Disqualified corporators: Bombay High Court stays declaration of bypolls in 4 wards

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation not to declare polls before June 12 and scheduled the next hearing in the matter for the first week of June. The HC on Thursday stayed the announcement of bypolls in the four wards which are without corporators, as their sitting corporators were were disqualified for presenting false caste certificates.

The matter came to light after a scrutiny of their caste certificates proved they were false. The runners-up from the 2017 BMC elections are now set to become corporators, after the Supreme Court approved the disqualification of three sitting corporators, initially. The top court dismissed the trio after they failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove their caste.

After a notification was issued by the BMC for bypolls in wards 76, 32, 81 and 28, the runners-up in these wards, Nitin Salagre (Congress), Geeta Bhandari (Shiv Sena), Sandip Naik (Shiv Sena) and Shankar Hundare (Shiv Sena), have filed a plea in the HC, which was admitted. The election commission (EC) also stated it had issued a notification asking for the updated list of all voters from these four wards but had not issued a notification to conduct the bypolls.

In fact, the EC told HC, after the voters’ list is scrutinised, there is a possibility of announcing the dates for bypolls. The vacation bench of Justices Ajay Gadkari and Nijamoodin Jamadar heard this plea. The petitioners stated since there are already a bunch of petitions pending before the HC, the election commission cannot declare the dates of the by polls.

The petitioners further said, in case the dates for bypolls are announced, then the petitions that are already pending before the HC can be impacted. After listening to both sides, the HC stayed announcement of the dates for bypolls till June 12 and scheduled the next hearing for the first week of June, when it will give directions.

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