MCD polls: Court acquits candidate of defacing public property

MCD polls: Court acquits candidate of defacing public property
MCD polls: Court acquits candidate of defacing public property

A city court has acquitted an RJD candidate for the Delhi civic polls earlier this year of the charge of defacing public property by pasting her posters on an electric pole, as the complainant himself was the investigating officer in the case.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Manish Khurana absolved the woman, who had contested from the Zakir Nagar ward in South Delhi on a Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) ticket, of offence under the Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Property (DPDP) Act.

According to the prosecution, a campaign poster carrying candidate Kausar Imam Siddiqui’s name and photograph appealing for votes were found pasted on an electric pole, a government property, in Jamia Nagar area.

Acquitting the woman of the charge, the court said, “It is well-settled law that the complainant should not be the investigating officer in a case so as to rule out any ill will or bias against the accused.”

The court also noted that there was lack of evidence to show that police officials were present at the spot at the time of the commission of the alleged offence.

It also said that the photograph of the poster on the pole could not be relied upon as prosecution evidence as electronic evidence has to be proved by way of a certificate under Evidence Act.

“Digital photograph by an electronic device is a piece of electronic evidence which can only be proved by way of certificate under section 65B of the Evidence Act which has not been done in the present case for reasons best known to the Investigating Officer.

“Merely filing of a photograph does not suffice and does not make it an admissible piece of evidence,” it said.

“Therefore, considering the totality of facts and circumstance, in my opinion, prosecution has failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubts. Accordingly, accused Kausar Imam Siddiqui is held ‘not guilty’ and is acquitted of the offence punishable under DPDP Act,” the magistrate said.

The complaint was lodged by a sub-inspector alleging that the poster was found on April 14 on an electric pole near a school in Batla House in Jamia Nagar to appeal for votes for the municipal corporations of Delhi (MCD) elections held on April 23.

An FIR was registered under section 3 of the DPDP Act which provides that whoever defaces a public property by writing or marking with ink, chalk, paint or any other material except for the purpose of indicating the name and address of the owner of such property, may face up to one-year jail or fine which may extend to Rs 50,000 or both.

The woman had denied the allegations and claimed she was innocent as she did not paste any poster on the pole.

( Source – PTI )

MCD polls: Delhi HC junks pleas against ward allocation criteria

MCD polls: Delhi HC junks pleas against ward allocation criteria
MCD polls: Delhi HC junks pleas against ward allocation criteria

The Delhi High Court today dismissed the pleas seeking quashing of the notification laying down criteria for allocation of wards for reserved categories and women in the upcoming MCD polls.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar said the criteria was based on population density of an area and the 2011 census data and after consulting all stakeholders.

The elections to 272 wards of the three municipal corporations in the national capital are scheduled to be held on April 23.

The court upheld the Delhi state election commission’s decision, saying it did not violate any provisions of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act or Article 243 of the Constitution of India.

The Article provides for reservation of seats for the scheduled castes in the municipal area by rotation to different constituency in the municipality.

The bench said there was no merit in the pleas by NGOs and several social activists, who have sought quashing of the notification laying down the manner of allocation of wards for reserved categories and women in the upcoming MCD polls.

The petitioners had claimed that the present notification was contrary to the Constitution as well as the DMC Act and should be quashed and a fresh circular be issued in accordance with the law.

( Source – PTI )

HC reserves verdict on pleas against MCD election

The Delhi High Court today reserved its verdict on pleas seeking quashing of the notification laying down the manner of allocation of wards for reserved categories and women in the upcoming MCD polls.

“Arguments heard. Judgement reserved,” a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar

said.

Terming the petitions as “absurd”, the Delhi state election commission has told the court that there was “no unreasonableness” in the process of the allocation of the seats.

It argued that none of the political parties, who are the major stake holders in the present poll, has challenged their formula.

“It was so, because they were part of the consultation process, after which only we have taken the decision,” the commission, represented by advocate Sumeet Pushkarna, said.

