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MCD polls: SC issues notice on AAP leader’s plea against allowing nominated members to vote

New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to the offices of the Delhi Lieutenant Governor and the pro-tem presiding officer of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), MCD commissioner on a petition filed by AAP’s mayoral candidate Shelly Oberoi for urgent holding of the mayoral elections.

Senior advocate A.M. Singhvi, representing the petitioner, submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud that though elections were to be conducted in December last year, the situation at present is that no election has been conducted for mayor, deputy mayor, and the members of the standing committee.

He further emphasized that Article 243R of the Constitution states that nominated members cannot be allowed to vote, therefore allowing nominated members to vote in the election to the posts is unconstitutional.

The top court noted Singhvi’s contention that according to Section 76 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act that mayor or in his absence the deputy mayor have to preside on every meeting of the corporation, and the simultaneous holding of elections for three posts — mayor, deputy mayor, and standing committee members — is contrary to the statute.

The bench, Justices P.S. Narasimha and J.B. Pardiwala, said: “Issue notice, returnable on Monday”.

The plea sought summoning of the MCD House within a week, no adjournment of proceedings till completion of the mayoral elections, declaration that nominated members are not entitled to vote in mayoral elections, etc.

After the Delhi Municipal House was adjourned for the third time on Monday without electing a mayor, AAP leader Atishi said the party will move the Supreme Court and seek the conduct of the polls within a week to ten days under its supervision.

Atishi, while addressing a press briefing, had said, “The Aam Aadmi Party is going to the Supreme Court today. We will appeal to the apex court that the MCD elections should be held within one week to ten days under their supervision. Satya Sharma arbitrarily adjourned the House indefinitely.”

She said, “We will also challenge the BJP’s decision to give the voting rights to the aldermen. AAP has a majority with 134 out of 250 elected members.

Both the BJP and AAP have traded charges in connection with the prevention of the mayoral polls. The bone of contention is the appointment of aldermen and their voting right in the House.

The AAP has alleged that the BJP was trying to steal its mandate by giving voting rights to the nominated members.

Oberoi had previously moved the apex court to ensure mayoral election in Delhi in a time-bound manner but when the election was scheduled for February 6, the plea was withdrawn.

Last week, the apex court had noted that the election had been notified and granted her liberty to come back in case of any grievances.

The mayoral election was first scheduled for January 6, but the House was adjourned following a scuffle between the councillors of the BJP and the AAP. Then a session was convened on January 24 to elect the Mayor and Deputy Mayor and members of the Standing Committee.