Legality of nominated councillors challenged
■ CHANDIGARH: The legality of nomination of nine councillors of the Chandigarh municipal corporation and their voting rights to elect mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor was challenged in the Punjab and haryana high court on Thursday.
Taking a note of the petition, the vacation bench of justice K Kannan and justice Tejinder Singh Dhindsa directed that the nomination of councillors and elections of mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor scheduled for January 1, 2012, would be subject to the outcome of the petition.
The bench also issued notice of motion to the Chandigarh administration and nominated councillors, including Anoop Sunny Gill, Prof Aruna Goel, Dr Amrit Tiwari, Babu Lal, DS Sandhu, MP Kohli, Sat Paul Bansal, Shagufta Parveen and Surinder Bahga, to file reply by January 27, 2012.
The petitioner, Davinder Singh of Sriganganagar district, Rajasthan, sought quashing of the provision of Section 4 of
THE NOMINATION OF COUNCILLORS AND ELECTION OF MAYOR SCHEDULED FOR JAN 1 WILL BE SUBJECT TO THE OUTCOME OF THE PETITION, SAYS HC
the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976 (as applicable to Chandigarh), whereby the voting rights have been conferred to nominated councillors and for restraining them from participating in the election to be held on January 1, 2012. It was mentioned that in Section 4 no criteria have been laid down with regard to nomination of councillors and all the appointments have been subjective by using “unbridled” powers by the authorities.
The petitioner submitted that in the previous formation of the corporation in 2006, the list of nominated councillors was released a day before declaring the result of elected councillors. Stating the act of declaring the nominated councillors this time on December 21, two days after the MC elections results as illegal, the petitioner mentioned that “the same gave a presumable edge to the ruling party at the Centre to prepare the list of “nominated councillors” as per their own choice in view of the fractured mandate in the MC elections.
It was also alleged Anoop Sunny Gill was inclined towards the Congress, Dr Amrit Tiwari’s son is a sitting member of Parliament from Congress, DS Sandhu had campaigned for a Congress candidate in the corporation elections and Sat Paul Bansal is also believed to have a close association with the Congress.
The bench was also informed that out of 35 councillors, 26 are elected and nine nominated thus, 25% strength of the House is in the hands of nominated councillors. It has also been mentioned that the administration should have taken the affidavits of even the nominated councillors in view to check their antecedents and credentials as done in the case of elected councillors while filing their nomination papers.