Petition challenging reservation of offices of Chairpersons dismissed

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STATE TIMES NEWS

JAMMU: Justice Rajnesh Oswal dismissed petition seeking quashment of District Development Council (Reservation of Offices of Chairpersons) Rules, 2021 to extent of Rule 4(1) providing for allotment of seats to different District Development Councils on basis of total population of Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes in such District Development Councils in descending order and Rule 4 (2) whereby allocation of seats of Chairperson, to be reserved for women, shall be made on three-point roaster system after arranging them alphabetically.
While dismissing petition filed by Nadeem Sharief and others, Justice Rajnesh Oswal after hearing Sr Advocate Gagan Basotra with Adv Navdeep Kour for petitioners whereas Sr AAG H A Siddqui and AAG Aseem Sawhney representing UT of J&K, observed that after perusal of rule 108-A, it was revealed that it provides delimitation of constituencies for the purpose of election to District Development Councils and SO 330 dated October 24, 2020 inserted sub-rules (supra) that provided reservation to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe and Women for the purpose of election to District Development Councils except sub-rule(3F) that provided roaster for women as prescribed in rule 3C and 3D shall also be applicable to elections to Chairpersons of District Development Councils.
Justice Oswal further observed that during pendency of the present writ petition, the respondents have issued SO No. 24 dated January 22, 2021 by virtue of which Sub Rule (3F) of Rule 108 A of Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Rules, 1996 has been omitted so the challenge thrown to Rule 4(2) of SO 13 of January 11, 2021 being contrary to sub rule (3F) of Rule 108-A becomes inconsequential and meaningless particularly when SO 24 dated January 22, 2021 remains unchallenged.
Justice Oswal further observed that the only issue that remains for consideration of the Court is with regard to the allotment/reservation of the seats for Schedule Tribes and Schedule Caste category to the Chairman/Chairperson of the District Development Council. The precise case of the petitioners is that Rule 4(1) of SO 13 dated January 11, 2021 issued by the respondents is contrary to the Rule 3(B) of SO 330 dated October 24, 2020 as Rule 3(B) provides for that number of seats reserved for Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes as provided under Rule 3(A) shall be reserved on the basis of proportion of population of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes vis-a-vis total population of the constituency where as Rule 4(1) revealed that number of seats of Chairpersons to be reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as provided in Rule 2 shall be on the basis of the population of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in each District Development Councils meaning thereby that the District Development Council having largest population of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes shall be reserved for the candidate belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes category as the case may be.
With these observations High Court found that the petition has no mertit and dismissed the same.

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