Delhi Full Statehood Issue

Nominated members cannot vote in Delhi Mayor Poll: Supreme Court


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Constitutional position of Mayor

Mains level: Not Much

Central idea: The Supreme Court ordered the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi to notify the first meeting of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to elect a Mayor within 24 hours and held that nominated members cannot vote in these polls.

What is the issue?

  • The issue at hand is whether the nominated members of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi should be allowed to vote in the mayoral polls.
  • A Party had challenged the eligibility of the nominated members to vote, arguing that they were appointed by the Delhi government and were therefore not neutral.
  • The Supreme Court of India has now ruled that the nominated members cannot vote in the mayoral polls.

What has the Supreme Court ruled?

  • The Bench did not agree with the L-G’s contention that nominated members could vote in the first meeting.
  • The court pointed out that Article 243R of the Constitution did not distinguish between the first and regular meetings.

Who is a Mayor?

  • In India, the mayor is the head of a municipal corporation, which is responsible for providing essential services and infrastructure to the residents of a city or town.
  • The mayor is usually elected by the members of the municipal corporation or council, and serves as the ceremonial head of the local government.

History of Mayor’s elections in India

  • Municipal corporation mechanisms in India was introduced during British Rule with formation of municipal corporation in Madras (Chennai) in 1688, later followed by municipal corporations in Bombay (Mumbai) and Calcutta (Kolkata) by 1762.
  • However the process of introduction for an elected President in the municipalities was made in Lord Mayo’s Resolution of 1870.
  • Since then the current form and structure of municipal bodies followed is similar to Lord Ripon’s Resolution adopted in 1882 on local self-governance.
  • The 74th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1992 was introduced providing for the transfer of 18 different powers to urban local bodies, including the election of a mayor and to recognise them which included Municipal Corporations, Nagar Panchayats, and Municipal Councils.

Elections and tenure

  • The method of electing mayor and their tenure varies for each city in India.
  • In Bengaluru (Karnataka) the election process is indirect with a tenure being for one year, in Mumbai (Maharashtra) it follows indirect elections with tenure for 2.5 years and Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) follows a directly elected mayor with a term for 5 years.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Governs the local civic body.
  • Fixed tenure varying in different towns.
  • First citizen of city.
  • Has two varied roles — Representation and upholding of the dignity of the city during ceremonial times and a presiding over discussions of the civic house with elected representatives in functional capacity.
  • The Mayor’s role is confined to the corporation hall of presiding authority at various meetings relating to corporation.
  • The Mayor’s role extends much beyond the local city and country as the presiding authority at corporation meetings during visits of a foreign dignitary to the city as he is invited by the state government to receive and represent the citizens to the guest of honour.
  • At government, civic and other social functions he is given prominence.


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