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'State Can Provide For Election Of More Than One Member From A Ward' : SC Upholds Gujarat Municipal Law Amendment

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
24 Feb 2021 1:41 PM GMT
State Can Provide For Election Of More Than One Member From A Ward : SC Upholds Gujarat Municipal Law Amendment
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The Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of Section 5(3) (iii)(a) and Section 29A of the Gujarat Provincial Municipal Corporation Act, 1949, which provides multi member representation from a Ward in the Municipal Corporation/Municipality.Articles 243R and 243S of the Constitution of India does not contain any limitation to the effect that there shall be only one member from one...

The Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of Section 5(3) (iii)(a) and Section 29A of the Gujarat Provincial Municipal Corporation Act, 1949, which provides multi member representation from a Ward in the Municipal Corporation/Municipality.

Articles 243R and 243S of the Constitution of India does not contain any limitation to the effect that there shall be only one member from one Ward, the bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah said while upholding the Gujarat High Court judgment dismissing the writ petitions challenging the provisions of the Act.

The court also observed that having more than one representation from a Ward in no manner negates the empowerment of weaker sections rather it increases the empowerment of weaker sections. 

The Gujarat High Court had dismissed writ petitions which challenged Section 5(3)(iii)(a) and 29A of the Gujarat Provincial Municipal Corporation Act, 1949 and Sections 2 and 3 of the Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment) Act, 2009 on the ground that the same are ultra vires the Constitution of India as it violates 'one member one ward mandate.'

In the appeal filed against Gujarat High Court judgment, the Apex Court bench considered and answered the following issues:

(1) Whether Article 243R and Article 243S of the Constitution of India contains any limitation to the effect that there shall be only one member from one Ward? (2) Whether the provisions of Sections 5(3)(iii)(a), 29A of the Gujarat Provincial Municipal Corporations Act, 1949 and Rules 4 and 5 of Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporations (the delimitation of wards and allocation of reserved seats) Rules, 1994 and Rule 2(b) of Gujarat Municipal Corporation's Ward Committees Functions, Duties, Territorial Areas and Procedure for Transaction of Business Rules, 2007 are ultra vires to the provisions of Articles 243R and 243S of the Constitution?

"We, in the present case, after analyzing the relevant provisions of Part IXA of the Constitution has come to the conclusion that there is no prohibition or limitation in Part IXA of the Constitution prohibiting the State Legislature from making a law providing for election of more than one member from one territorial constituency, i.e., Ward." (1) Article 243R and 243S of the Constitution of India does not contain any limitation to the effect that there shall be only one member from one Ward. (2) Provisions of Section 5(3)(iii)(a) and Section 29A of the Act, 1949 and Rules 4 and 5 of the Rules, 1994 and Rule 2(b) of Rules, 2007 are not ultra vires to the provisions of Articles 243R and 243S of the Constitution.

(3) Whether having more than one representative from a Ward negates the empowerment of weaker sections, i.e., women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes?

"The entire purpose and object of reserving seats for weaker sections is to empower the weaker sections, i.e., women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, when there are more numbers are reserved for weaker sections their participation in municipality is bound to increase giving strength to their voice and effective participation which is nothing but empowerment of weaker sections. We are not able to subscribe to the submission of Shri Sibal that 56 when there are only one representation from one Ward only then empowerment of weaker sections can be made. By the Rules, 1994 as amended in 2015 now the voice of weaker sections can be felt from every Ward which clearly enhances of presence and participation of weaker sections and does not, in any manner, negate the empowerment of weaker sections. We, thus, do not find any substance in the above submission of Shri Sibal. . We answer Question No.3 in the following manner: Having more than one representation from a Ward in no manner negates the empowerment of weaker sections rather it increases the empowerment of weaker sections."

(4) Whether when the draft rules for amendment of Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporations (the delimitation of wards and allocation of reserved seats) Rules, 1994 were issued on 27.11.2014 which were to be published after noting of objections on or expiry of thirty days, the State Government could have issued notification dated 04.12.2014 before expiry of thirty days?

"Notification dated 04.12.0214 being not in reference to notification dated 27.11.2014 which notification was on entirely different subject, there is no illegality in issuing notification dated 04.12.2014"

Having held so, the court dismissed the appeals.




CASE: PARMAR SAMANTSINH UMEDSINH vs. STATE OF GUJARAT [CIVIL APPEAL NO. 706 OF 2021]
CORAM: Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah
COUNSEL: Sr. Adv Kapil Sibal, Sr. Adv Harin P. Raval, SG Tushar Mehta, Sr. Adv Maninder Singh, Sr. Adv Manisha Lavkumar
CITATION: LL 2021 SC 111


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