IN AN “urgent” general body meeting Friday, the Shiv Sena-led Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation ratified the Standing Committee’s decision to disqualify BJP-nominated corporator Bhalchandra Shirsat as a member of the panel.
The move came after the Bombay High Court granted Friday an interim relief to Shirsat to continue as a member of the civic body’s Standing Committee until the court heard his plea challenging the removal and seeking to restrain the BMC from filling up the vacancy created due to his removal.
Shirsat was disqualified from the Standing Committee by its chairman and Shiv Sena leader Yashwant Jadhav Wednesday. He had subsequently moved the court challenging the order to remove him as a member of the Standing Committee on the ground that it was “illegal” and in “colourable exercise of power”.
A division bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and V G Bisht, which was hearing the writ plea, Friday allowed the general body of the BMC to proceed with its meeting to take a decision as to whether Shirsat should be allowed to continue as a member of the committee or not. It, however, asked the civic body not to implement the decision, if being averse to the petitioner till October 27 when it will hear the plea next.
“In other words, the petitioner (Shirsat) shall continue to be a member of the Standing Committee of the corporation until this court hears the matter on October 27 and passes necessary orders,” the bench said.
The general body, which met after the HC order, cleared Shirsat’s disqualification. The decision, however, will be kept in abeyance till the HC’s next hearing.
“This (court) order is an interim one and we are awaiting the final order. We are sure that the final order will be on our side as well. I will attend the Standing Committee scheduled on Monday (October 26). From 1998 to 2002, Shiv Sena-nominated councillor K P Naik was a member of the Standing Committee. Nowhere in the Municipal Corporation Act, 1888, it is mentioned that only an elected corporator can be given the membership of the Standing Committee and not a nominated corporator,” Shirsat, who was nominated a corporator by the BJP, said.
On Friday, Jadhav had moved the proposal at the general body meeting to disqualify Shirsat as a Standing Committee member as he is not an elected corporator. The proposal was backed by the opposition (Congress and NCP) in the BMC. Ratifying the Standing Committee’s decision, Shirsat was removed as a member. Following the decision, the BJP staged a walk-out from the meeting.
The general body of the corporation is a group of all elected (227) and nominated (5) corporators and is presided over by the mayor. It gives the final approval to all the civic body’s proposals from its budget to road repair works. All the proposals are tabled before the corporation for final approval.
The corporation also passed a resolution that only elected corporators will be members of the statutory committees.
There are four statutory committees in the BMC: Standing Committee ; Improvements Committee; Tree Authority; and Education Committee.
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