The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has approached the Delhi High Court challenging the constitution of “Committee of Corporations” by the Delhi legislature as invalid and unconstitutional and to restrain it from interfering with the corporation's administrative functions [Municipal Corporation of Delhi v Government of NCT of Delhi].
A declaration has also been sought from the court that in terms of the MCD Act and the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act (GNCTD), only the Central government has the power of superintendence over MCD’s affairs.
The petition was heard by Justice Yashwant Varma today who issued notice to the Delhi government and asked it to file its response within four weeks. The case will now be considered on October 11.
An assurance has also been given by the Delhi government’s counsel that the assembly committee will desist from seeking any details from the MCD till the matter is heard next.
In its plea, filed through advocates Sanjeev Sagar and Nazia Parveen, MCD has argued that the Union government amended the GNCTD Act in March 2021 and as per amendment in Section 33, the Delhi government’s powers to interfere directly or through its house committees was curtailed in relation to administrative affairs of capital.
“The amendment specifically stated that no “Rules of House” will be made without consultation, approval of Lt. Governor and final approval of President of India,” the plea said.
“…Section 33 of GNCTD Act does not give any power to the respondent to constitute a Committee to examine the day to day affairs of the petitioner Corporation. The GNCTD Act post its amendment states that “Committees” constituted prior to 27/04/2021 shall stand declared Void. Evidently the Committee of Municipal Corporation constituted in the year 2020 has no powers and authority to proceed any further. It is submitted that the act further declares that the Committee and the House cannot make rules and Committees which empower tithes to question and interfere in day to day functioning of the Corporations and Local bodies.”
MCD also revealed that the legislative committee issued a letter to it in July seeking information regarding subjects of buildings, veterinary department, policies, guidelines of constructions and issuance of NOC for National Flag.
As the MCD declined to give information, the demand was reiterated taking a stand that the speaker of the house has authorised them to seek information, the MCD contended.