Mayor Rajesh Kalia will lose part of his first salary as Mayor due to the attachment of one-third of it in a cheque bounce case, said an order issued by municipal commissioner K K Yadav. An application was moved in the district court by Kalia’s counsel Aanchal Thakur on Thursday following which the court directed the decree holder (Harish Chhabra) to reply to objections. His counsel argued that salary cannot be attached as it was an honorarium.
The Mayor receives a salary of Rs 30,000 while Rs 12,500 is the salary of a councillor. Kalia challenged the order in court. The case has been fixed for February 25 and thus part of his first salary would be attached. The case pertains to Kalia taking a friendly loan of Rs 10 lakh from a resident, Harish Chhabra, on the promise of repaying it within a week. However, Kalia failed to repay it but issued a cheque of Rs 10 lakh to Chhabra, which was dishonoured. The court pronounced the decision ex parte after Kalia failed to attend the hearing.
Yadav told Chandigarh Newsline that orders for attachment have been issued. ‘’Directives have been issued from my side for salary attachment because I am following court orders,’’ he said. Kalia’s counsel Aanchal Thakur said, ‘’It won’t be going to the decree-holder as of now and will remain with the court. Chhabra has been asked to file a reply to our objections.’’
The counsel informed the court that Kalia was getting an ‘’honorarium’’ and not salary. It was also argued that as per the Municipal Act, councillors get grants, which is exempted from attachment. She said the amount offered for any services rendered cannot be attached. Also it was argued that Kalia was acquitted in the cheque bounce case in December 2016.
In the orders issued by the court in December, the civil judge had directed the MC Commissioner to deduct a sum of Rs 13,57,757 from Kalia’s salary in monthly installments and remit it to the court. The order was pronounced on a complaint by Harish Chhabra.