Punjab and Haryana HC: Petitioner to File Petition Challenging Vires of Haryana Municipal (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020

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The High Court of Punjab & Haryana heard the case of RMA Khetarpal v State of Haryana. The Bench comprised of Hon’ble Justice S. Murlidhar and Hon’ble Justice Avneesh Jhingan.

Brief Facts 

The Petitioner was successfully elected as President of Municipal Committee, Jakhal Mandi in Fatehabad, Haryana. After approximately 7 months, the Haryana Municipal (Second Amendment) Act, 2019 (Hereinafter ‘HMSA’) came into force which amended the Haryana Municipal Act, 1973 (hereinafter HMA). One of the significant changes brought was to Section 21 of the HMA, leading to the omission of the recourse to ‘No-Confidence Movement’. Subsequently, Section 13I and 13J of the new Act prescribed other methods of removal of the President. Further, Rule 72-A of the Haryana Municipal Elections Rules, 1978 laid down the procedure for removal of President through ‘no-confidence Motion’. However, the new Act did not amend the said Rule. 

Some of the members of the Municipal Committee approached the Deputy Commissioner, Fatehabad with a No-Confidence Motion against the President against Rule 72-A of the HME Rules. As a consequence, the Petitioner filed a Petition to quash the Order of the Deputy Commissioner of considering the No-Confidence Motion. The High Court quashed the said Order and allowed the Writ Petition. 

Court’s Judgment

The HC of Punjab & Haryana held that even though the election of the Petitioner was before the Amendment, it cannot be correctly said that the Amendment will not apply to the Petitioner. This is because the new Act deleted the removal of the President through a ‘No-Confidence Movement’. Further, the Governor of Haryana has promulgated the Haryana Municipal (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 to overcome the decision in the case of Seema Rani v Union of India. Thus, the Petitioner cannot rely on the said decision. 

The Court suggested the Petitioner file another Petition challenging the vires of the aforementioned Ordinance and disposed of the current Petition.


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