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Madhya Pradesh HC directs state govt to determine extents of wards in accordance with MP Municipal Corporation Act

The respondents have filed the reply and submitted that Municipal Corporation Morena was constituted in the year 2015. Thereafter election was conducted and the term of the elected body came to an end in September 2020.

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The Madhya Pradesh High Court has directed the state government to take up the process of determination of extents of wards in accordance with the provisions contained in Section 10 of the Madhya Pradesh Municipal Corporation Act, 1956.

The Jabalpur Division Bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Vijay Kumar Shukla on August 24 passed the order, while dismissing a petition that sought direction to carry out fresh process of determination of extents of wards in accordance with the provisions of Section 10 of the Madhya Pradesh Municipal Corporation Act, 1956 and Rule 3 of the Madhya Pradesh Municipal Corporation (Extent of Wards) Rules, 1994, within a stipulated period.

“Whenever the State Government decides to initiate the process for delimitation or for expansion of wards and if it is found that there is variation of more than 15 percent of population in various wards, then the process be initiated in accordance with the provisions contained in Section 10 of the Act, 1956 read with Rule-3 of the Rules, 1994,” the Court ordered.

The contention of petitioner Rajesh was that the Mayor-in-Council (MIC) of Municipal Corporation Morena has already passed a resolution for the determination of extent of wards in 2019. The period of more than one year has elapsed, but no action thereafter has been taken. There is variation of population in various wards more than 15 percent, which is not permissible as per provisions contained in the Act, 1956 and therefore, fresh process has to be conducted by the respondents.

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The respondents have filed the reply and submitted that Municipal Corporation Morena was constituted in 2015. Thereafter, election was conducted and term of the elected body came to an end in September, 2020.

It is submitted that when the term of the elected body came to an end in the month of September, 2020, the entire country was facing an unprecedented situation due to Covid-19 pandemic and for the said reason no proceeding for conducting fresh election was initiated. Thereafter due to the second wave also, no proceeding for election of new elected body in Municipal Corporation Morena has been initiated till date.

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It is further submitted by the respondents that on account of Covid-19 pandemic, no process either for delimitation or for expansion of wards has taken place and further proceedings of election have also not been initiated till date.

The Respondents argued that the matter in respect of determination of extent of wards is under consideration at the State Level and if it is found that there is variation of more than 15 percent of population in various wards then the process would be initiated by the State Government in accordance with the provisions contained in Section 10 of the Act, 1956 read with Rule 3 of the Rules, 1994.

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