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Rajasthan High Court upholds suspension of Jaipur Greater Municipality mayor

A Bench of justices also upheld the constitutional validity of the provision of the Municipal Act that permits the State to suspend a mayor of a municipal corporation.

The Rajasthan High Court on Monday dismissed a petition filed by Somya Gurjar challenging her suspension as the mayor of Jaipur Greater Municipality by the State government.

A Bench of justices Pankaj Bhandari and C. K. Songara also upheld the constitutional validity of the provision of the Municipal Act that permits the State to suspend a mayor of a municipal corporation.

The department of local self-governance had issued orders on June 6 suspending Ms. Gurjar, and councillors Ajay Singh Chauhan, Paras Jain (all three from the BJP), and Shankar Sharma (independent) for allegedly manhandling and abusing the municipal commissioner.

“I shall be filing an SLP against the decision”, said Ms. Gurjar, who had challenged her suspension as well the constitutional validity of section 39 of the Act which empowers the State to suspend a Mayor.

The high court held that a mayor can be suspended even “without giving a right of pre-audience”.

It said that the preliminary inquiry report submitted by the regional deputy director of the department was proper and the government acted as per the law.

The Bench also observed that the State government has already taken a decision of holding a judicial inquiry into the alleged allegation of misconduct by Ms. Gurjar and others, and directed that it be concluded within six months.

The Congress government in the State had appointed Sheel Dhabai as interim Mayor of Jaipur Greater Municipal Corporation.

The alleged incident happened when the commissioner, Yagya Mitra Singh Deo, had gone to Ms. Gurjar’s chamber for attending a meeting on a matter related to the company engaged in door-to-door garbage collection.

During the meeting, a heated argument broke out between the two and the commissioner, a civil servant, got up to leave midway. In the middle of this, the councillors allegedly manhandled and abused him.

Condemning the action against the mayor and the councillors, BJP State president Satish Poonia had said the party “will fight for justice”.

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