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Thursday, 16 July 2020

Can’t remove MC chief by no-trust motion, says HC

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear that even a municipal committee president elected prior to September 4, 2019, cannot be removed through a no-confidence motion. Such a procedure stood expressly deleted by way of an amendment with effect from September 4, 2019, a Division Bench asserted.

The ruling is significant as the Haryana Municipal (Second Amendment) Act, 2019, amending the Haryana Municipal Act, was notified on September 4, 2019. A significant change brought about by the amendment was that a no-confidence motion could not be resorted to for a president's removal.

This was consistent with another significant change, whereby the president was to be elected directly and not indirectly from among elected members of a municipal committee, the Bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Avneesh Jhingan asserted.

The Bench quashed an order dated June 18 passed by the Fatehabad Deputy Commissioner and subsequent notice dated June 25 issued by the Tohana SDO (Civil) for consideration of a no-confidence motion for removal of petitioner Seema Rani as municipal committee president. The Bench made it clear that the impugned order and notice stood quashed with regard to the president alone and not vice-president.

Rani had moved the High Court. The Bench was told that the petitioner was elected Jakhal Mandi municipal committee president at a meeting of elected members on February 2, 2019. Nearly seven months after the notification was issued, the amendment was notified.

The Bench asserted that it was not possible to interpret the amendment in the manner suggested by the respondents to say the president of a municipal committee elected prior to September 4, 2019, would continue to be governed by unamended provision and could be removed through a no-confidence motion.

from The Tribune

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