The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Central Government and other respondents on three petitions challenging the notification issued in regard to the Delimitation of Municipal wards in Delhi.
The Bench of Justice Satish Chander Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad while issuing notice to all respondents, refused to stay on the notification and refers to the decision that once the date of elections is notified, it cannot be stopped.
The Court issued notice on all three petitions and listed the matter for December 15, 2022. The same bench had last month also sought responses from respondents on a plea that had also challenged the notification of Dimilitation of Municipal corporation.
The court is to hear all matters together on the next date of hearing.
On Friday the State Election Commissioner Vijay Dev announced the date of December 4, 2022, for the elections of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the counting of votes will take place on December 7, 2022.
Earlier, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) President Chaudhary Anil Kumar had moved the Delhi High Court stating that the decision taken by respondents without consideration of the significant factors/issues and application of its mind determined 250 wards within the Municipal Corporation of Delhi completely ignoring the ratio of area population and without dividing them in equal proportion as per the population of Delhi according to the last population Sensex of 2011 and natural boundaries.
The plea alleged that the formula adopted by the Respondents for the delimitation of wards is wholly arbitrary, irrational, unintelligible, confusing, and suffered from various legal infirmities.
It states that the Report on delimitation was prepared by the Delimitation committee in complete haste without considering the relevant factors.
The plea sought the issuance of direction to the respondents to make fresh delimitation of the wards as per the formula prescribed for the delimitation of the wards divided by the total number of wards and the average population of each ward that each ward has an equal population as per 2011 plus/minus ten percent.
The plea further stated that the very purpose of conducting delimitation is to ascertain an equal number of divisions of the electorates in the various wards and the same has been based on the population figures as obtained from the most recent Census.
However, by the promulgation of the impugned order, this very purpose behind delimitation has become redundant, as in the final draft order the notified 250 wards are not having an equal number of electorates.
It also stated that the Respondents in the final draft order have turned many localities into isolated islands, as they are physically within some wards but in delimitation, they have been shown inside a ward which is many kilometres away.
The Respondents in the final draft order have pushed the disadvantaged wards of the lower income group further into the dark by increasing their population sizes, whereas elite and richer wards have been handpicked for smaller population sizes, plea read.
The Central Government decided to unify the three civic bodies in the National Capital and also conduct a delimitation process to decrease the number of wards.
A bill to unify the three civic bodies was approved by the Lok Sabha on 30th March 2022 and by the Rajya Sabha on April 5, 2022.
The bill became an Act after the President of India gave his assent to the said Bill on 18th April 2022.
The Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Act, 2022 reduced the number of wards in the National Capital to 250 from the existing 272.