The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed BJP-nominated BMC corporator Bhalchandra Shirsat to pay Rs 1 lakh to the civic body for not challenging the Municipal Corporation Standing Committee Rules and for ‘wasting BMC’s time’ in his petition against the decision of the civic body’s general body ratifying the Standing Committee’s decision to disqualify him.
The HC on Tuesday continued the interim relief to Shirsat to remain a member of the Standing Committee till further orders and said that it will hear his plea on Wednesday.
A division bench of Justice S J Kathawalla and Justice R I Chagla was hearing Shirsat’s plea and it was informed by advocate Amogh Singh that Shirsat wanted to challenge the rules that the civic body had relied on, through which it has said the Standing Committee member was required to be an elected member and therefore Shirsat’s disqualification was justified.
The bench then questioned the lawyer as to why the same was not included in the pleadings earlier and why he was arguing without preparations.
The court then sought Shirsat’s presence, after which he appeared before the bench and confirmed that he was willing to challenge the Standing Committee Rules. Shirsat said that the rules referred to by the BMC were contrary to the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act. The court then pulled up Shirsat and asked if such incomplete preparations were justified in the matter with ‘high stakes.’
The HC then asked Shirsat to pay Rs 1 lakh as fine to the BMC by Tuesday evening in case he wanted to challenge the rules, which he complied with.
Shirsat was disqualified from the Standing Committee by the chairman and Shiv Sena leader Yashwant Jadhav on October 21 and he had subsequently moved court challenging the order, on the ground that it was ‘illegal’ and in ‘colourable exercise of power’.
The Shiv Sena-led BMC, during the ‘urgent’ general body meeting convened on October 23, ratified the Standing Committee’s decision to disqualify Shirsat.
The move came after the HC on the same morning (October 23) had granted interim relief to Shirsat to continue as a member of the Standing Committee until the court hears his plea.
The HC had allowed the general body of the BMC to proceed with the meeting to take a decision as to whether Shirsat should be allowed to continue as a member of the committee. It, however, had asked the civic body not to implement the decision, if it was averse to petitioner Shirsat till next hearing.
The court had earlier allowed Shirsat to amend his plea and challenge BMC’s decision.
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