Under orders from the Delhi High Court, the Hardayal Municipal Public Library — one of the oldest public libraries in Delhi — has been put under the charge of a court-appointed administrator after the former mayor of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) was accused of appointing “favourites” to the managing committee.
The Delhi HC bench of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Jayant Nath dissolved the managing committee and appointed an advocate as the administrator after members of the library complained that Dr Shobha Vijender, wife of former Delhi BJP chief Vijender Gupta, had been appointed “illegally” as the secretary of the committee. The complainants also alleged that elections to the committee had not been held since 2003 despite court orders.
Further, after the trifurcation of the MCD in 2011, members of the South and East corporations have not yet been nominated to the management committee despite specific provisions in the constitution of library.
According to the plea filed by a group of members of the library, the former mayor, who is the ex-officio chairman of the library committee, had “illegally” appointed Shobha Vijender as the secretary of the committee in April this year “just before the expiry of his term”, in a meeting of the committee which did not have the quorum required to appoint the Secretary. “The transitory provision under Clause (4) of the Constitution to permit the old managing committee to continue to function till a new managing committee is formed cannot be used as an unending reservoir to empower the managing committee to continue forever without the need to hold elections or to fill up vacancies…” held the court in its judgment.
The court has now quashed the appointment of the secretary, and has directed that the rolls of eligible voters would be prepared by the three Municipal Corporations within two weeks, and elections for the committee should be held within four weeks.