Haryana Panchayati election qualifications case
Rajbala and Ors v. State of Haryana [Writ Petition (Civil) 671/2015]
This 10thDecemeber 2015 Supreme Court judgement in Rajbala v. State of Haryana delivers a deadly blow to the very idea of Universal Adult franchise. The requirement for formal education, a “functioning toilet” and rural indebtedness as a pre requisite for contesting an election for the position of sarpanch, effectively bars over 60% of rural populations from contesting these panchayat elections and further alienates them from the mainstream. The notion of an impartial judiciary as a custodian of all classes of people and communities has been rendered hollow. This judgement is specific to Haryana but other state like Rajasthan have similar restrictions. The judgement takes away from the rights of the poor and marginalized communities to stand in position of power and reinforces vested and entrenched hierarchies while on the other hand the court has turned a blind eye to the failure of the state machinery in providing universal education or sanitation that is affordable and accessible to the people.
The Judgement read more