Madras HC Strikes Down Over 50 Percent Women’s Quota In Local Body Elections

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Madras High Court struck down a Tamil Nadu government’s order on Tuesday which called for more than 50 per cent reservation for women in the Greater Chennai Corporation elections.

As per reports, the order was given after a petition challenging the state government’s order of 2019. R Parthiban in his petition said that the amendment brought by the state government to provide over 50 per cent reservation to women in local body elections was discriminating against men. The state government had increased the quota for women in 2019. 16 seats were reserved for Scheduled Castes, 16 for Scheduled Caste women and another 89 seats for women in general category.

Women Quota In Chennai Corporation Elections:

The acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice P D Audikeshavalu headed the bench and passed the order striking down Tamil Nadu government’s order. They also directed the state election commission to restrict reservation of seats for women in the urban local bodies to 50 per cent as the law mandates. The petitioner had pointed it out to the court that out of 200 seats at the Chennai Corporation, 105 were allocated to women. He argued that this kind of reservation is discrimination against men and unconstitutional in nature.

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“not less than 50%” – in the law was being used to allocate reservation for women beyond 50%, ” the petition said. He added, “Of the 200 seats, 105 seats have been reserved for women both in SC and general category. But as per the 50% reservation for women policy, only 84 seats should have been allotted in general category. But flouting the norm, more seats have been allocated discriminating men.”

The decision of Tamil Nadu government to increased the quota for women candidates in local body elections came about in 2016 when the reservation was increased from 23 per cent to 50 per cent. This has played a key role in ensuring increased representation of women in Tamil Nadu’s local bodies. From 40,000 seats in 2011 the number of seats occupied by women increased to 62,000 recently.