Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lok Satta challenges voting rights To ex-officio members

The Lok Satta Party today filed a writ petition in the High Court challenging the provisions in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Act under which ex officio members could take part in the election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor and decide on policy matters by conferring voting rights on them.

The Lok Satta Party, represented by Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao, said Sections 5 (1-A) and 90 of the GHMC Act are arbitrary, undemocratic and unconstitutional. They are contrary to 74th amendment to the Constitution which envisages local bodies as institutions of self-government.

As per the Act, all the 24 MLAs, Lok Sabha members and MLCs and Rajya Sabha members who have voting rights in the city – more than 60 in all -- are ex-officio members of the corporation whereas the total number of elected members is only 150.

Party leaders Katari Srinivasa Rao, G. Rajireddy and V. Vijayender Reddy told the media that enabling ex-officio members to have a say in the election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor is as incongruous as enabling MPs to have a say in the election of Chief Minister.

The GHMC Act provisions violate the letter and spirit of the Constitution in that ex-officio members who are not elected to the corporation can influence election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor by exercising their vote.

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