The Supreme Court has reserved its decision on a petition against the appointment of councilors nominated by the LG in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court opposing the appointment of nominated councilors called Alderman by the LG. On the other hand, Lieutenant Governor Vinay Kumar Saxena has said that in the administrative works of Delhi, he has to work with the advice and assistance of the Delhi government, but the appointment of nominated councilors in the Municipal Corporation does not come under this purview.
Additional Solicitor Sanjay Jain, appearing for the Lieutenant Governor’s office, said that the assembly in Delhi has been formed by special provision made under Article 239AA of the Constitution. The Government of Delhi has also been formed under this, but the functioning of the Municipal Corporation is run under Article 243 of the Constitution. Prior to 1992, when Delhi was a fully union territory, the alderman in the MCD was appointed by the centrally appointed administrator. Now this authority is with the Lieutenant Governor in place of the Administrator. That’s why they have nominated 10 corporators.
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For 30 years, aldermen are being nominated only on the advice of the Delhi government: Singhvi
Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Delhi government, said that for the last 30 years all lieutenant governors have been appointing aldermen only on the advice of the Delhi government. Now Lieutenant Governor Saxena is saying that he has this right. This means that all the previous Lieutenant Governors (LGs) and Chief Ministers (CMs) were wrong. When the Supreme Court has said that the LG has to act with the aid and advice of the Delhi government, the same applies in the case of the MCD. Singhvi said that the members of the Standing Committee of MCD are elected from the 12 ward committees. Aldermen are members of ward committees and vote in elections. In this way, the councilors appointed by the Lieutenant Governor will influence the majority during the elections.
While giving the verdict, a bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud of the Supreme Court questioned why the central government was interested in nominating councilors in a municipal corporation. If the LG is given the right to appoint 12 expert members who understand the working of the Municipal Corporation, then it can hinder the work of the government elected by the people of Delhi.
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