NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the Centre, the AAP government and the Delhi Assembly on a plea by Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta seeking quashing of a notification nominating a group of AAP MLAs again to municipal corporations in the national capital.
Gupta, in his plea, has alleged that since the Aam Aadmi Party formed the government in February 2015, 13 party legislators have been repeatedly nominated as councillors in municipal corporations in violation of norms, the only exception being the replacement of rebel AAP MLA Anil Kumar Bajpai with S K Bagga in East Delhi Municipal Corporation.
A bench of Justices G S Sistani and Jyoti Singh issued notices to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Delhi legislative assembly, the AAP government, and the office of the lieutenant governor, seeking their stand on the plea. The court declined to grant any interim relief and said that the BJP MLA should have approached it earlier. The court told the Assembly’s lawyer that since AAP had a large majority in the House, it could rotate the MLAs.“You (AAP) have a large majority, why not keep rotating,” the bench said, and listed the matter for further hearing on September 27.
Gupta, a BJP MLA from Rohini, said in his plea that as per the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957, the Speaker is under obligation to nominate the persons on rotation.“...meaning the MLAs who were nominated in previous years shall not be repeated again and again,” Gupta said in his petition, seeking the setting aside of a July 12 notification issued by the Delhi Assembly nominating the same 13 AAP MLAs to the municipal corporations of North, South and East Delhi, claiming it violates the provisions of the MCD Act.
“During the tenure of the present Legislative Assembly, not one MLA from the Opposition has been nominated by the Speaker. Not only this, the Speaker has nominated the same members of Legislative Assembly as members of three Municipal Corporations,” the petition says.“This act of the Speaker is biased, ultra vires, arbitrary and contrary to Article 14 of the Constitution of India,” the petition alleged.