Order to dismiss Jalalabad MC president is quashed by the High Court

The Jalalabad Municipal Council’s elected president was ousted less than a year ago, and today the Punjab and Haryana High Court revoked the contested decision. The contested notification that was sent out on May 30, 2023, was also deemed “unsustainable in the eyes of law” by Justice Rajesh Bhardwaj.

Justice Bhardwaj granted the plea submitted by Vikas Deep via senior counsel Gaurav Chopra, stating that “the respondent-state has time and again made efforts to remove the petitioner from his democratically elected post on the basis of conjunctures and surmises.”

According to Justice Bhardwaj, the court concluded that the evidence presented during the investigation was insufficient to support the petitioner-president’s accusations after “weighing the facts and circumstances of the case.”

During the hearing, Justice Bhardwaj’s Bench was informed that Jalalabad MLA Jagdeep Kamboj, also known as Goldy, had filed a complaint against the petitioner with the Chief Minister. According to the lawsuit, reputable members of the community alerted him about mishandling in the council development project as the public was not receiving basic amenities.

In response to being served with a show-cause notice, the petitioner filed his responses. However, the respondent-state terminated him from his position by notice on February 17, 2023. In response to his original appeal, a Division Bench of the high court returned the case to the appropriate body with specific instructions to make a new decision and set aside the notification. Following the petitioner’s second hearing, the state released the contested notice, which resulted in his dismissal from the position.

According to Justice Bhardwaj, a review of the events demonstrated that the notification in question was sent out carelessly and without following the Division Bench’s instructions.

Justice Bhardwaj argued, citing legal provisions, that it was clear the legislature, acting in the best interests of wisdom, had established the ability for the examiner of local fund accounts or other audit authority to determine if money was lost, wasted, or misused. However, no such mechanism was used to support the petitioner’s assertions.

Justice Bhardwaj said, “According to law settled, it is evident that the evidence collected should link the delinquent with the charges he has been prosecuted with.”

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