Take final call on no-confidence motion against Dy Mayor: HC to SMC

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The High Court has directed Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) to take final call on no-confidence motion moved by its Councilors against Deputy Mayor, Parvaiz Qadri.

While disposing of a petition by former Mayor, Junaid Azim Mattu and other councilors, a bench of Justice Tashi Rabstan also directed the Deputy Mayor to prove his majority by August 29 if the motion was found strictly under rules and regulations. 

The petitioners through their counsel S R Hussain submitted before the Court that a resolution of No-Confidence Motion signed by 38 councilors and moved against the Deputy Mayor was received by the office of the Secretary SMC on July 14.

In support of their contention, the petitioners made submissions in light of Municipal Corporation Act-2000 and provisions of Municipal Corporation (Procedure and Conduct of Business) Regulations-2005.

“A conjoint reading of Section 37 of the Act of 2000, and Regulation 21 of the Regulations of 2005, would reveal that a resolution of motion of no confidence against the Mayor or the Deputy Mayor is required to be signed by not less than majority of its councilors and the quorum for convening the special or general meeting for the purpose has to be not less than one half of its total elected members” they said. 

They submitted that the resolution for motion of no confidence moved against the incumbent Deputy Mayor was signed by 38 Councilors, which is more than the majority of the total elected Councilors required to maintain the motion of non-confidence.

Notably, the SMC has strength of 74 members and presently there are only 70 Councilors as four seats are vacant.

They furthers contended that in terms of the Regulations of 2005, the resolution has to come up for voting after 48 hours of its presentation for consideration.

“But, despite lapse of about one month, the respondents have 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 Deputy Mayor,” the Councilors  said.  

No-confidence, signed by more than half of the majority of elected Councilors, they said, clearly shows that incumbent Deputy Mayor has lost the confidence of Councilors and he does not enjoy the majority support.

Advocate Momin Khan on behalf of the SMC submitted that the authorities could not consider the Motion due to the present contagious situation of COVID19.

“Since the government has modified the SOPs, by allowing the business to operate as well as movement of transport, the respondents have to give final call on the motion made by the petitioners” he said and added that  14 days time was required for the same.

“I deem it appropriate to dispose of this writ petition, directing the respondents to take final call on the motion moved by petitioners strictly under rules and regulations.” the Court said after keeping in view the submissions by the parties.

Underscoring that if the motion was strictly under rules and regulations, the Court said let the Deputy Mayor prove his majority on the floor of the House by or before August 29.