The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice in a public interest litigation filed by Puducherry opposition leader R Siva that challenged the government order discontinuing reservation for backward classes and Scheduled Tribes in local body polls (R. Siva v. Union Territory of Puducherry).A Bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai asked Union Territory to file a counter affidavit within 2 weeks and ordered the registry to place the matter for hearing within 3 weeks. The Bench ordered that no adjournment will be given on the next date of hearing. .The apex court observed that the petitioner withdrew his writ petitions filed before the Madras High Court with liberty to file the petitions before the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution ..Senior Advocate P Wilson, appearing for the petitioner, clarified that the petitions were withdrawn because the Supreme Court was already seized of the matter pertaining to the expeditious completion of local body polls in Puducherry, pending since 2011. The Bench then pointed out that the matter pending before it only pertains to the issue of contempt in delimitation and issuance of notification of the polls, and not that of reservation that should have been decided by the Madras High Court..The counsel therefore sought liberty to withdraw the petition and file the same before the High Court. “You keep moving in circles and ultimately the elections will not be conducted,” the Bench responded. .The Union Territory of Puducherry initially issued a notification granting reservations to backward classes and Scheduled Tribes as well. But the notification was discontinued after the Union Territory appeared before the Madras High Court in a matter challenging the same. Thereafter, the Union Territory again issued a notification granting reservations to only ‘scheduled castes’ in the local body elections. In 2018, the Supreme Court directed the Puducherry government to conduct local body elections within four months. The government failed to conduct the same even after two years, and a contempt petition was filed before the apex court that is pending..The Supreme Court, observing the urgency of the matter, therefore issued notice and requested the parties to file their pleadings.