The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday refused to stay the elections for the post of mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor of SAS Nagar municipal corporation on a petition filed challenging government's decision of conducting elections by 'show of hands' in respective Houses.
The division bench headed by justice Surya Kant though issued notices to state government; director, local bodies department; SAS Nagar deputy commissioner and SAS Nagar MC commissioner.
The petitioner, Kuljit Singh Bedi, had argued that the decision was unconstitutional and arbitrary, and the amendment in the Punjab Municipal Corporation mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor election rules 1991 was unconstitutional.
The petitioner had argued that as per rule 3(1) 1991 rules the elections for the coveted posts in the state municipal corporations were to take place by secret ballot. However, through a notification of 19-4- 2001, said rules were amended.
The petitioner has alleged malafide intention of the government behind the move. He has further argued that secrecy, which was basic essence of any electoral process, would not remain in the process and new provisions would lead to horse trading. The HC refused to stay the election process for the said posts. But issued notices for March 23. The HC decision on the matter would have bearing on the election. If the court allows the petition, the election being conducted would become null and void.
Meanwhile another petition challenging the decision of keeping mayor's post reserved for women has also been filed in the high court. The matter was put up for hearing before the same bench, but was referred to another bench. The hearing would be held on Tuesday. In this petition, the petitioner has termed the government decision political motivated move and submitted that such a decision should have been announced well before the elections. The petitioner has also pleaded the court to stay the elections on Mohali municipal corporation.
The Punjab and Haryana high court asked the SAS administration on Monday to declare the result of ward number -47 of the Mohali municipal corporation.
The HC had summoned the result of this ward in a sealed cover on February 20, following a petition bySukhdev Singh Patwari, Shiromani Akali Dal's (SAD) candidate, who was allowed to contest on HC intervention.Patwari was allowed by the HC to contest the election on the day electioneering for MC polls had ended.Patwari securing 852 votes, the highest, followed by Prem Singh with 291 votes and Paramdeet Singh with 255 votes, respectively.
The HC disposed of the petition, while directing the administration to declare the result and further recorded that if any other candidate wanted to challenge the election, he or she could do so by filing a election petition.
Patwari had moved the court, challenging the SAS Nagar administration order that rejected his nomination papers due to an anomaly in his documents.