HC notice to Haryana on plea challenging bifurcation of Panchkula MC

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday put Haryana government on notice acting on a plea challenging the bifurcation of the Panchkula municipal corporation (MC).

Former councillor of the erstwhile combined MC of Panchkula district, Satinder Singh Tony, has challenged the September 17 notification of the state notifying Kalka municipal council while segregating Kalka-Pinjore area from the bounds of Panchkula MC.

Seeking a response from the state by November 11, the high court bench of justice Daya Chaudhary and justice MI Mehta has asked the government why the notification should not be stayed, pending proceedings.

Tony had argued that objections to the proposal by stakeholders had not been taken into consideration by the government before carrying out the notification. He also cited a resolution passed by the Panchkula MC House against the move in 2018, which was ignored in violation of the Haryana Municipal Corporation Act, 1994.

It was further argued that even before the notification came out, the authorities had completed the delimitation of the existing wards of Panchkula in August, which proved that it was a premeditated move.

The Haryana Municipal Corporation Act was amended last year and the word ‘existing’ was added before ‘population’. Tony pointed out that population was an important criteria to form or abolish a corporation, and as per rules, the last published figure of population in Indian census report was a vital document. However, the divisional commissioner had considered the decennial growth rate up till 2017 to bifurcate the corporation.

The Panchkula MC was divided into Kalka municipal council and MC for Panchkula city on the report of divisional commissioner, Ambala, which had come in the aftermath of demands from then BJP legislators of Kalka and Panchkula in 2017.

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