Shimla: Himachal Pradesh High Court on Tuesday stayed the order of delimitation of Nabha and Summerhill wards of Municipal Corporation, Shimla, passed by the Deputy Commissioner Shimla and upheld by the Divisional Commissioner, Shimla.  

A Division Bench comprising Justice Sabina and Justice Satyen Vaidya passed these orders on two separate petitions filed by petitioners Simi Nanda and Rajeev Thakur.

The petitioners had earlier approached the High Court on the matter and the Court found the DC had failed to consider the factual aspect of the submissions raised by the petitioners.

The Court observed that the DC was required to take into consideration the fact that equal population as far as practicable in each ward be maintained and each ward was also required to maintain geographical compactness and contiguous in areas and recognizable boundaries. 

“He was more influenced by the fact that no ECI polling stations should transgress the boundaries, which however does not find mention in the Rules,” said the Court.

On June 3, The Court set aside the impugned orders passed by DC, Shimla, and Appellate Authority i.e. Divisional Commissioner, Shimla, qua delimitation of Ward Nabha and Summerhill. 

The matter was remanded back to DC, Shimla, with directions to decide the objections raised by the petitioners afresh, in accordance with the law, after appreciating the material available on record.

On June 24, DC Shimla again rejected the objections filed by the petitioners, holding that the delimitation order is as per the provisions laid down in the H.P. Municipal Corporation Act, 1994 and Municipal Corporation Election Rules, 2012, and there is no need to make any change in the order.  

The appeal filed by the petitioners against the impugned order was also rejected by the Divisional Commissioner.

The petitioners have again approached the High Court to quash and set aside the impugned orders passed by DC, Shimla, and Divisional Commissioner, Shimla on appeal.

The Court has stayed impugned orders and directed the respondents, Secretary Urban Development, Govt. of H.P., Divisional Commissioner Shimla, DC Shimla and H.P. State Election Commission to file a reply and the case has been adjourned for August 16.

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Navneet Rathore is a Shimla based journalist having two-years of experience in the field of journalism. Navneet is a post-graduate in Journalism and Mass Communications from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla and is specialised in crime, education, health, environment, agriculture and Horticulture beats.