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Maharashtra OBC quota: SC slams poll panel

Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for the state government, said the SEC affidavit said the election was deferred for two municipalities.

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court today pulled up the Maharashtra State Election Commission (SEC) for rescheduling the poll for 367 local bodies to allow for reservation for OBCs (Other Backward Class).

A three-judge Bench led by Justice A M Khanwilkar rapped the SEC, saying the notification will stand.

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“This is not acceptable. You (SEC) are trying to misread our order for your convenience and may be under the dictation of someone. Do you want us to issue contempt notice?” the court also comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and C T Ravikumar asked.

The court made it clear that the election for 367 local bodies was to be notified under the May order. This position had been re-stated in multiple orders. The state EC could not re-notify the election program of these 367 local bodies to allow for OBC reservations.

Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for the state government, said the SEC affidavit said the election was deferred for two municipalities.

Hearing this, the Supreme Court slammed the SEC and clarified that the SEC cannot interfere with the election that has already been notified. At the most, the dates can be re-aligned.

The court directed the SEC not to re-notify the election program to these 367 local bodies. It indicated that contempt action may be initiated in case of a breach of the court order.

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