SC notice to L-G office on Delhi govt’s plea challenging nomination of members to MCD
The Supreme Court Wednesday sought a response from the office of lieutenant governor on a plea of the Delhi government seeking quashing of nomination of 10 members to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi by the L-G.
In the petition filed through lawyer Shadan Farasat, the Arvind Kejriwal government has challenged the decision of the L-G to nominate the members allegedly without the “aid and advice” of the elected dispensation and its council of ministers. A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala took note of the submissions of senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for the Delhi government, and issued notice to the Office of Lieutenant Governor through its principal secretary for April 10.
Last month, the top court had ensured the holding of poll for mayor and deputy mayor by making it clear that the 10 nominated members of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi cannot vote in the mayoral election.
Besides seeking quashing the nominations, the plea has sought a direction to the L-G office to “nominate members to the MCD under Section 3(3)(b)(i) of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act..., in accordance with the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers”.
“This petition has been filed by the elected government of the NCT of Delhi seeking inter alia quashing of orders dated..., and consequent gazette notifications ..., whereby the Lieutenant Governor has illegally appointed 10 (ten) nominated members to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi on his own initiative, and not on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers,” the plea said.
It said neither the DMC (Delhi Municipal Commission) Act nor any other provision of law says anywhere that such nomination is to be made by the administrator in his discretion.
“This is the first time, such a nomination has been made by the L-G completely bypassing the elected government, thereby arrogating to an un-elected office a power that belongs to the duly elected government,” it said. Referring to the constitutional scheme pertaining to Delhi, it said that the word administrator’ must necessarily be read as the administrator, who is L-G here, acting on the aid and advice of the council of ministers. The petition underlined that according to the provision of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, apart from the elected councillors, the MCD also had to include 10 people, above 25 years of age, having special knowledge or experience in municipal administration, which were to be nominated by the administrator.
“It is pertinent to note that neither the section (of the MCD Act) nor any other provision of law says anywhere that such nomination is to be made by the Administrator in his discretion,” the petition claimed.