Kolkata: Calcutta High Court has upheld the election of Trinamool minister Firhad Hakim as Kolkata Mayor by quashing a plea filed by the CPI-M.
Following the resignation of Sovan Chatterjee as Kolkata Mayor in late November, Trinamool named Hakim for the post.
Since Hakim is not a councillor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), the state government amended KMC Act, 1980, paving way for a non-councillor to become Mayor provided he or she has to get elected a councillor within six months.
Challenging this amendment, a CPI-M councillor filed a petition in the High Court and, demanded a stay on the election of Hakim as Mayor.
The High Court admitted the petition but declined a stay and thus, Hakim was elected the Mayor on 3 December.
During a hearing into the petition on Friday, CPI-M councillor’s counsel pleaded that the amendment is invalid as the Constitution says that only an elected person can become the Mayor.
But the state advocate general, Kishore Datta, countered this saying that since non-elected individuals can become Prime Minister and Chief Minister, why the same should not apply in case of a Mayor?
He also said that the state government was in its right to amend the KMC Act and the same has been endorsed by the Governor.
On hearing both the sides, Justice Debangshu Basak quashed CPI-M’s petition and upheld the election of Hakim as the Kolkata Mayor.