CHENNAI: Let the State government decide the issue relating to payment of salaries to the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and councillors of the Chennai Corporation, the first Bench of the Madras High Court said on Thursday.
Advocate M Purushothaman had filed a PIL to declare Sec. 25-A of the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act as ultra vires of the Constitution and consequently to direct the Chief Secretary and the Corporation Commissioner to pay salaries to the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and councillors and to provide other consequential benefits, including backwages, from the date of their assuming office.
Petitioner submitted that the Members of Parliament and State Legislative Assembly have been paid salaries and other allowances whereas the Mayor, his deputy and other councillors were not given salaries. This violated Article 14 of the Constitution (equality).
The contention of the petitioner is firstly that the post of Mayor or Deputy Mayor is a Constitutional post. On being asked to substantiate this plea, he could not do so, the Bench pointed out.
His principal contention is “when there are provisions for payment of salaries to elected representatives such as MPs, MLAs and other authorities, why should the post of Mayor, Deputy Mayor or councillor be excluded?”
The aforesaid is a matter of legislative exercise, the Bench said, adding that it did not see any merit in challenging or finding any violation of Art 14 of the Constitution.