Updated: December 20, 2014 5:14:11 am
For the first time the House meeting of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation on Saturday will be open to the general public.
The decision comes almost a year after city resident Kuldeep Singh Khaira made written representations to the mayor to allow residents to witness the proceedings of the House as mentioned in the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976.
In 2013, Khaira filed two representations to the MC asking for permission to witness House proceedings but there was no response from the MC. In his latest warning to the MC on Friday, he said that if the MC failed to act this time too, he would be moving the High Court asking for compliance with the Act. Acting swiftly, the MC in its verbal orders said that “residents can come and witness the house meeting for which they need to reach an hour before scheduled time at MC headquarters and get a pass from Mayor”.
Talking to Newsline, Hartej Singh, secretary to the mayor, confirmed the development and said, “Those interested in attending the house meeting on Saturday can get the pass from mayor an hour before at Zone A office. The meeting is now open to common residents.”
As per section 62 (4), sub-section (5) of the Punjab Municipal Act 1976, “every meeting shall be open to the public, unless a majority of the members present at the meeting decide that any enquiry or deliberations pending before the corporation shall be held in private”.
Also, in a separate case, in a writ petition that was filed against the MC Amritsar and government of Punjab, the High Court ordered that all MCs and nagar panchayats would strictly comply with the Punjab MC Act, 1976, especially with the law as incorporated about ‘meeting of House of Councillors’.
Khaira said, “I filed representation twice — in August and November last year — to allow me to attend house meeting but MC failed to pass a written or speaking order. Now finally they have allowed public to attend meeting on Saturday. If they feel that there is nothing to hide then why public was not allowed to enter the meeting?”
Asked why the decision was delayed, Hartej said, “We are short of space and Zone A meeting hall is not spacious enough to accommodate public. Still, we have allowed the move complying with the Act.”
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