March 18, 2021 1:38:24 am
Defending the decision to terminate his membership from the municipal body, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that former Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain had failed to seek prior permission for his absence.
Hussain is accused in the alleged larger conspiracy case filed in connection with the Northeast Delhi riots.
“It is the admitted case of the petitioner that he was taken into police/judicial custody on 05.03.2020 for alleged involvement in a criminal case and thus, there was a change of address of the petitioner. However, the petitioner miserably failed to intimate the same to the respondent corporation and further failed to seek approval of his absence under Section 33(2) of the DMC Act,” said the municipal body, while seeking dismissal of Hussain’s petition against termination of his membership.
The EDMC, in its reply filed through advocate Gaurang Kanth, also told the court that if a councillor remains absent for “three consecutive meetings”, no notice would be required to be issued to the defaulter and all that would remain for the municipal body to do would be to issued a declaration, as was done in Hussain’s case.
The municipal body had taken the decision to terminate Hussain and declare his seat vacant in August 2020 after he remained absent from the meetings of the corporation in January, February, June and July last year. The decision was taken under a provision stating that if any member remains absent “during three successive months” without permission of the corporation, then it can cancel his membership and declare the representation of the ward concerned as vacant.
On November 6 last year, the court had stayed the order of termination in a petition filed by Hussain against the EDMC decision. Hussain contended that he has not absented himself from the meetings of the corporation for the three “successive months” as the meetings were never held successively for three months till August 2020 when the EDMC took the decision to vacate his seat. The EDMC was unable to hold the meetings in the months of March, April and May due the pandemic.
The EDMC in its reply said Hussain did not attend any meeting even after the stay was granted by court in November 2020 and that meeting notices were sent to him in November, December, January and February. It also said the word “successive” in the DMC Act would have to be “understood in contradistinction” to the word “consecutive”.
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