Bhubaneswar: Making roads clear for the urban election, the State Government on Monday notified the Odisha Municipal Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021 to keep the overall reservation in the various urban local bodies (ULBs) up to 50 per cent.
The Law Department has issued the Gazette Notification making necessary amendments to the Section 11 & 47 of the Odisha Municipal Act, 1950 and Section 7 & 14 of the Odisha Municipal Corporation Act, 2003.
As per the notification, seats will be reserved in favour of Backward Class of Citizens (BCC) in every municipality, by the District Magistrate, to such extent not exceeding 27 per cent to ceiling limit of 50 percent of total number of seats of the Municipality including seats so reserved for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and backward class of citizens taken together.
All such seats shall be allotted by rotation to different wards in a Municipal area at every general election, it said.
“Seats shall be reserved in favour of BCC as referred to clause (6) article 243T of the Constitution in every corporation to such extent not exceeding 27 per cent subject to ceiling limit of 50 per cent of total number of seats of such corporation including seats so reserved for SC, ST under subsection (1) and backward class of citizens taken together,” read the notification.
The same rule is applicable for offices of chairperson of Municipalities and Mayors of Municipal Corporations.
In 2013, hearing a case, the High Court of Orissa had observed that the upper ceiling limit of reservation of seats for the SC, ST and BCC shouldn’t exceed 50% in accordance with the judgment passed by the Supreme Court in the K Krishna Murthy case.
Following this, the State Government approached the Supreme Court through an SLP and subsequently through a review petition challenging the aforesaid orders of the High Court. The SC heard the cases and upheld the decision of the High Court of Orissa.
In order to comply with the decision of the High Court, delivered on the basis of orders of the SC, it has become expedient to limit the total extent of reservation for election in ULBs to 50 per cent.
The government will first give priority to ST and SC population in the reservation and the remaining seats, if left, will be reserved for the backward class citizens with a maximum ceiling of 27 per cent, sources said. Making similar provisions, the State Government has made necessary amendments in the Orissa Grama Panchayat Act-1964, the Orissa Panchayat Samiti Act-1959 and the Orissa Zilla Parishad Act-1991.