Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday dismissed petitions challenging Punjab government's notifications pertaining to conversion of municipal bodies of Pathankot, Phagwara and Mohali, thus paving the way for functioning of municipal corporations in the three cities.
Pronouncing orders on three petitions, a division bench headed by justice Ajay Tiwari said that the court had found that the state government had followed proper procedure in the matter.
The high court on September 19 last year had stayed a Punjab government notification dated July 26, 2011, through which it had declared areas comprising the municipal councils of Pathankot and Phagwara to be large urban areas and constituted municipal corporations.
Ajay Singh had challenged the notification converting Pathankot into municipal corporation whereas Tej Pal Basra had challenged the same in case of Phagwara, submitting that the notification was issued with "ulterior motive for political reasons" due to assembly elections in Punjab.
However, in case of Mohali, former councilors Manjit Singh Sethi and Manmohan Singh Lang had approached the high court, seeking quashing of the state notifications dated January 7 and January 10, 2011, specifying Mohali municipal body as a corporation. The high court had stayed the notification on November 25 last year.
The high court had later also stayed the Punjab government's notification of July 26, 2011, converting Moga municipal body into a municipal corporation. However, the case is still under consideration in the high court.
In all the cases, the petitioners had argued that as per the Punjab government's notification dated July 16, 1999, the population for constituting a municipal corporation should be above 3 lakh but that was not the case with three municipal bodies under question. Also, the petitioners had alleged "political motive" in issuing such notifications.