A bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar, which refused to stay the four-phase elections, said the polls would be held subject to the outcome of the petition before it.
The court had on June 5 decided to examine the plea against the UP government's May 25 notification reserving the posts of chairperson for people belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes and women in some of the state's municipal bodies.
Rakesh Gautam, a general category candidate for the post of Khair Nagar Palika chairperson in Aligarh, had urged the apex court to stay the impugned notification issued by the state government. He had submitted that the poll process was vitiated as the posts were being reserved indiscriminately without any rationale and in a manner, discriminatory to the general category candidates.
In all, there are 630 local bodies comprising 13 municipal corporations, 194 nagar palika parishads and 423 nagar panchayats in the state.
The petitioner had said that reservation of the posts of chairperson can be done only by rotation. In other words, if a post is reserved for a particular term, then in the subsequent term, it has to be de-reserved, allowing a general category candidate to contest for it.
Elections to the nagar palikas in UP were to be held from June 12 and would conclude by July 10, according to the petitioner.
The UP government, in purported exercise of its powers under Section 9 A of the UP Municipalities Act, 1916, had reserved 28 seats in favour of different castes despite the fact that the posts had been reserved in 2001 and 2006 elections, the petitioner had said.
Giving an illustration, the petitioner had said in 2001, the office of chairperson, Nagar Palika, Khair was reserved for general category women. In 2006, it was reserved for Schedule Caste women, he added.
On January 15, 2012, the then Mayawati [ Images ] government notified the nagar palika chairperson's post for general candidate.
However, after the Akhilesh Singh Yadav government assumed office on April 25, the state issued a fresh notification reserving the seat for SC candidates.
According to the petitioner, though the Allahabad high court had held that the notifications reserving the posts were illegal, yet, it directed the petitioner and other aggrieved candidates to approach the respective district judges by way of election petitions.