Supreme Court Delays Hearing on Delhi Mayor’s Plea Regarding LG’s Nomination Authority for Standing Committee


LI Network

Published on: February 5, 2024 at 14:15 IST

In a recent development, the Supreme Court has postponed the hearing by two weeks on the petition filed by Shelly Oberoi, a member of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). Oberoi’s plea seeks permission for the Corporation to carry out the functions of the Standing Committee, raising a dispute over the Lieutenant Governor’s (LG) power to nominate members.

The bench, consisting of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala, and Justice Manoj Misra, heard the matter.

Senior Advocate Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the petitioner, emphasized the crucial functions performed by the Standing Committee, stating that decisions involving expenditures of Rs 5 crores, including those related to the midday meals scheme for school children, must go through the committee.

Singhvi pointed out that the Standing Committee comprises 18 members, with six directly elected by the corporation and the remaining twelve elected by an electoral college, including ten members nominated by the LG. The petitioner argued that members nominated by the LG should not have the authority to elect Standing Committee members.

Chief Justice DY Chandrachud inquired about the current existence of the Standing Committee, to which Singhvi replied, “Not really.” The CJI then decided to adjourn the hearing for two weeks, expressing a wait-and-see approach.

The case revolves around the issue of whether the LG can unilaterally nominate members without the consent of the Delhi Government, a matter on which the Supreme Court reserved judgment in May of the previous year. The legality of the LG-appointed members is still pending, impacting the constitution of the Standing Committee.

Considering the halted functions of the Standing Committee, Mayor Shelly Oberoi moved the Supreme Court, highlighting the adverse effects on various amenities, including the procurement of textbooks and medical supplies for MCD’s schools, maintenance of public parks and toilets, and other essential services.

The petition also referenced a recent resolution passed by the Corporation, allowing approvals for contracts exceeding Rs 5 crores to be directly obtained from competent authorities, bypassing the Standing Committee. Oberoi stressed that until the Committee can be constituted, the Corporation, being superior in both power and accountability, should perform the Committee’s functions in its meetings.

Case Details: Mayor, Municipal Corporation of Delhi vs. The Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, W.P.(C) No. 73/2024

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