is that the reservation of a seat should not permanently disable other segments of the community from participating in the democratic process.
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