SC rejects Odisha govt’s plea on quota in civic bodies

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Bhubaneswar: The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected Odisha government’s plea, in which it had challenged the High Court’s order regarding reservation of seats in Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in the state.

The apex court upheld the Orissa High Court’s previous order which had ruled that reservation of seats for STs, SCs and other categories should not exceed 50% in ULB polls. Challenging the High Court verdict, the State government had moved the Supreme Court through a Special Leave Petition (SLP).

Of 114 ULBs in the State, elections to 93 ULBs are due from September to July. While the term of 66 ULBs, including Berhampur Municipal Corporation, ends in September, 20 civic bodies will complete their terms on December 4 and two others on December 9.

Similarly, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation will complete its term on January 17 and Cuttack Municipal Corporation and Baripada Municipality’s term expires on February 13, next year. The term of Balangir and Titilagarh municipalities ends on July 11, 2019.

As per the Constitution, election to constitute a municipality will have to be completed before the expiry of its term of five years. Of 93 ULBs, 55 have more than 50 per cent reserved seats, which has put the State officials in a fix.

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