The Supreme Court Thursday said it would hear on August 5 a plea filed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has challenged the postponement of Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCD) polls on grounds of delimitation of wards in the national capital, after the Centre sought time to file a reply. A bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar said the counsel appearing for the Election Commission may also file written notes or submissions if so advised.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Aishwarya Bhati, who appeared for the Centre, sought time to file a response in the matter. “I am requesting for me to file a response,” Bhati told the bench, also comprising Justices A S Oka and J B Pardiwala.
“List this matter on August 5,” the bench said. On July 20, the apex court granted liberty to the petitioner to serve the advance copy of the plea on the standing counsel for the respondents, including the central agency.
The AAP has made the Centre, the State Election Commission, and the MCD, through the special officer, respondents in the petition. Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for the AAP, had last week told the bench that there were three municipal corporations in Delhi and their terms expired in mid of May this year.
He had said that the three MCDs have been unified but post-unification, the elections cannot be delayed. The matter was earlier mentioned for urgent listing before a bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana, which had taken note of the plea of the counsel representing AAP that the unification of three MCDs and the consequential delimitation exercise cannot be a valid ground to defer the civic polls.
The announcement of the election schedule for the three Delhi civic bodies was deferred in March this year and later, the Centre brought a Bill for the unification of the MCDs. The process relating to the delimitation of municipal wards is underway in Delhi.