A former councillor of the erstwhile combined municipal corporation of Kalka district, Monday contested the government’s decision of bifurcating the civic body. The objection relies primarily on legal grounds, citing a ‘resolution by the then MC House which decided against the bifurcation’.
In a letter to the Governor of Haryana, the CM office, the additional chief secretary for Urban Local Bodies and DC Panchkula, former councillor Satinder Singh Tony, has stated a population restraint as well as the resolution against the bifurcation passed by MC house at the time being overlooked as the prime reasons of lapses on legal grounds.
“After a suggestion of then Kalka MLA for the bifurcation of the MC in 2018, as per legal mandate, a meeting of General House of elected members and other nominated members was held and after thorough deliberations had passed a detailed resolution against the demand of any kind of altercation. But even then, the DC proceeded with the recommendation for segregation,” reads the objection letter.
Pointing out how the then District Commissioner was wrong, the letter cites the guidelines stated by the Haryana government which mandate that if a corporation or its residents want to constitute another municipality, they will have to pass a resolution and recommend it to the DC. Only in the absence of a resolution (whether in favour of a new municipality or against it) can the DC give their own recommendation with reasons.
“Since the resolution of corporation (against the bifurcation) existed, the DC could not have given his own recommendation and at best could have forwarded the resolution of corporation,” the letter further states.
Pointing out another legal hassle, it states that the most basic criteria for a corporation to exist is that its population should at least be three lakh. “The said issues was also deliberated at the time of the resolution that Panchkula alone could not have a corporation as per population noted in the preceding census of Panchkula zone (2011 census puts the Panchkula city population at 2.6 lacs),” the objection draft states.
Last year, the state amended the Hayana Municipal Corporation Act, and added the word ‘existing’ before ‘population’ so as to remove the said discrepancy. It is expected that the government is going by the current estimated population for the bifurcation.
The objection draft also stated an instance from when the former councillor had approached the High Court against the bifurcation, wherein the then special secretary of ULB in reply had specifically stated that “the government of Haryana will take decision on altercation and segregation of Kalka Pinjore zone only after consideration of all legal aspects and of the resolution passed by the house of municipal corporation.”
He further cited another Section 3 (3) of the act, which states that the boundaries of corporation can only be changed in consultation with the House. As per the letter, both sections of the act have been overlooked by the government in bifurcating the corporation against the will of the then House.
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