SMC Mayoral elections deferred for three more months

Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC)

SRINAGAR — Nearly over a month after effecting legal changes in the law governing the election through an executive order, the government in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday once again deferred the elections for the post of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) Mayor by three more months.

A fresh order regarding the deferment of Mayoral elections was issued by Principal Secretary to the Government, Housing and Urban development department, Dheeraj Gupta under number 163-JK(HUD) of 2020; Dated: 07-09-2020.

“The post of Mayor, Srinagar Municipal Corporation has fallen vacant on 16th of June, 2020 and is to be filled up within a period of one month, in terms of Section 36 of the Jammu & Kashmir Municipal Corporation Act, 2000. In view of the health pandemic COVID-19, the District Magistrate, Srinagar (Chairman, District Disaster Management Authority, Srinagar) has issued notification as referred to above, prohibiting any inward/outward movement in Micro Containment Zones of Srinagar District,” an order reads.

“The Commissioner, Srinagar Municipal Corporation, vide his communication referred to above has informed that 96 zones of the Srinagar District have been designated as micro containment zones for the management of COVID-19, under the said orders of the District Magistrate, Srinagar, and that a large number of Councilors reside/fall in these areas. The Commissioner, Srinagar Municipal Corporation has informed that as a result of the prohibition of inward/outward movement of people in/from these areas, the conduct of election to the post of Mayor within the period prescribed by Section 36 of the J&K Municipal Corporation Act, 2000, read with second proviso of sub-section(2) of Section 36, which expires on 15th September, 2020, is not possible,” it added.

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The third proviso to sub-section (2) of section 36 of J&K Municipal Corporation Act, 2000, notified vide SO 282 Dated 07-09-2020 provides that “Provided also that the Government may, if the circumstances so warrant, on account of reasons of & security, public health including health pandemic, natural calamity such as floods, earthquake, snowstorm or an event of a similar or any other reason which is a hindrance to the conduct of election of the Mayor or the Deputy Mayor, by reasons to be recorded in writing, extend the time limit of conducting the elections up to a maximum of six months from the date the office of the Mayor or the Deputy Mayor falls vacant.”

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“Now, therefore, in terms of the above proviso of Section 36 (2) of J&K Municipal Corporation Act, 2000, in supersession of Government Order No. 158-JK (HUD) of 2020; Dated: 15-7-2010 and in view of the difficulty in the conduct of the election to the post of Mayor, SMC due to health pandemic COVID-19 and management protocol related to it issued by District Magistrate, Srinagar (Chairman, District Disaster Management Authority, Srinagar), the Government hereby extends the time limit for the conduct of said election to six months from the date the office of the Mayor fell vacant,” the order added.

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