Chennai: The Madras high court has ordered notice to the authorities on a petition, which challenged the amendment made to the TN Municipal Corporation Laws, 2016 (Act 8 of 2016), introducing indirect election to Mayors, chairpersons and presidents to local bodies.
In the PIL S. Sundar Rajan of Labour Colony in Guindy also sought direction to the authorities to follow reservation policy in the local body elections as mandated by the Constitution.
Petitioner’s counsel, senior advocate P. Wilson, said the action of the municipal administration secretary in providing for indirect election to the posts of mayors, chairpersons and presidents to the corporations and municipalities virtually amounted to surrendering their powers to the councillors and ultimately, the intention of Article 243-R providing for direct election with a secured tenure of five years under Article 243-I(1) would be defeated.
The amended violated provisions introduced under the TN Act of 2011.
It is unconstitutional and it has a hidden agenda of disturbing the secure tenure concepts to the posts.
Wilson submitted that as per Article 243D(4) and 243 T 4 & 6, the
state has to mandatorily provide for reservation for persons from SC/STs, women and backward classes to the offices of chairpersons of the panchayats and municipalities/corporations in the October 2016 elections.
He said, however, the department had not brought in any notifications under Rule 5 of the TN Town Panchayats, Municipalities and Corporations (Delimitation of Wards or Divisions and Reservation) Rules, 1996, to provide reservations for the same.
When the matter came up for hearing before the first bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R. Mahadevan, the judges ordered four weeks of notice and adjourned the matter to October 25.