SC asks EC to consider reserving ST seats in UP
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, January 10, 2012
The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Election Commission (EC) to
consider reserving two seats for the Scheduled Tribes in Uttar
Pradesh's assembly and Parliament constituencies.
A bench headed by justice Altamas Kabir gave direction on a plea
drawing the court's attention to the
fact that the poll panel had failed to reserve seats for STs despite a
2003 Presidential Order (PO) that increased the ST population in the
state from 1.07 lakh to 6.65 lakh.
The order will, however, not affect the forthcoming assembly polls in
the state as EC submitted that it will take at least three months to
carry out the exercise to identify and earmark reserved
The bench observed election panel had failed to carry out its
constitutional obligations to give proportional representation to STs
on the basis of the order. The panel, however, defended itself saying
though there was a PO, there wasn't any statutory legislation or
direction asking it to take action. Therefore, the counsel added, the
panel hadn't acted upon it.
According to the petition before the SC, as per the 2003 PO 10
communities from SCs were added to the list of ST. This move increased
the number of tribes in the state. Before the order there were just
five communities under the STs category.
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