IN AN interim relief, the MP High Court here on Thursday stayed removal of Satna Mayor Vimla Pandey by the State Government under section 19(B) of the Municipal Corporation Act 1956.
The court said that till further orders the government may continue with proceedings on the show-cause notice issued to Pandey but it would not pass final order.
Mayor Pandey filed a petition stating the government had issued show-cause notice to her on the basis of a two-member committee’s inquiry report, which advised for action against her for ignoring rules in purchase of flycatchers in the Satna Municipal Corporation (SMC).
The State Government constituted the committee comprising Urban Administration and Development Department superintendent engineer A Rehman and joint director U K Sadhav to probe the purchase of flycatchers in the SMC after the matter was raised in the State Assembly.
The petitioner’s counsels N S Kale and Kapil Patwardhan argued that the municipal commissioner and other officers were made prima facie responsible in the committee’s inquiry report, but nowhere it is indicated the purchase was directly done on the mayor’s instructions.
Pandey had made several complaints to the authorities and even to the Chief Minister against alleged unlawful activities of the municipal commissioner but no action was taken against the official, instead a show-cause notice was served on her, the counsel said.
Justice A K Shrivastava issued notices to the State Government, SMC ex-commissioner N P Namdeo and others during hearing of the petition.
Pandey filed a petition to quash the show-cause notice issued to her by the government. Deputy Government Advocate Deepak Awasthi defended the government’s action saying the purchase of flycatchers was above Rs 10,000, therefore tender should have been invited as per MP Municipalities (Conduct of Business of the Mayor-in-council/ President-in-council and the powers and functions of the Authorities) Rules 1998.
SMC counsel Mohammad Nasir stated it was the decision of the Mayor-in-Council to purchase flycatchers therefore the petitioner couldn’t be held responsible.