CM Eknath Shinde government had nullified and reversed an increase in the number of civic wards in Mumbai by nine which the Uddhav Thackeray-led regime had effected for the BMC.
On Wednesday, one bench which was scheduled to hear the matter recused itself. The bench headed by Justice R D Dhanuka said “not before me” after state counsel Jyoti Chavan said it intended to engage counsel Chirag Shah who it had engaged earlier for a hearing before the SC during the challenge against a previous notification for incre0000ase in wards. Justice Dhanuka’s kin works with advocate Shah. Advocate Devdatt Palodkar appearing for the petitioner then mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Justice Gautam Patel citing urgency.
Pednekar’s petition said the BMC Act stipulates that the number of councilors to be elected is required to be fixed on the basis of the “last preceding census of which the relevant figures have been published”. To ensure the increased population was proportionately represented, in November 2021, state issued an ordinance to increase the number of elected councilors by nine.
Two BJP and MNS members challenged the draft delimitation notification of additional wards The HC dismissed these petitions terming them to be “politically motivated”. The SC had upheld the HC order.