[BREAKING] Nominated members cannot vote for Delhi MCD polls; announce election date in 24 hours: Supreme Court to LG

    The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Delhi Vinai Kumar Saxena to announce within 24 hours the date of the polls to elect the mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) [Shelly Oberoi and anr vs Office of Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and ors].

    Pertinently, a bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala also made it clear that members nominated by the LG to the MCD cannot participate and vote in the polls to elect the mayor.

    The Bench passed the following directions

    – At the first meeting of MCD election shall be held of post of mayor. In that meeting, nominated members shall not have the right to vote;

    – After mayor being elected, he shall be the presiding officer for electing deputy mayor;

    – Notice for the election of mayor and first meeting of MCD shall be issued within 24 hours and notice shall fix the date on which election of mayor, deupty mayor and standing committee members shall be held in terms of above direction;

    -Alderman cannot vote.

    The directions were passed on a plea by Aam Aadmi Party’s Shelly Oberoi challenging the LG’s move to allow members nominated by him to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to vote in the elections for mayor and deputy mayor.

    Delhi does not yet have a mayor, despite voting in members of its municipal corporation in December last year.

    AAP had won 134 of 250 wards, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had won 104. The results were announced on December 7, 2022.

    Two previous sittings of the MCD saw scuffle break out among the AAP and BJP councillors. Initially, given its lack of a majority, the saffron party had said that it would be putting forth candidates for the two posts, but has since gone back on that decision.

    According to a report by PTI, the house was adjourned on January 6 and January 24 amid ruckus.

    The presiding officer had to adjourn the House indefinitely on January 24 following shoving and sloganeering against Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal. The ruckus had broken out after AAP members had raised an objection to nominated councillors being given the oath first.

    A similar situation ensued even on February 6.

    The petitioner had earlier moved the top court for directions to expedite the elections to Delhi’s mayor and deputy mayor posts.

    Oberoi, in her plea, had urged the Court to order for a time-bound conduct of elections, and to ensure that the nominated members are not allowed to vote.

    That plea was subsequently withdrawn, with remedies kept open. Subsequently, she moved the present plea.

    Besides voting by nominated members, the plea also raised objection to holding simultaneous elections to the post of mayor, deputy mayor and standing committee.

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