The Delhi High Court has stayed the election to the municipal body’s key committee a day after councillors fought in the house.
Mayor Shelly Oberoi had declared one vote invalid, which sparked a protest by BJP councillors that eventually descended into chaos with councillors from both the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the BJP punching, kicking, slapping and pushing one another.
Ms Oberoi, who belongs to the ruling AAP, had rescheduled the election to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s (MCD) standing committee to Monday. The standing committee is a powerful body in the MCD that decides funding and projects.
In the order today, the high court said the Mayor announcing a new date to hold the election again without declaring the results of the previous election violated regulations.
“The regulations nowhere reflect that the Delhi Mayor has the authority to declare the election to standing committee members as null and void,” Justice Gaurang Kanth of the Delhi High Court said in the order today on two petitions filed by Kamaljeet Sehrawat and Shikha Roy.
The high court then issued notice to the Mayor, the Lieutenant Governor and the MCD and gave two weeks to reply.
AAP MLA Atishi said the party is happy with the high court’s decision. “The AAP has won. The BJP wanted to legalise an illegal decision. The BJP only wanted an election result that made them win. The law does not give power to hooligans, but the BJP always fall down to violence,” Atishi said.
At least 242 of the 250 councillors in the AAP-run civic body voted to select six members to the MCD’s standing committee.
Seven candidates contested the standing committee election. The AAP nominated Aamil Malik, Raminder Kaur, Mohini Jeenwal and Sarika Chaudhary. The BJP fielded Kamaljeet Sehrawat and Pankaj Luthra. Independent councillor Gajender Singh Daral, who joined the BJP, is also a candidate.
After the Mayor declared one vote invalid, the BJP alleged that the AAP’s candidate would win, as per their calculation. The BJP also alleged the Mayor disregarded counting rules as set by the Election Commission.