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Delhi High Court dismisses PIL challenging appointment of Delhi Chief Secretary as Election Commissioner in Municipal Elections

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Today , the Delhi High Court has dismissed the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging appointment of Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev as Election Commissioner for the upcoming municipal elections in the national capital.

The Division bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla dismissed the petition filed by former BJP MLA Nand Kishore Garg which alleged that the appointment was illegal and improper.

The Bench said there was no merit in the petition as the date when Dev shall take over as Election Commissioner, Vijay Dev would cease to be a government servant

The High Court observed since the appointment would be with effect from April 21, 2022, by then he would have retired from the Government of India.

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Garg had alleged in his plea that by its notification, the Delhi government has allegedly improperly earmarked the appointment of serving chief secretary of Government of National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi as Election Commissioner of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) with effect from April 21, 2022.

The petitioner claimed that the appointment was made in utter violation of the settled principles of law which mandates that important government post like election commissioner must be offered to a neutral and apolitical person and must not be the party to the several political as well as administrative decision of a particular government .

The Delhi government has defended the appointment of Dev as the Election Commissioner of MCDs, saying that the appointment has been made in accordance with law .

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According to the affidavit filed by Delhi Government , the Election Commissioner of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Conditions of service and tenure of office) Rules, 2019 expressly provide that the person to be appointed as an election commissioner must be a serving or retired officer belonging to the Indian Administrative Service has held the rank of Secretary to the Govt.

It has contended that the motive, objective, and purpose of the plea appeared to be to stall the elections to the three Municipal Corporations and tarnish the reputation of the officer.

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