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Thursday, December 15, 2011

HC setback to BJP govt

Reinstates municipal boards in Hardwar and Haldwani, while doing away with the government’s decision to convert the two into municipal corporations
Nainital, December 15
In a decision that is likely to prove yet another setback for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state, the Uttarakhand High Court has ordered the reinstatement of municipal boards in Hardwar and Haldwani while doing away with the government’s decision to convert the two into Municipal Corporations.
In a decision given by the Bench of Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia, the court has stated that the government’s move regarding the upgrading of the two boards was “unconstitutional”. It has ordered that the notification in the regard should be struck down.
The decision followed a series of legal and administrative procedures that were carried out for more than six months. It was in the month of May that the BJP government led by Dr Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank had decided to convert the two boards into corporations. This had been opposed by the elected members of the two bodies who had contested that the government could not do away with elected bodies in such a manner and that too without consultation with the elected representatives.
A petition in this regard had been filed with a single bench of the High Court cancelling the notification with regards to the constitution of Municipal Corporations on June 9 this year.
This had led to the state government filing a special appeal in the matter that had led to a double bench granting a 15-day stay on the initial order of the High Court while upholding the same.
Meanwhile, the government had gone ahead on June 29 to hold a hearing of the public, the chairpersons of the boards and the members.
This had been contested once again by the petitioners while claiming that the government had no right to call a public hearing. It could only take into account the views of the elected members. The court while upholding the contentions of the petitioners has finally done away with the government’s move of upgrading the two boards to corporations.
Counsel of the petitioners Lok Pal Singh told mediapersons, “The court has stated that the government’s move was unconstitutional.”
From the day the announcement in this regard had been made by Nishank, it was being stated by observers that the move was politically
motivated. The BJP would have a tough time explaining its stand before the voters when the campaign for the forthcoming Assembly poll picks up soon.

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