LUCKNOW: After completing its hearing on petitions challenging the reservation criteria in the urban local body polls in the state, a Lucknow bench of Allahabad high court said that it would deliver its verdict on December 27.
A division bench of Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyay and Justice Saurabh Lavania reserved its order on a bunch of public interest litigation petitions filed by Vaibhav Pandey and others. The stay on the notification for the polls will remain in effect till Tuesday.
Arguing for petitioners, senior counsel LP Mishra stressed that the reservation to be given to OBC in urban local body elections was different from the reservation given in the services and educational institutions.
He stated that the reservation to OBC in elections is political and not social, educational and economical at all and therefore the apex court in the case of Suresh Mahajan has propounded its triple test formula for ensuring political reservation to OBC in local body elections after evaluating their political backwardness.
Opposing the petitions, additional chief standing counsel Amitabh Rai pleaded that the state government already conducted a survey which was very xhaustive and the samples had been collected door-to-door.
Rai said that the reservation in the forthcoming local body elections has been provided on the basis of data collected in a rapid survey. Rai further pleaded that the state government also followed the provisions of Municipality Act in which there was also the provision for OBC reservation in local body elections. He also argued the petitioners have not challenged the provisions of Municipality Act and so the petitions were not maintainable at all.
Reacting to the arguments of Rai, the bench asked him even if it was assumed that the state government had conducted a detailed survey, was any political representation given to the OBC in the survey report prepared by the government.
Chief standing counsel Abhinav Naraian Trivedi added to the arguments of Rai in respect of demand of reservation for third gender and argued that there was no provision in the constitution to give such kind of reservation to the third gender.
After hearing the arguments at length, the bench reserved its order to be delivered on December 27. The bench meanwhile extended the stay on issuing notification till then.
It may be noted that hearing in the matter could not be concluded on Friday and hence the bench posted the hearing in for Saturday. Despite the winter vacations in the HC, the bench decided to hear the matter on Saturday because of the nature of the litigation.

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