New Delhi: The Centre on Monday told the Delhi High Court that if the members of a municipal council are not competent to perform or fail to deliver efficient services to the public they can dissolve and re-constitute the authority.
The Home Ministry in its affidavit filed before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw also said they had noted some irregularities and shortcomings in the functioning of New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).
"Under provisions of the NDMC Act, if, in the the opinion of the central government, the Council is not competent to perform or persistently makes default in performance of its duties or fails to deliver efficient service to the public, the central government may by an order, dissolve the Council provided that the Council shall be given reasonable opportunity of being heard before its dissolution," the affidavit filed by central government Standing Counsel Jasmeet Singh said.
The Centre's response came on a plea against partial dissolution and subsequent reconstitution of the NDMC board by excluding some members including former Congress MLA Tajdar Babar.
Besides Babar, Ashok Ahuja, I A Siddiqui and Sukha Ram have also moved the court challenging their removal from the NDMC board.
The Centre's affidavit prepared by the Under Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, said the central government is empowered to depute any person to inspect any municipal department and an inspection of NDMC on June 20, 2014 revealed a loss of Rs 200 crore in net power procurement cost.
It said thatn in terms of the June 30 notice to the Council to show cause by July 7 as to why a direction in light of the irregularities be not made, the affidavit said "a bare perusal of the Show Cause notice dated June 30, 2014 clearly shows that intention of respondents (Council) was to take corrective action," the affidavit said adding Babar and others are "not entitled to any relief claimed for and the petition is liable to be dismissed".
The petition, filed through lawyer K C Mittal, Babar and others have sought quashing of the Centre's notification of September 5 by which NDMC was dissolved and reconstituted by removing them and two other officers.