The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday quashed a Punjab government decision whereby the post of mayor of SAS Nagar municipal corporation had been reserved for women.
The HC order came while disposing of three petitions filed by councillors Manjit Singh Sethi, Amrik Singh and Harpal Singh, who had challenged the government decision taken in February this year. The elections for the SAS Nagar MC were held in February.
After the results, the mayor couldn’t be elected as the government reserved the mayor’s post for women and subsequently the decision was challenged in the high court. The HC on Monday allowed the petitions of the three councillors. However, a detailed order was still awaited.
The petitioner had alleged that that the government’s decision was contrary to the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act 1976 and the 1996 rules framed on the reservation for mayor’s office in corporations.
They had contended that according to the amendments carried out in 2012, the post of mayor could be reserved for women at number 17 (as per the 100-point roster prepared by the government for the MC elections in the state) and that point had not come as per the reservation roster.
The Punjab government argued that the reservation was as per the law and the roster was finalised as per the 2012 notification, in accordance with the amended rules for MC elections. The HC on March 11 had stopped the administration from convening a meeting for the election to the mayor’s post following the petitions.