Shimla, May 30: The HP High Court on Monday directed the State Election Commission to frame a programme for general elections of the Municipal Corporation within 24 hours and take all consequential action so as to ensure that the elections are held not later than June 18, 2017.
It further directed the authorities to ensure that the new body of duly elected representatives of the corporation is constituted latest by June, 19, 2017. A division bench comprising Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Chander Bhusan Barowalia further clarified in its order that the election would be conducted on the basis of the final electoral rolls published on May 5, 2017.
Setting aside all the speculation about the term of the present civic body, the court further clarified in its judgment that it is the duty and responsibility of the state government to put in place a proper mechanism so as to ensure that the working of the corporation does not suffer on account of implementation of this judgment.
The court passed this judgment on a petition filed by Raju Thakur of Fhagli area (Shimla) challenging the decision of the state Election Commission with regard to postponement of election of the Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) on the ground that the decision of the Election Commission is unconstitutional and illegal. It was further contended in the petition that postponing the elections of a civic body is undemocratic.
It was contended by the petitioner that in any case, the duration of the municipality is fixed as five years from the date of its first meeting. It is incumbent upon the Election Commission and other authorities to carry out the mandate of the Constitution and see to it that elections to the municipality are conducted before the expiry of its duration of five years as specified in Clause (1) of Article 243 U of Constitution of India.
The elections to Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) to be held by the end of this month have been postponed following complaints of large-scale discrepancies on electoral rolls. The five-year term of the SMC would expire on June 4. The last elections were held on 27 May, 2012. The state Election Commission on May 9 took cognisance of complaints by political parties and ordered fresh revision of electoral rolls and directed that final electoral rolls be published by June 23.
Source Tribune India