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GP member elected under gen quota can contest prez, V-P in reserved category, rules HC

Bengaluru:When a person is elected under a general category to a Gram Panchayat, he/she at a later point of time can contest for the post of Adhyaksha (president) and Upadhyaksha (vice president) in the reserved category so long as that person belongs to such reserved category, the High Court of Karnataka has ruled.

Justice Suraj Govindaraj noted that under the Gram Swaraj and Panchayat Raj Act, the contest made to the Gram Panchayat in terms of section 5 under the general category cannot prevent a person from contesting for the post of Adhyaksha or Upadhyaksha in a reserved category under section 44.

In the instant case, the petitioner Chaitra, a member of Kunnala Gram Panchayat in Gubbi taluk of Tumakuru district, belongs to the Backward Caste-B category. She wanted to contest for the Adhyaksha post and challenged the candidature of K M Ashamani, claiming that the latter had contested the election from the general category and hence could not change the same for the candidature for the Adhysksha post. The Adhysksha post is reserved for BCB (women).

In the initial challenge, the Assistant Commissioner had ruled in Chaitra’s favour, stating that Ashamani could not change the category from General to BCB-Woman and granted an interim order, prohibiting her from contesting.

However, the Deputy Commissioner permitted Ashamani to contest on August 9, 2023, on the grounds that she was a successful candidate and also directed Chaitra to agitate the same in the election petition filed by her.

Chaitra moved the high court challenging the order passed by the Deputy Commissioner as well as the June 23, 2023, caste certificate issued in favour of Ashamani by the tahsildar, declaring her to have belonged to the BCB category. 

(Published 09 November 2023, 23:18 IST)

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