It was responding to the pleas by NGOs and several social activists, who have sought quashing of the notification laying down the manner of allocation of wards for reserved categories and women in the upcoming MCD polls.

They have also challenged the commission’s February 6 notification, announcing the election for 272 wards of the three municipal corporations here.

The elections are scheduled to be held on April 22.

In its pleas, the NGOs have said that the Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) in 2011 was divided into three zone — North Delhi Municipal Corporation, East Delhi Municipal Corporation and South Delhi Municipal Corporation.

They said while the number of wards in each of the three corporations 104 each in South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and 64 in East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) has remained the same, the number of wards in a few assembly segments has changed, ranging from three to seven.

Claiming that the present notification was contrary to the Constitution as well as Section 3 of the DMC Act, one of the pleas demanded that it should be quashed and a fresh circular issued in accordance with the law.

It has sought direction to identify and determine the municipal wards for the purpose of reservation for scheduled caste, women and general category in terms of Article 243 of the Constitution.

The Article provides for reservation of seats for the scheduled castes in the municipal area by rotation to different constituency in the municipality.

Source : PTI

Delhi HC CJ recuses from hearing plea to stall 2017 MCD polls

Delhi HC CJ recuses from hearing plea to stall 2017 MCD polls
Delhi HC CJ recuses from hearing plea to stall 2017 MCD polls

Delhi High Court Chief Justice (CJ) today recused herself from hearing pleas seeking to quash the notification laying down the manner of allocation of wards for the reserved categories and women in the upcoming municipal polls in the national capital.

A bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini said the matter will be heard by some other bench, of which she is not a party.

Without assigning any specific reason for recusal, the CJ listed the batch of petitions for hearing tomorrow.

Earlier the CJ had issued notice to the Centre, Delhi state election commission and three municipal corporations in which the election are scheduled to be held for 272 wards in April.

She had directed all concerned authorities to file their responses by today.

The directions were issued on an NGO’s plea challenging the poll panel’s February 6 notification, announcing the electiona to the three municipal corporations.

Subsequently, a social activist had approached the high court seeking stalling of the MCD polls, which was declined by the bench.

Later, a batch of public interest litigations and writ petitions were filed by NGOs and individuals, with all of them being listed for hearing today.

In its plea, the NGOs had said the Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) in 2011 was divided into three – North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC).

The petitioners sought quashing of the January 13 order with regard to delimitation of 272 wards with the composition of wards in each Assembly constituency.

They said while the number of wards in each of the three corporations 104 each in SDMC and NDMC and 64 in EDMC has remained same, the number of wards in a few assembly segments, ranging from three to seven, have changed.

In 2012, ahead of the MCD elections, a notification was issued regarding allocation of wards amongst schedule caste, women and general category.

Claiming that the present notification was contrary to the Constitution as well as Section 3 of the DMC Act, one of the pleas demanded that it should be quashed and a fresh circular issued in accordance with the law.

( Source – PTI )

Court reserves order on MCD polls

The Delhi High Court Thursday reserved its order on petitions by a group of councillors seeking quashing of the state election commission’s decision to reserve seats for candidates of the Scheduled Castes in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections to be held in April.

The councillors of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress moved the court challenging the earmarking of seats as reserved for the Scheduled Castes (SCs).

The division bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Rajiv Shakdher reserved the verdict after counsel from both the sides concluded their arguments.

The petitioners contended that the poll commission’s notification reserving the seats as “arbitrary, malafide and without any logic” as the commission had reserved seats for the SCs on the basis of the 2001 census and not the recent 2011 census.

The election commission “acted without any logic” in reserving the seats on the basis of 2001 census – reserving those seats where the SC population was only 12 percent, and making those as general seats where the SC population was more than 40 percent, they contended.

The election commission opposed the plea saying that the rationale behind the reservation was to give due representation to SC candidates.

The state election commission Jan 27, issued a notification for reserving the seats for SC candidates.