The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday issued notices to all elected councillors of the Rajpura municipal council and summoned the deputy commissioner, Patiala, on a public interest litigation alleging that the meeting for the oath ceremony was being postponed due to "mysterious reasons."
On Friday, the court was told that the meeting for the oath ceremony was recently fixed for July 16. However, none of the elected councillors attended the meeting. The court was also told that the meeting was also scheduled for March 16, March 21 and then April 28. However, it had to be postponed due to various reasons, including that district officials who were to conduct the proceedings were not available due to various reasons.
Following the government's submission, the high court bench of justice SK Mittal issued notices to all elected members and sought their replies. The deputy commissioner was asked to remain in person on July 24, the next date of hearing.
"There are provisions in the Municipal Act that if the oath is not taken, the elected member could be unseated. The ceremony cannot be prolonged. People who have elected are suffering," the high court bench said in the open court while issuing notices to elected members. The nominated members have been told that if they wished, they could also become party in the case.
The PIL was filed on July 17 by one Ashok Kumar, in which it was highlighted that despite the fact that elections were conducted on February 25, the oath-taking ceremony had not taken place due to "mysterious reasons".
After the formal notification in March 4 about the Rajpura council elections, the authorities should have conducted the oath and elections for the post of president, vice-president and other office bearers. But the same has been postponed on several occasions, which is affecting the functioning of the council, the petitioner's counsel, Jagmohan Singh Bhatti had submitted.