All elected representatives at municipal corporations, including the mayor, will now be answerable to the state government if they are found involved in a dispute. These could include monetary disputes, being involved in civic contracts, promoting unauthorised constructions and so on.
A new amendment that got the green signal from the state cabinet on Friday gives the civic commissioner suo motu powers to refer the case of such corporators to the government, which will then hear the case.
“In our case chief minister Prithviraj Chavan heads the urban development department and he will hear the cases,” said principal secretary (UD-II) Manu Kumar Srivastava who has framed the amendment.
Srivastava said, the provision existed earlier but without any teeth.
“The general body which consists of all corporators could pass a resolution against a defaulting corporator. But, it never worked, considering no one would want to raise a stink against another,” he said. The general body would then send the proposal to the commissioner who would in turn refer the case to the city civil court.
Now, the procedure can be two-pronged, one, the general body could pass a resolution against a corporator and refer him to the commissioner who then refers it to the government, or on receiving a complaint a commissioner directly goes to the government.
However, this amendment was not appreciated by Opposition members, saying there were chances they could be targeted. “Currently, we rule the Mumbai civic body and the Congress-NCP rules the state government. So, they might get proactive in getting us booked unnecessarily,” a senior Sena leader said.
Srivastava argued saying the amendment was foolproof and gives one the right to challenge the government in the high court.