News Karnataka
Saturday, November 26 2022

Education must to contest Panchayat polls, SC backs Haryana govt

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New Delhi: In a historic move, the Apex Court on Thursday upheld the law that set mandatory educational qualifications for candidates contesting Panchayat elections in the Haryana.

According to the law passed on September 7, 2015 by the state assembly, while general candidates must have passed class 10 examinations, women and Dalit candidates are required to have cleared class 8 to contest the Panchayat polls. Women from Dalit communities are required to have passed at least class 5.

Candidates should also not have a criminal conviction, no pending electricity bills or loan payments and a working toilet, the law had said.

A petition was filed by the All India Democratic Women’s Association, which said the law violated a candidate’s right to contest elections also stated that the law made most of the candidates in the state ineligible to contest the polls. The law made 84 per cent of Dalit women and 71 per cent of all rural women ineligible to contest and violated equality, the petitioner claimed.
Following this, the court stayed the law in September and subsequently the verdict had postponed the Haryana Panchayat elections scheduled for October.
The state’s argument was that it was a small step towards improving the village administration, literacy levels and sanitation awareness.

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