HC Grants Time to Delhi Govt, LG, to Respond to Plea Against Re-Election of Members of MCD Standing Committee

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday granted time to the Delhi government, Lieutenant Governor, the civic body and the returning officer to file replies on a plea challenging the decision to hold re-election for six members of the standing committee of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.

Justice Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav gave two more weeks to the authorities to file their responses on the two petitions filed by BJP councillors against the re-election.

It also granted one week time to petitioners and MCD councilors Kamaljeet Sehrawat and Shikha Roy to file rejoinder and listed the matter for further hearing on April 24.

On February 25, the high court had stayed re-election for six members of the standing committee which was scheduled for February 27, saying the mayor prima facie acted beyond her powers in ordering a fresh poll.

Mayor Shelly Oberoi was also the returning officer (RO) for the election.

The high court had earlier said the governing norms do not reflect that the mayor has the authority to declare the earlier election null and void and conduct the re-election without announcing the results of the previous poll held on February 24.

It had said prima facie the mayor’s action was in violation of the applicable regulations.

The counsel for the mayor had told the court that she had no other alternative but to declare the earlier poll as null and void as the process was vitiated due to the unruly behaviour of the members. The lawyer had also alleged the mayor did not get adequate cooperation from the member secretary and technical experts.

The mayor had on February 24 announced fresh polling for electing six members of the MCD standing committee on February 27 at 11 am amid clashes between the councillors of the BJP and the AAP in the municipal House.

BJP councillors staged protests and created ruckus in the House after Oberoi declared a vote cast during the election on Friday invalid.

Oberoi had barely started announcing the results when the ruckus began during which a councillor even ripped off the mayor’s microphone.

The petitioners have contended in the high court that the mayor ordered a fresh election without declaring the result of the poll held on February 24 in violation of regulation 51 of Delhi Municipal Corporation (Procedure & Conduct of Business) Regulations, which contains the prescribed procedure.

Roy’s petition, filed through advocate Neeraj, said the poll was “conducted in a peaceful manner” and there was “no occasion for the mayor to recall the elections”.

The high court had issued a notice to the RO, the Delhi government, Delhi Lieutenant Governor and MCD on the two pleas while observing that prima facie the decision to hold a re-election in the present case was in violation of the regulation.

The MCD House had witnessed ruckus on February 22 as well with members of the BJP and the AAP exchanging blows and hurling plastic bottles at each other.

The House was again rocked by clashes after fresh elections were held on February 24, and mayor Oberoi subsequently alleged that a few members of the saffron party made a life-threatening attack on her.

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