PIL For Constitution of Jamshedpur Municipality; SC Issues Notice [Read Order]

The petitioner alleged that State Government is colluding with Tata Steels to delay the formation of Municipality.

A Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Supreme Court for establishing a duly elected Municipal body for Jamshedpur in accordance with the provisions contained in Part IX-A of the Constitution. The petition has been filed by one Jawaharlal Sharma, who states that the mandate of the Constitution as per Article 243 Q under Part IX-A is that the Municipality has to be constituted within a year of 74thamendment of the Constitution coming into force, until and unless the State Government decides to declare it as an Industrial Township. It is pointed out in the petition that till date there is neither Municipality in Jamshedpur nor has it been declared as an Industrial Township.

The establishment of a municipality ensures that the basic decisions affecting the lives of the people at local level are taken by an elected council which is directly accountable to the people. Because of the non establishment of municipality in Jamshedpur basic services like primary education, health, sanitation, water supply, solid waste management, and other public necessities like road, parks etc. are the responsibility of an unelected, unaccountable bureaucratic industrial establishment which is affecting the rights of the people", the petitioner contended.

Jamshedpur is still being administered by the Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee which was constituted under the Bihar and Orissa Municipal Act, 1922, much prior to the amendment was brought into the Constitution.  The petitioner alleged that State Government is colluding with Tata Steels to delay the formation of Municipality.

There were several rounds of litigations in the High Court and Supreme Court regarding the matter. An SLP filed in 2016 was disposed as settled, without recording the nature and terms of the settlement. There, the State Government had settled the matter with Tata Steel agreeing to notify Jamshedpur as an 'Industrial Township'. The petitioner alleged that the said settlement was made illegally, behind the back of citizens. Anyhow, even steps for notification as Industrial Township are also not taken.

"In such scenario the State Government is bound to declare Jamshedpur as a Municipality as per the mandate of Article 243Q of the Constitution but the same has not been done till date.", states the petition.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan appeared in the matter before the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice  A M Khanwilkar and Justice D Y Chandrachud. The Court issued notice to the respondents.

Tata Steels was represented by Senior Advocates Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Gopal Jain assisted by Advocates Mr. Amar Dave, Ms. Nandini Gore from Karanjawala & Co.

Read the Order Here