CPM councilor files appeal against Calcutta HC order on KMC

Kolkata
7 Jan 2019

CPI(M) councilor Bilkis Begum on Monday filed an appeal against a single-bench order of the Calcutta High Court that dismissed her petition challenging the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018. The amendment, which was passed by the West Bengal Assembly, paved the way for state minister Firhad Hakim to be elected as the mayor of Kolkata without being a councilor.
The amended Act enables a person, who is not an elected councilor, to be made a mayor of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC). The person would have to get elected as a corporator within six months to continue in the post. By-poll in ward number 82 of the KMC was held on Sunday, where Hakim is a candidate. Counting of votes will be held on Wednesday. The councilor prayed for the nullification of the amendment, claiming that it is unconstitutional.
Justice Debangshu Basak had on January 4 dismissed the CPI (M) councilor's petition observing that the impugned amendment is within the competence of the legislature. Challenging the single-bench order, an appeal was filed and is likely to be taken up next week by a division bench presided by Acting Chief Justice Biswanath Somadder, the councillor's lawyer Shamim Ahmed said. Hakim, the state's Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Minister, was elected as the mayor of the KMC on December 3. The Trinamool Congress, which has a huge majority in the KMC with 122 seats out of a total 144, earlier elected Hakim as its leader in the civic body. The Left Front has 14, BJP five and the Congress two seats in the civic body, while one seat remains vacant. (PTI)