Big setback for AAP as Delhi HC stays re-election for MCD Standing Committee
On Saturday in a special hearing, the Delhi High Court put a stay on the notice issued by the newly-elected Mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Shelly Oberoi, directing the re-election of the six members of the MCD Standing Committee. The court said that no purpose will be served by conducting fresh elections on February 27.
Justice Gaurang Kanth said that prima facie, the notice is in violation of Regulation 51 of the New Delhi Municipal Council (Procedure and Conduct of Business) Regulations, 1997, as the returning officer or Mayor is conducting re-elections without declaring the results of the elections conducted on February 24.
The notice was issued by the court on two petitions moved by BJP leaders Kamaljeet Sehrawat and Shikha Roy challenging the notice issued by the Mayor on Friday.
The court observed that from a perusal of Regulation 51, it is nowhere reflected that the returning officer or Mayor has the authority to declare an election of the Standing Committee as null and void.
“It is not out of place to mention that admittedly, the counting of votes and further duty cast upon the Mayor as in declaring the results of the elections held on February 24 shall culminate into final results,” said the court.
“In view thereof, the notice dated February 24 for re-election shall remain stayed till the next date of hearing,” the court said.
The counsel appearing for the petitioners submitted that the Mayor conducted the elections for six members of the Standing Committee on Friday. However, without declaring the results, a notice was issued on the same day for re-election on Monday.
On Friday, BJP councillor Sharad Kapoor moved the Delhi High Court, alleging that Oberoi did not stick to the rules of not using mobile phones and pens during voting to elect the MCD Standing Committee members on Wednesday.
Kapoor, in his petition, said that the Mayor “defied every constitutional and statutory norm” and “betrayed the mandate of the Constitution by allowing mobile phones and pens in the election proceedings”.
The petitioner also sought to declare the February 22 polls null and void.
The court listed the matter for the next hearing on February 27.
On Friday, the MCD House was adjourned till Monday morning with Oberoi announcing that re-election to pick the Standing Committee members will be held at 11 a.m. on February 27.
All hell broke loose on Friday after Oberoi stalled the recounting of votes for electing the members of the all-powerful Standing Committee following objections raised by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
It was free for all in the MCD House with BJP and AAP councillors trading blows at each other. Protesting against the Mayor’s decision to stall the recounting process, BJP councillors started breaking mikes, tearing ballot papers, and even damaging the polling booths amid sloganeering.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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