After the Punjab and Haryana high court struck down the move of Punjab state government to have the mayor's post reserved for a woman candidate in the SAS Nagar municipal corporation, the government has decided to file a letter patents appeal (LPA) in the case.
With government once again getting into litigation, the possibility of the House getting functional, even after over two months of elections, seems distant.
The high court on April 20 had ruled in favour of two petitioners who had approached the court against the Punjab government's decision of reserving the post of mayor for a woman candidate. Following this, the matter was sent to the advocate general (AG) office for legal opinion.
Talking to HT, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) observer Mahesh Inder Grewal said: "We had sought legal opinion from the AG office and got the go-ahead to move to a double bench. We will be approaching the court most likely by Wednesday."
The councillors, who were administered oath on April 27, called the government's move a deliberate waste of time. Manjit Singh Sethi said: "The government has the right to appeal against the order, but it should be ready to get the same reply from the court once again. This is nothing but wastage of time because of which the House is not becoming functional and many development works have been stuck."
The court while striking off the reservation had mentioned that the decision seemed to have been taken to suit the ruling party and it could not have been announced after holding the elections. The petition was filed by two elected councillors Manjit Singh Sethi and Amrik Singh, who had contended that the decision was politically motivated.
In the municipal elections, SAD-BJP got 23 seats, Independents 13 and the Congress had to be content with 14 seats in the civic body, with no party mustering 26 votes required to elect the mayor. Of the 13 Independents, 11 formed the Kulwant group, but with the demise of councillor Amteshwar Kaur, the group is left with 10 members, all of whom are SAD rebels.
It is only after the mayor is elected that elections for both the deputy mayor and senior mayor will be held.