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Regional

HP High court set aside DC orders on delimitation wards 5,6,11,12 of Shimla

Vijyender Sharma | June 03, 2022 09:04 PM

SHIMLA: The High Court of H.P., today set aside the orders of Deputy Commissioner, Shimla and Divisional Commissioner, Shimla, whereby objections filed against delimitation of Ward No.11- Nabha (new Ward No.12-Nabha) and Ward No.5- Summerhill (New Ward No. 6-Summerhill) were rejected.

A Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Sabina and Justice Satyen Vaidya, passed these orders on two separate petitions filed by Ms. Simi Nanda Congress Councillor from Nabha Ward and Sh. Rajeev Thakur of Summerhill.

The petitioners have filed these petitions aggrieved by the order dated 24th February, 2022, passed by the Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, and orders dated 8th March, 2022, passed by the Divisional Commissioner, Shimla, rejecting the objections filed against delimitation of Ward No.11- Nabha (new Ward No.12-Nabha) and Ward No.5- Summerhill (New Ward No. 6-Summerhill). The Advocate General, opposed the petitions and has submitted delimitation of the wards has been conducted mainly on the basis of population.

The petitioner Simi Nanda submitted that Lower Phagli 1 and Lower Phagli 2 of Nabha Ward, were proposed to be merged in Phagli Ward in violation of the principles of equal distribution of area population wise. Instead of considering the objections raised by petitioner Divisional Commissioner Shimla, proposed delimitation of Nabha Ward by amalgamating the Lower Phagli area.

The court observed that total population of Nabha Ward was 4387 as per census of 2011, whereas, Tutikandi and Phagli Wards had total population of 5639 and 4518, respectively. Thus, there was no occasion to reduce the population of Nabha Ward, which was already having the least population out of all the three wards

In the matter pertaining to delimitation of Summerhill, the petitioner Rajeev Thakur submitted that the process of delimitation carried out by the respondents has failed to achieve the object of the amendment as the population of different wards has not been brought at par. While creating Ward No.5 Summerhill area and Ward No.6 Boileauganj area, the respondents has failed to include the area of Boileauganj Bazar in the Boileauganj Ward to create continuity.

The Court observed that census of 2011, reveals that the population of Summerhill Ward was 5391 and of Boileaugnaj Ward it was 3955. Thus, the population of Boileauganj Ward is much less than the Summerhill Ward and at the time of delimitation, an effort could have been made to bring the population of both the wards at par, as far as possible.

The Court found the Deputy Commissioner has failed to consider the factual aspect of the submissions raised by the petitioners. The Deputy Commissioner 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. The Appellate Authority i.e. Divisional Commissioner, Shimla, while dismissing the appeals filed by the petitioners, has also failed to consider this aspect of the matter.

The Court found that Impugned orders passed by the Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, and Appellate Authority i.e. Divisional Commissioner, Shimla, qua delimitation of Ward No.11- Nabha (new Ward No.12-Nabha) and Ward No.5- Summerhill (New Ward No. 6-Summerhill), are liable to be set aside and both the petitions have been allowed. The matters have been remand back to the Deputy Commissioner with directions to decide the objections raised by the petitioners afresh, in accordance with law, after appreciating the material available on record.

In another matter the Court dismissed a petition filed by one Sh. Virender Thakur, challenging reservation of Summer Hill Ward of Shimla MC for Woman (General).

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