On Monday, February 21, the Bombay High Court dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by two BJP and MNS workers that challenged the draft delimitation notification made by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal, reports stated.
Based on accounts, the division bench imposed a cost of INR 25,000 each on the two petitioners that included Nitesh Rajhans Singh and Sagar Kantilal Devre of the BJP and MNS respectively. Both had reportedly challenged the BMC’s delimitation notification while claiming that the State Election Commission (SEC) hadn’t delegated such powers to the civic body.
Along with the notification, the BMC had published a new map of the wards and had asked for public feedback. Through the delimitation, the number of wards in Mumbai increased from 227 to 236.
The notification was defended by saying the contention of the petitioners was misplaced since the poll body in 2005 had stipulated that while the state government cannot change the overall boundaries of the civic body, it hadn’t put any restrictions on changing the boundaries of individual wards, highlighted accounts.
It was also stated that the powers were delegated to the BMC commissioner following the election rules. Moreover, the court was also informed that the SEC has asked Additional Chief Secretary Manoj Saunik to conduct a hearing on the objections raised against the notification and submit a report by March 1, cited narratives.
The court was also reportedly told that an SEC officer couldn’t be appointed since the poll body doesn’t have the needed strength with a mere 52 of the 80 posts being presently filled. Moreover, the advocate representing the BMC remarked that the draft was published by Chahal since he is acting as an extended arm of the SEC and the body can requisite anyone’s service.
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