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SC Slams Centre, Nagaland Govt For Ignoring Women’s Reservation In Civic Body Elections

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court expressed strong disapproval on Tuesday as it criticized both the Central and Nagaland state government for not implementing the rule of one-third reservation for women in civic body elections in Nagaland. The court questioned why women in the state were being denied this right despite their active participation in various aspects of life.

The court reminded the Central government that it cannot use the excuse that reservation doesn’t apply to tribal areas to avoid its responsibility. It raised concerns about the lack of action and wondered why the constitutional provision was not being followed.

Representing the Centre, Additional Solicitor General K M Nataraj agreed that women should be given 33% reservation in urban local bodies as per the Constitution. However, he claimed that the situation in the state was not suitable for it.

The court expressed disappointment with the state government, saying it had given enough chances to act, but nothing had been done. It questioned the Central government’s silence on its coalition partner in Nagaland violating the constitutional scheme.

The Advocate General of Nagaland assured the court that the state government was ready to make a new law to comply with the reservation requirement. The court, though, seemed unhappy with the delay in taking action.

The court emphasized that it was only concerned about the non-implementation of reservation for women in a state where women’s education, economic, and social status is commendable. It clarified that it wasn’t interfering with Nagaland’s customary laws.

The Supreme Court is currently hearing a petition seeking 33% reservation for women in local body elections. The court had earlier stopped the cancellation of the urban local bodies’ elections scheduled for May 16, which hadn’t happened for a long time. Women’s empowerment remains the focus of the case, and the court urged immediate action from the Central and Nagaland government to uphold the constitutional provision.

(With agency Inputs)

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