SC reserves verdict on reservation in Panchayat election

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New Delhi, Nov 19 (UNI) The Supreme Court today reserved its judgement on the batch of petitions challenging the government notification on the policy of reservation in the Panchayat election across the country.

A five-judge constitution bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices R V Raveendran, D K Jain, P Sathasivam and J M Panchal reserved the verdict on the petitions challenging the government's policy providing one-third reservation to women and OBCs in the Panchayat election after week-long marathon arguments were concluded.

According to petitioners, including K Krishna Murthy, Neelkanth and Prakash Singh, the caste and gender-based reservation were a violation of the Constitution and therefore 73rd constitutional amendment should be struck down as unconstitutional.

In some states, the percentage of reservation of seats has grown up to 80 per cent and above such as in Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.

The petitioners contended that because of the reservation policy in areas dominated by SCs and STs, OBCs candidates were given tickets and they were not the real representatives of people.

The caste and gender-based reservation divide the society along the caste lines.

The Centre and state governments, however, strongly defended the quota policy of the government for the Panchayat election.

According to the government, providing reservation to women in the election was widely welcomed and women candidates had performed their responsibility very well.

The petitioners contended that caste could be one of the factor to determine social and educational backwardness of a particular community and the policy was in conformity with the policy of social justice being pursued by the government.

UNI SC SW RP KN1958

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