The Supreme Court on Friday said Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) members nominated by the Lieutenant Governor, or aldermen, cannot vote in the mayoral polls.
The decision by the top court comes as a major relief for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as it seeks to consolidate its December mayoral election win.
The Supreme Court in its statement said, ‘We have heard both parties. We are unable to accept submission on behalf of the Municipal Corporation. Constitution has imposed restriction in terms of which nominated members do not have right to vote. Prohibition on nominated members in exercise of right to vote applies on first meeting.’
‘Notice for election of mayor and first meeting of the MCD shall be issued within 24 hours and notice shall fix date at which elections of mayor, deputy mayor and standing committee members shall be held,’ the court added.
The AAP’s mayoral candidate, Shelly Oberoi, had earlier filed a plead in the top court, seeking early conduct of the election.
The newly-elected mayor will preside over the meeting to elect a deputy and six members of a Standing Committee members. Aldermen will not be allowed to vote there either.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called the judgement a ‘victory of democracy.’
‘Many thanks to the Supreme Court. Delhi will now get a mayor after two-and-a-half months,’ he said, declaring, ‘It has now been proved how LG and the BJP together are passing illegal and unconstitutional orders in Delhi.’
There have been three unsuccessful attempts in two months to elect a new mayor for Delhi as lawmakers from the AAP and the Bharatiya Janata Party sparred over voting privileges.
The AAP claimed the aldermen votes would have given an unfair advantage to the BJP in terms of vote tally, and that it was against the rules to simultaneously hold elections for the post of mayor, deputy mayor and members of the standing committee, as had been ordered by the presiding officer.
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