ALTHOUGH THE court of Indore Divisional Commissioner Ashok Das has disqualified ward number 64 Congress corporator Dilip Kaushal by invoking Section 19 of MP Municipal Corporation Act 1956, the order cannot be implemented because a prevailing order into the case is awaited from Indore bench of MP High Court that heard the case on January 25.
After hearing the arguments on Thursday, Justice A M Sapre expressed willingness to set aside the findings of MP SC, ST Pramanpatra Chhanbeen Samiti that has held Kaushal guilty of furnishing fake cast certificate to contest 2004 municipal elections.
But since the High Court has reserved the judgement and a written, certified copy of its order is awaited, District Election Officer (District Collector) and Indore Municipal Corporation are keeping their fingers crossed.
The order of Divisional Commissioner’s court is based on pleadings that a non-deserving candidate has been declared elected from a reserved ward. His court has declared the seat vacant and ordered to hold elections afresh. The copy of this order has been sent to District Collector Vivek Aggarwal and Municipal Commissioner Vinod Sharma.
In 2004 elections, ward number 64 was reserved for SC candidate. Kaushal filed the nomination as a Congress candidate and furnished a caste certificate, which stated he belonged to Bhunjia caste (SC). However, the Samiti in November last year found him to be from Bhadbhunja community, which comes under OBC category.
In 2005, then District Collector Dr Rajesh Rajora had referred the matter to the Divisional Commissioner and had said that Kaushal belonged to Bhadbhunja (OBC) and not Bhunjia (SC) community. After receiving it, the Commissioner’s court took cognizance of the complaint and started the hearings while informing the Samiti about the case.
Kaushal challenged the findings of the SC, ST Committee charging it with acting under pressure from BJP-led State Government. He said that since he belonged to Congress, the BJP that wanted its candidate to win from ward 64 pressurised the committee to give judgment against him.
SECTION 19 of MP Municipal Corporation Act 1956 states that the Divisional Commissioner may at any time remove any elected council member if his continuance as a corporator is not desirable in public interest or municipal corporation after giving him reasonable opportunity to show cause why he should not be removed from the office.
However, an appeal could be made against the impugned order before the State Government within 30 days. The State Government may after giving a reasonable opportunity to be heard pass such an order on the appeal as it may think fit.
When asked if he would appeal to the State Government against the Divisional Commissioner’s order, Kaushal said he was waiting for the High Court order, which has expressed willingness to quash the SC, ST Committee order and that means that he could continue as a corporator till next civic polls are held.