HC quashes Delhi Mayor’s decision of MCD standing committee re-polling, asks to declare results

New Delhi: The high court has quashed Delhi Mayor Shelly Oberoi’s decision to hold re-election for six members of the standing committee of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

The Mayor had on February 24 announced re-election for the standing committee on February 27 after chaos rocked the MCD House during polling for the body earlier.

Justice Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav was hearing petitions by two BJP councillors — Kamaljeet Sehrawat and Shikha Roy — and said that decision of Oberoi, who is also a returning officer (RO), to reject the ballot of one of the persons was bad in law and that it should be counted.

Allowing the petition, Judge Kaurav said that the RO’s decision was not based on any material and her actions were without any power or authority.

The court then ordered Oberoi to declare the election results as per the voting held on February 24.

Earlier, Oberoi submitted before the high court that no prejudice would be caused if polling was held again to elect the six members of the MCD standing committee.

During a special hearing on the petitions filed by the councillors, the high court had on February 25 put a stay on the notice issued by Oberoi.

Petitioners had alleged in the high court that Oberoi acted in a mala fide manner when she called for re-election after finding the election results “politically unpalatable”.

Appearing for Oberoi, senior advocate Rahul Mehra had underscored that the re-polling was essential to ensure free and fair elections following the “ruckus” in the House during the polls held on February 24.

“There is no prejudice in re-polling. Please test if it will cause prejudice to them (petitioners),” the counsel had said.

“What was the mechanism left? Was it so blatantly unfair? They did not allow re-counting. The BJP councillors created a ruckus. Ballot papers and calculation sheets exchanged hands,” Mehra had added.

Another senior advocate appearing for Oberoi, Rajshekhar Rao, had said that no case for court’s interference was made out and the authority was only ensuring that the process is done as per the law.

He had claimed that even the note of the Municipal Secretary noted “discrepancy in counting”.

Justice Kaurav had reserved his order after conclusion of the submissions by the parties.

A ruckus was created after the Mayor had declared one vote invalid in the election to pick six members of the standing committee.

While staying the notice issued by Oberoi, the court had said that no purpose will be served by conducting fresh elections on February 27.

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