The Delhi High court on Tuesday sought a reply from Delhi government on a plea moved by the Municipal Cooperation of Delhi (MCD) challenging the constitution of a committee of corporations. The MCD has also sought a direction for quashing orders directing to furnish information.
Justice Yashwant Varma directed the counsel for Delhi Government to file a reply to the petition of MCD. The court has also called for a report from the competent officer of the Delhi Government.
The matter has been listed for October 11, 2022. MCD through a petition filed through advocate Nazia Parveen has said that the Delhi Government through its legislative House constitutes various Committees in terms oftheir rules.
Post amendment no rules of the house has been framed nor sanctioned by the Lt.Governor orthe presence of India has been taken before forming a “Committee for Municipal Corporations in Delhi”. It is pertinent to mention that the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Act has been amended whereby Lt.Governor is the administrator of NCT of Delhi and GNCTD has no powers to make any rules and form assembly committees to question and examine issues relating to the administration of Capital, the petition stated.
The petitioner seeking the quashing of two orders issued by the committee, submitted that this committee issued a letter on July 26, 2022, stating that a meeting of the Committee was held on July 22, 2022. On the basis of the meeting, the Committee has raised various demands for informationregarding subjects like buildings, Veterinary Department, Policies, Guidelines of Construction,Issuance of NOC for National Flag etc.
The information was declined by the MCD through a reply of August 4, 2022, the petition said. The Delhi Government was informed that information cannot be provided as it is barred and prohibited as per Section 33 of the GNCTD Act and as such amounts to the conduct of inquiry into the affairs of the Corporation on the administrative side.
It is stated the Delhi Government through a reply on August 24, 2022, reiterated demands raised on July 26, 2022, stating that the information sought is not barred by section 33 of the GNCTD act. They have also stated that the speaker of the house has authorised them to seek information but no reference about the approval of Hon’ble LG has been given, the petition mentioned.
It is stated in the petition that the High Court through its order passed on December 12, 2020, in the matter of “Rajdut Gehlot Vs GNCTD” has restrained the Committee of Municipal Corporation to seek information from the petitioner. Later on February 9, 2022, the counsel of the Delhi government assured the court that the Committee shall not proceed with the matter related to Corporation.
The petition raises a question as to whether GNCTD or its assembly post amendment toGNCTD act forms Rules of House and nominates house Committee without the approval of Hon’ble LG as mandated in the act. It also raises questions as to whether the respondent can seek information and call the officers of the petitioner in Committee meetings particularly when they lack authority and power in view of recent amendments to the DMC Act and GNCTD Act, the petition stated.