KOHIMA, April 28 � The Nagaland Government has once again lost its legal battle over the issue of women reservation in municipal bodies against the Joint Action Committee for Women Reservation (JACWR) represented by Naga Mothers� Association (NMA).
Ruling on the miscellaneous petition filed by the Government of Nagaland through the Urban Development department and the Election department today, the Judge of the Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court passed judgement in favour of the NMA while directing the State Government and Election Commission to complete the process of elections to the civic bodies in the State within one month.
It may be mentioned here that the State Government had filed the petition on April 12 last requesting the Court to grant a period of six months while stating that the State Assembly has unanimously resolved to refer the Nagaland Municipal and Town Council Act to be reviewed by a Select Committee of the Assembly.
In this connection, the Government had pleaded for postponement of the Municipal and Town Council polls in the State till the Assembly Select Committee submits its report on the Act as also the entire issue of 33 per cent women reservation in civic bodies in the next six months.
In its last judgement favouring the JACWR, the Court had directed the State Government to complete the entire process of Municipal and Town Council elections by April 30 this year. However, the State Assembly during its budget session held in March passed a resolution seeking postponement of the elections and referring the issue of reservation of seats for women in civic bodies to a Select Committee. The House had unanimously passed the resolution which sought suspension of conduct of municipal elections till the government takes appropriate decisions on the basis of the report submitted by the Select Committee.
The resolution, moved by Minister for Urban Development Dr Sh�rhozelie, also entrusted the House committee to examine whether Nagaland could be exempted from the 74th Constitutional Amendment and report the same to the Assembly within six months. The amendment deals with administration of municipal bodies.
Nonetheless, the Court, in another landmark judgement favouring women reservation, has quashed the State Government�s plea for another six months and directed it to complete the process within one month from the date of receipt of the court judgement.