HC notice to Delhi government on funding civic bodies
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Delhi government and the Delhi Lieutenant Governor on a PIL seeking direction for immediate release of adequate funds to the city's three municipal corporations to enable them to discharge their functions.
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw sought response from Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government, Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung, as well as the South, North and East Delhi Municipal Corporations by May 13.
The plea filed by an NGO, Campaign for People Participation in Development Planning, through advocate Anil Aggarwal told the court that there must be an equitable distribution of funds between the government and civic agencies to ensure financial independence and proper functioning of municipal corporations.
The plea said the court should restrain the Delhi government and the lt-governor from "interfering with the constitutional functions and duties of the Finance Commission of Delhi and the municipalities". It also sought direction for the Delhi government, the lt-governor and the Finance Commission of India to duly discharge their constitutional duty and implement and enforce the provisions of the constitution to ensure financial independence and freedom of the municipal bodies.
"Issue direction to the Finance Commission of India to discharge its constitutional duty...and to take all necessary measures to augment the financial resources of the South, East and North Delhi municipal corporations," said the plea.
After safai karmacharis (sanitary employees) of the BJP-ruled three municipal corporations went on a refuse and waste-dumping spree on roads in Delhi to protest non-payment of their salaries, the Aam Aadmi Party-ruled Delhi government decided to stake administrative control over the three city municipal corporations.
"The Delhi government and the LG have deliberately failed to constitute the fifth Finance Commission of Delhi till date, after the term and tenure of the fourth commission expired last year on September 18, 2014. They have already superseded the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the Delhi Finance Commission, negating the very object and purpose of the Constitution," the plea added.