MNS challenges the inclusion of its defectors to Sena in HC

MNS claims that the inclusion of the defectors violates the provisions of the Maharashtra Local Authority Members Disqualification Act, 1986.

cities Updated: Feb 21, 2018 00:24 IST
Six councillors deflected to the Shiv Sena in October 2017.(HT FILE)

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has approached the Bombay high court challenging the Konkan divisional commissioner’s decision to include six of its defectors in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) as part of the Shiv Sena.

A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice PN Deshmukh will further hear the petition filed by MNS general secretary Shirish Sawant . The petition has challenged the January 25 decision of the commissioner on various grounds.

Dilip Lande, Harshala More, Datta Narvankar, Ashwini Matekar, Dr Archana Bhalerao and Parmeshwar Kadam were elected as councillors in BMC on MNS tickets. They were registered with the divisional commissioner as MNS councillors, with Lande as the MNS group leader.

On October 13, 2017, Shiv Sena submitted an application to the divisional commissioner requesting him to include the six councillors to its party in the BMC, as they had decided to leave MNS. On January 25, the commissioner allowed the application of the six defectors, and modified Shiv Sena’s councillors in the BMC to 93 from the earlier 84.

The MNS general secretary contended that the divisional commissioner’s decision to permit the inclusion of the MNS defectors into Shiv Sena violates the provisions of the Maharashtra Local Authority Members Disqualification Act, 1986.

According to Sawant, the revenue commissioner failed to take into consideration that the defectors had attracted disqualification under the provisions of the act, and could not be included as Shiv Sena’s councillors. Thus, the commissioner’s order was liable to be struck down.

He has also contended that Section 50S of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888 requires the registration of party-wise groups in civic body within a month of declaration of election results. Therefore, the application filed by Shiv Sena for inclusion of the six MNS defectors to Shiv Sena in BMC was not at all tenable.

Sawant also quoted Section 3(1) (a) of the Maharashtra Local Authority Members Disqualification Act, 1986 which provides for the disqualification of an elected member, if he / she voluntarily gives up the membership of the political party on whose nomination he/she fights the elections. Under this section too, the six MNS defectors attract disqualification, says Sawant.

First Published: Feb 21, 2018 00:24 IST