In Chennai Civic Polls, Order Allocating More Seats For Women Struck Down

According to the petitioner, 105 of the 200 seats in the Greater Chennai Corporation had been allocated to women. It amounted to discrimination against men.

In Chennai Civic Polls, Order Allocating More Seats For Women Struck Down

Of the total 200 seats, 105 seats had been reserved for women

Chennai:

The Madras High Court on Tuesday struck down a notification of the Tamil Nadu government, which allocated more than 50 per cent of seats to women in the upcoming election to Chennai city local body.

The first bench of Acting Chief Justice M N Bhandari and Justice P D Audikesavalu set aside the notification issued in 2019 , while allowing a PIL petition from R Parthiban.

Finding prima facie that the notification violated the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution, the bench set aside the same and directed the State Election Commission (SEC) to restrict reservation of seats to women in the urban local bodies to 50 per cent only.

According to the petitioner, 105 of the 200 seats in the Greater Chennai Corporation had been allocated to women. It amounted to discrimination against men.

The phrase 'not less than 50 per cent' should not be construed to mean reservation for women can be provided even beyond that quantum. The 2019 notification reserved16 seats for SC/STs and 89 to women in the 'general' category.

Of the total 200 seats, 105 seats had been reserved for women both in SC and general category. As per the 50 per cent reservation for women policy, only 84 seats should have been allotted in general category. In violation of this norm, more seats had been allocated to women, thereby discriminating men, petitioner's senior counsel added.

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