The Delhi High Court stayed the newly elected Mayor Shelly Oberoi’s notice for the re-election of the six members of the standing committee of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) scheduled for February 27 on the ground that the mayor prima facie acted beyond her powers in ordering a fresh poll.

The Bench of Justice Gaurang Kanth observed that “From the perusal of Regulation 51, it is nowhere reflected that the Returning Officer/the Mayor has the authority to declare an election for selection of members of the Standing Committee as null and void. It will not be out of place to mention that it has been admitted that the counting of the votes has culminated and it is incumbent upon the Mayor to declare the result of the elections held on 24.02.2023.”

In this case, a special hearing was conducted on two petitions which were preferred by BJP councilors against the notice issued by Mayor on February 24, for re-election of six members of standing committee.

Senior Advocates Mahesh Jethmalani and Jayant Mehta appeared for the petitioner and ASC Udit Malik appeared for the respondents.

The Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the Mayor had conducted the elections for six members of the standing committee on February 24 and without the results were being declared, a notice was issued for re-elections on the same day.

It was contended by the counsel for the respondent that the election had yet not culminated, and the Maor’s notice stated that the process had been vitiated due to the unruly behaviour of the elected members. It was further contended that the Returning Officer did not get adequate cooperation from the Member Secretary and the technical expert.

The Court relied upon Regulation 51 of the New Delhi Municipal Council (Procedure and Conduct of Business) Regulations, 1977 (Regulation 1977) which prescribed the procedure for conducting elections of standing committee members and observed that the Returning Officer of mayor was conducting re-elections without declaring the results of elections conducted on February 24, violated Regulation 51 of the Regulation, 1977.

Therefore, the Court stayed the notice of the Mayor till the next date of hearing and granted two weeks time to the respondent to file a counter affidavit.

Accordingly, the matter was listed for further hearing on March 22nd, 2023.

Cause Title- Kamaljeet Sehrawat & Ors. v. Office of Lieutenant Governor of Delhi & Ors.

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