The Delhi high court on Wednesday asked the Delhi government, lieutenant governor and the civic bodies to respond to a plea, seeking direction for immediate release of adequate funds to the three municipal corporations to enable them to discharge their functions.
A division bench of chief justice G Rohini and justice RS Endlaw sought response from the Arvind Kejriwal government, L-G Najeeb Jung, as well as the south, north and east Delhi municipal corporations by June 29.
Earlier the court had issued notice to the parties and sought their response but they did not file the reply. Now, the court asked them to file response “without fail”.
The public interest litigation filed by an NGO, Campaign for People Participation in Development Planning, through advocate Anil Aggarwal told the court that there must be an equitable distribution of funds between the government and civic agencies to ensure financial independence and proper functioning of municipal corporations.
The plea said the court should restrain the Delhi government and the L-G from “interfering with the constitutional functions and duties of the Finance Commission of Delhi and the municipalities”.
After safai karmacharis (sanitary employees) of the BJP-ruled three municipal corporations went on a refuse and waste-dumping spree on roads in Delhi to protest non-payment of their salaries, the Aam Aadmi Party government proposed to stake administrative control over the three city municipal corporations.
“The Delhi government and the L-G have deliberately failed to constitute the fifth Finance Commission of Delhi to date, after the term and tenure of the fourth commission expired last year on September 18, 2014. They have already superseded the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the Delhi Finance Commission, negating the very object and purpose of the Constitution,” the plea said.