HC puts on hold removal proceedings against president MC Udhampur

CEO declares result of No Trust Motion as null & void

Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, Sept 22: J&K High Court has put on hold the removal proceedings against the chairman of Municipal Council (MC), Udhampur, Dr Jogeshwar Kumar Gupta brother of ex MoS Finance and former MLA, Udhampur, Pawan Gupta and restrained the Municipal Committee, Udhampur authorities not to declare the result of the No Confidence Motion moved against him.
Soon after receiving the Court order, Chief Executive Officer, MC Udhampur, Dilip Abrol declared the result announced by him as null and void.
Advocate Ankur Sharma represented petitioner, President MC Udhampur, Jogeshwar Gupta. Councilors who had moved the No Confidence Motion were represented by M K Bhardwaj, Senior advocate.
Justice Sanjay Dhar after hearing the parties at length ordered that the result of voting on No Confidence Motion should not be declared and Dr Jogeshwar Gupta will now continue to hold the chair of President, MC Udhampur.
The Court issued the orders in a petition filed by Dr Jogeshwar Gupta, son of veteran politician and ex MLA, Shiv Charan Gupta, President, Municipal Council, Udhampur challenging the notice of No-Confidence Motion dated 09-09-2022 issued by private respondents and notice dated 19-09-2022 issued by CEO MC Udhampur. Justice Sanjay Dhar after hearing Advocate Ankur Sharma appearing for the petitioner, issued notice to the respondents and observed that the petition has raised important questions of law, as such, stand of official respondents is necessary in the matter.
Earlier, the Motion moved by 11 Councilors of MC Udhampur against its president, Dr Jogeshwar Kumar Gupta on September 9 was put to formal floor test today in a special meeting convened by Chief Executive Officer, MC Udhampur at 2pm.
Out of total strength of 21 members in the House, 20 councilors were present for voting while one member belonging to Congress party, as per reports, was absent.
Out of 20 members who participated in voting, one vote was found invalid.
Out of 19 valid votes, 11 votes were in favour of the Motion while eight were against the Motion.
The Chief Executive Officer, MC Udhampur after declaring that the No Confidence Motion against president was passed by majority and hence he ceases to hold the president office forthwith later withdraw his order after receiving the court directive.
The CEO convened an immediate press briefing and told reporters that after the directives of High Court the order passed by him earlier stands null and void.
It may be recalled that BJP had issued whip to its all councilors yesterday to remain present in the office from 11 am to 2 pm during the voting today. The whip was issued by Surinder Singh Khalsa, vice president MC Udhampur on the directives of J&K BJP president, Ravinder Raina.
The party had also directed its Councilors and Associate Members to cast their vote against the No Confidence Motion brought against the president of Municipal Council, Dr Jogeshwar Kumar Gupta strictly as per the directions of the party.
Earlier, the party Disciplinary Committee headed by Sunil Sethi has also issued a notice to its four Councilors for signing the No Confidence Motion and asked them to explain their position within two days failing which action will be taken against them under Anti Defection Law.
It may not be out of place to mention that earlier BJP received a setback in Kathua after its president of MC Kathua, Naresh Sharma resigned from the post of president of MC Kathua following the notice served to him by the Party Disciplinary Committee and subsequent defeat of its official candidate, Prem Nath Dogra in the election held on September 10 through the hands of Rajinder Singh Bubby, brother of former Minister, Lal Singh.
It is within fortnight that BJP faced revolt in two Municipal Councils of Jammu where it was in majority which does not angur well for the party.