Srinagar, Dec 8: High Court of J&K and Ladakh has asked Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) to show the authority under which he is holding the top post in the civic body.
A bench of Justice Sanjeev Kumar asked the Commissioner SMC to disclose the authority while issuing notice to him.
In a petition, three councilors have claimed before the court that the incumbent is lacking eligibility for the top post in SMC in keeping with J&K Municipal Corporation Act 2000.
As the plea came up for hearing, advocate Shuja Ul Haq on behalf of the petitioners submitted that the appointment of present Commissioner SMC was in violation of Jammu and Kashmir Muncipal Corporation Act.
“Section 45 of J&K Municipal Corporation Act 2000 specifically provides that the Government shall have all the powers of appointing a Class –I Gazetted Officer as Commissioner SMC but the officer having less than 15 years of experience cannot be appointed as Commissioner SMC,” petitioners said.
They said that the present Commissioner of SMC being a 2016 batch IAS officer is not eligible to hold the post of Commissioner SMC “because he lacks the requisite service of fifteen years as mandated under the provisions of J&K Municipal Corporation Act.”
“The post of Commissioner SMC is a public post and the method of recruitment of the said post is prescribed under Section 45 of J&K Municipal Corporation Act 2000,” the councilors said.
While the councilors seek a direction to the government to disclose the authority of law under which the present commissioner of SMC was appointed, they seek quashing of the order dated 26-2-2021 by virtue of which he was appointed as Commissioner.
“Prima facie, this court finds substance in the submissions made by the learned counsel for the petitioner” the court said.
While the Court issued notice to the present Commissioner SMC asking him to show the authority under which he is holding the post, it also issued notice to Commissioner Secretary General Administration Department.
Principal Secretary Housing and Urban Development Department, Srinagar Municipal Corporation through Joint Commissioner
“Notice shall be returnable within four weeks,” court said and listed the plea for further consideration on February 4.