HC continues interim order: BJP’s Bhalchandra Shirsath to continue on BMC standing committee
The Bombay high court on Tuesday continued its October 23 order, directing the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to allow BJP councillor Bhalchandra Shirsath to continue as a member of its standing committee although the civic body had passed a resolution to remove him from the same.
The order was passed by the division bench of justice SJ Kathawalla and justice VG Bisht on a petition filed by Shirsath, challenging his removal from the committee and the agenda for the extraordinary general body meeting of October 23 to fill the post thus vacated.
Shirsath’s counsel, advocate Amogh Singh, informed the bench that shortly after the HC order of October 23, the corporation passed two resolutions -- first to remove Shirsath from the standing committee and second to not appoint any nominated member on any of the statutory civic committees.
Singh then sought permission of the court to amend the petition to incorporate challenge to both the resolutions and also urged the court to continue the interim order.
Senior advocate Ravi Kadam, who represented the mayor, opposed the continuation of the interim order. He submitted that the court could not allow him to continue to be a member of the committee, especially after passing of the resolution for his removal. Kadam argued that unless the removal was set aside, the BJP councillor could not be allowed to continue on the committee.
Sirsath had moved HC on October 23, contending that the decision to remove him was not only illegal, but was also a colourable exercise of power. He said though his appointment to the standing committee was approved by the corporation, issue of his eligibility was raked up at the committee’s meeting on October 21.
Later, at about 11.30 PM, Shirsath received a letter from the corporation stating that the standing committee had decided that he couldn’t be a part of it anymore as he was a nominated member and not an elected one.
BMC’s legal head, advocate Aruna Savla, had informed the high court that the October 21 decision to remove Shirsath was withdrawn and the concerned item on agenda for October 23 general body meeting was amended and the matter was to be placed for discussion and decision before the general body.
The HC had then allowed the general body to proceed with the meeting and take a decision regarding Shirsath’s continuation on standing committee.
According to his petition, Shirsath was nominated by the BJP as a councillor on March 17, 2020, and was appointed on the standing committee along with 12 others on September 28, 2020.