SC sets aside HC order quashing Ballari ZP president’s election

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said election of Zilla Panchayat president cannot be quashed on suspicion of false and bogus income and caste certificate, until the scrutiny committee concludes it so.

The court set aside the Karnataka High Courts order dated December 4, 2017, that quashed election of Bharati Reddy as the president of Ballari Zilla Panchayat.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, however, directed the Caste Verification Committee to expedite the enquiry on the validity of the income and caste certificate issued to her and conclude it preferably within two months. The high court could not have acted until the certificate issued to her was declared void or invalidated by the committee, the court said.

“The mere fact that the certificate was issued in a short span of five days from the date of the application, per se, does not lead to an inference that the required procedure has not been followed,” the apex court said.

Bharati had challenged the division bench decision of the Dharwad bench of the high court. The court had acted on a writ petition contending that Reddy was not qualified for or entitled to the post which was reserved for the category of Backward Caste B (Woman).

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