Karnataka High asks State to justify deferring local body elections

Recently, the Karnataka High Court directed the State government to give reasons justifying its stand to postpone the local body elections till December 2021.

The court asked the reasoning behind keeping religious places open while deferring elections citing COVID pandemic and said that:
“If religious places are kept open and people can go there in queue, can’t they come to polling booths? This is the only state not to abide by the Constitutional mandate.”

In 2020, after noticing that local body elections were not being held as per the mandate of Clause (3) of Article 243 (U) of the Constitution, the Court had, registered a suo motu case.

Further the court said that since the Cabinet decision the COVID situation has improved and even Assembly polls were conducted during the pandemic.

On August 4, during the hearing the court was informed that the State government has taken the decision to postpone elections to all local bodies, including urban local bodies, till December 2021.

The State further requested the SEC to defer the polls to which it was submitted by SEC that all deputy commissioners are ready for elections and a meeting was also held on July 28, 2021 to discuss the same.

Subsequently, the State was asked to justify its grounds in postponing elections.

Thus, next the matter will be heard on August 13.

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