The Punjab and Haryana high court has questioned the locus standi (right to interfere) of the Punjab Pradesh Congress committee (PPCC) in filing a petition alleging illegal delimitation of wards (wardbandi) by the Punjab government for the panchayat elections.
A division bench comprising acting chief justice Jasbir Singh and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain on Friday asked the PPCC to clear its stand by May 1 whether it was a registered body.
Speaking for the bench, justice Jasbir Singh said, "The PPCC is nowhere a registered party, the Indian National Congress is….We can't entertain this petition….let someone file (petition) by his own name."
Replying to the bench's contentions, senior advocate Anupam Gupta, appearing for the PPCC, submitted, "It (PPCC) is an elected body and election commission recognises it (PPCC)." However, Gupta sought two days to file a proper reply.
In its reply, the state government submitted that the final wardbandi notification was issued on January 31 and thereafter electoral rolls on the basis of wardbandi had also been completed by the election commission and published on April 4.
It was also submitted that practically the houses situated in the village abadi were not recognised by any house number but were recognised by the name of person and borders of such wards were named after persons.
Countering the state government's statement, Gupta argued, "State has created a clear and blatant case at the highest level…this results in fraud upon court." He said that in the latest electoral rolls issued by the state election commission, all the house numbers were mentioned.
Gupta also submitted that wardbandi was done on the basis of the 2001 census and during the census process, house numbers were given. Hence, stating that house numbers are only given in urban areas and not in rural areas is completely wrong, Gupta added.
The next hearing of the case is on May 1.