HC directive to SMC on no-trust vote

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Aug 21: High Court has directed the Srinagar Municipal Corporation to take final call on no confidence motion moved by former Mayor SMC Junaid Mattu alongwith 41 Corporators for removal of Deputy Mayor Parvaiz Qadri and directed the Deputy Mayor to prove his majority on the floor of House.
Mattu along with other Corporators has moved to High Court for removal of Deputy Mayor-Qadri as majority of Councillors have moved no-confidence motion against him.
Justice Tashi Rabstan after hearing the petitioners counsel and keeping in view of submission of counsel appearing for SMC parties through video conferencing disposed of the matter at its very threshold by directing the respondents to take final call on the motion moved by the petitioners strictly under rules and regulations.
SMC counsel Momin Khan submitted before the Court that the official respondents may be given two weeks’ time to consider the motion moved by the petitioners against the Deputy Mayor.
Mattu’s counsel informed the Court that in terms of the provision of MC Act 2000, a resolution of confidence can be moved against the Mayor or Deputy Mayor of the Corporation in accordance with the rules and regulations made under section of the Act of 2000 which provides that intention to move a resolution requiring the Mayor or Deputy Mayor of the Corporation to vacate his office signed by not less than majority of its total elected Councilors/Corporators, may be made in accordance with the procedure as laid down.
He submitted before the court that accordingly resolution of no-confidence motion against the Deputy Mayor singed by 38 corporators, has been moved and received in the office of the SMC on July 14.
He informed that despite lapse of about one month, the SMC has not taken any step to convene the special meeting of the Corporation and put the vote for consideration of the resolution of no confidence against the Deputy Mayor.
Court said, admittedly the officials could not consider the motion due to the present contagious situation of the COVID-19 spread and lockdown imposed by the authorities on account of pandemic and when the SMC counsel was asked as to how much time would it require to take final call on the motion, he submitted that at least 14 days time may be required to consider the same.
Court after passing direction for taking final call on motion already moved also directed the Deputy Mayor-Qadri that if the motion is strictly under rules and regulations, that he prove his majority on the floor of House of SMC by or before August 29. “However, the SOPs issued from time to time to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing shall be strictly adhered to”, court added.
Court has been further informed that the no-confidence motion signed by more than half of the majority of elected Corporators, clearly showed that Deputy Mayor has since lost the confidence of Councilors and he does not enjoy the majority support as such he has no right to occupy the post and his continuation as Deputy Mayor is a total negation of not only the statutory laws, but also of the well established democratic norms.
Petitioners counsel held the SMC authorities responsible for failure of convening a special meeting and submitted before the court that the act of SMC authorities smacks of evil designs on their part.
“The official respondents are hell bent to conduct the floor test to judge the majority support of Deputy Mayor so as to legitimize his continuation in the office”, read the petition.

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