Nominated members of municipal corporations in NCT Delhi entitled to be member and Deputy Chairperson of Corporation’s Standing Committee

Delhi High Court: Allowing
the petition of nominated members of North Delhi Municipal Corporation who were
denied the right to vote in the meetings and offer their candidature for the
Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the Corporation,
the Court ruled that the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957 (Act) permits members nominated under
Section 3(3)(b)(i)of the Act to be members of the Standing Committee, if they
are so elected in their respective Wards Committee. After discussing Article
243R and 243S of the Constitution, the Court opined that there is no restriction
on the nominated members to be members of the Standing Committee. It was
further said that the persons nominated to the Municipalities will have all the
rights in relation to the Municipalities save and except what is/are expressly
taken away. Since the Constitution empowers the legislature of each State to
make laws in conformity with the constitutional scheme, it would be open to the
legislature of a State to curtail the rights of these nominated members in
relation to the working of the Municipalities and Section 45 of the Act is
clear that any member of the Wards Committee can be represented on the Standing
Committee.

Construing the word “member” in section 2(7) of
the Act liberally and reading the Act in entirety along with the constitutional
scheme, the Court held that section 44 read with section 45 and 51 of the Act makes
it clear that the Chairperson of the Standing committee can only be a councillor
(i.e. elected member) but any member, whether elected or nominated, could be
elected as Deputy Chairperson of the standing committee.

However, the Court agreed with single judge
that the proviso to Section 3(3)(b)(i) of the Act read with scheme of scheme
revealed by Article 243R and Article 243S of the Constitution expresses that members
nominated to the Corporations in the Union Territory of Delhi do not have the
right to vote in the meetings of the Corporations.  [North
Delhi Municipal Corporation v. Onika Mehrotra, 2015 SCC OnLine Del 10347, decided on 14th July, 2015]
Source: Legal news India

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