The Supreme Court of India has directed the Nagaland State Election Commission to complete all local body elections and declare the results by the end of January, 2023.
The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and women rights activist Rosemary Dvuchu filed a petition at the court following which a Division Bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M.M. Sundresh passed the order.
The petition filed by the PUCL challenged the Nagaland Assembly’s resolution of September 22, 2021, exempting operation of Part IXA of the Constitution of India, which mandated 33 per cent reservation for women in Municipalities and Town Councils of the state.
While making an observation on the election process, the Apex Court remarked that the election process should be complete by January next year and the results be declared by then.
According to earlier directives issued by the court, the state of Nagaland had told the Apex Court in April that it will grant 33% reservation to women in local self-government institutions.
The Apex Court has also directed the Nagaland Election Commission to prepare the schedule for the polls.
The matter which was taken up today for hearing, the counsel appearing for the Nagaland State Election Commission informed the Bench that the State government filed two affidavits in the matter.
The court was notified by the Counsels for the State government and the State Election Commission that the election will be announced in January of the following year. The court, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the response and noted that no elections have been held in the previous 12 years.
The top court had underlined that the last publication of the electoral rolls will take place on November 24, 2022, and had thus urged the State Election Commission to closely adhere to the schedule without asking for an extension for the aforementioned reason.
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