LUCKNOW: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court on Tuesday issued its order over reservation for the other backward classes in the urban local body (ULB) elections.
The high court allowed the UP government to notify the elections at the earliest while lifting the stay it had put on December 12.
However, the state government has been directed to not grant any reservation for backward classes candidates and to notify the reserved seats as general ones.
Having 762 urban local bodies, the residents staying within the municipal wards have to elect mayors and chairpersons in the upcoming elections.
The urban development department had announced the reservation for the posts on December 5 and earmarked 27% seats for the OBC candidates.
Several individuals started approaching the high court thereafter, including petitioner Vaibhav Pandey, who pointed out that the reservation had been announced by the government without considering the triple-test formula mandated by the Supreme Court.
The bench comprising Justice Saurabh Lavania and DK Upadhyay clubbed a total of 93 petitions that were filed over various issues and took up the matter from December 12.
The state was directed to hold up the process of notifying the elections till the matter was heard on the same day.
Having heard the arguments of both sides the court pronounced its order on Tuesday.
The court said that the UP government was under obligation to reframe its policy in view of the Supreme Court’s orders and recommend the OBC reservation as per the triple-test formula.
But the state failed to do so.
While allowing the state to notify the elections on an immediate basis, the court directed that the OBC reserved seats will be notified as general or open ones.
The seats reserved for Scheduled caste and tribe individuals will remain unchanged.
The ones reserved for OBC women candidates shall become open women seats, said a senior officer.
Out of the 762 posts for the mayors and chairpersons, overall 205 seats were reserved for OBC candidates.
Advocate representing Pandey, who filed the leading public interest litigation, Sharad Pathak said, “We are happy that our contention to hold the elections as per the triple-test mandate was taken into consideration by the bench. Now onwards the local body elections will be announced after proper exercise and on the basis of the empirical data.”

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