KOHIMA: The Supreme Court has postponed the hearing regarding the conduct of elections to the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in Nagaland with regard to the implementation of a 33% women’s reservation. The hearing is now scheduled for November 10, 2023.
During the recent proceedings, Advocate General (AG) of Nagaland, KN Balgopal, presented the case before a two-judge bench consisting of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia.
The AG informed the court about the introduction of the Nagaland Municipal Bill, 2023 in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) on September 12, 2023. This bill proposes a 33% reservation of seats for women in compliance with Article 243T for ULBs.
Balgopal highlighted that this legislative progress was made in consultation with the leaders of 16 major tribal communities and seven minor tribal communities on September 1, 2023. All tribal leaders had collectively endorsed the concept of one-third reservation for women.
Furthermore, Balgopal informed the court that the matter had been referred to the Select Committee, which is expected to provide its report soon.
He expressed optimism that the Legislative Assembly would pass the bill after the first week of November 2023. The Advocate General also pledged to present a blueprint and schedule for the election process once the bill received approval. In response, the court scheduled the matter for a hearing on November 10, 2023.
It’s worth noting that the Nagaland Municipal Bill, 2023, also known as the Nagaland Municipal Act, 2023, was introduced during the second session of the 14th Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA). The bill’s introduction followed a decision made by the state cabinet during its meeting on September 8, 2023. Subsequently, the bill was referred to the Select Committee for further examination.
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio had previously affirmed on September 17 that once the Nagaland Municipal Bill 2023 receives approval, Urban Local Bodies (ULB) elections will be conducted with a 33% reservation for women. This provision has already been incorporated into the new bill.