Monday, December 4, 2023

Bombay High Court questions how plea challenging appointment of present Municipal Commissioner of MBMC maintainable

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The Bombay High Court today asked the petitioner to explain how the plea challenging the appointment of present Municipal Commissioner of Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC) was maintainable.

A plea was filed by a public activist Selvaraj Shanmugam, who alleged that that the current Chief Minister Eknath Shinde who in the year 2021 was the Minister of Urban Development Department and had made Dilip Dhole the Commissioner of MBMC after dislodging the then Commissioner who belonged to IAS cadre.

The plea said that the problem is that the present commissioner did belong to IAS cadre officer.

A bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Madhav Jamdar has inquired from the petitioner how the High Court could intervene in this issue.

The bench also said that that as a challenge regarding an administrative service appointment should be raised before the Maharashtra State or Central Administrative Tribunal.

The Court has posted the matter for further hearing on October 10.

The following claims have been made in the plea:

1. Dilip Dhole is not from IAS cadre, earlier the post was occupied by an officer from the IAS cadre, and his term had not yet expired when he was removed.

The current  commissioner, was earlier working as a Deputy Commissioner in the Goods and Service Tax Department, and was sent to the State Ministry of Urban Development Department.
He was later transferred to MBMC as as Additional Municipal Commissioner on August 2020, while in March 2021, he was appointed as Municipal Commissioner.

The petitioner said that letters were  addressed to Shinde as Cabinet Minister as a the appointment of Dhole was a political game plan to suit the requirement of the ruling dispensation.

The petitioner has also said that  documents obtained through Right to Information Act (RTI Act) and newspapers show that Shinde had directed the appointment of Dhole as Commissioner even though the said post was not vacant.

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