Orissa High Court seeks reply on quota for third gender in local body polls
CUTTACK: The Orissa high court on Tuesday allowed the state government time till August 4 to file a reply to the petition seeking direction to provide 2% reservation to the third gender in local body elections.
President of transgender community and social activist Meera Parida had filed the petition. On April 3, the high court had posted the petition to April 27 while issuing notice to the government to give a reply within four weeks. But when the petition came up on Tuesday the state counsel sought more time to file the reply.
“The Supreme Court had given the transgenders a minority status like it has to those belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in 2004. The Election Commission of India (ECI) had given the third gender status to the community in 2009. Then why the third gender cannot be given reservations in local body elections?” the petition asked.
Parida had moved the high court citing ECI’s rejection of the state governments recommendation to ensure 5% electoral reservation for transgender people in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, assembly and municipal elections.
The subject matter of reservation in local bodies is under the jurisdiction of state election commission of the respective states, the ECI had replied. However, the ECI had replied that under the existing law, there is no provision in the Constitution or in the Delimitation Act, 2002, to reserve seats for any category like the third gender.
Courtesy : TNN