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Kharagpur civic row in HC

Calcutta, Sept. 7: Sixteen Congress councillors of the Kharagpur municipality led by Opposition leader Rabi Shankar Pande today moved a writ petition before Calcutta High Court challenging the government notification that allowed Jawaharlal Pal to continue as chairman till further notice.

In the September 4 directive, the municipal affairs department had asked the district magistrate to let Pal sign the pay cheques of over 550 serving and retired employees, and continue in his post till a legal solution could be reached at.

Moving the petition, Arunava Ghosh, the lawyer for the Congress councillors, said Pal had had no authority to remain in his post after losing the no-trust vote on August 27. “The chief executive officer of the civic body had sought the municipal affairs department’s approval for selecting a new incumbent after the Trinamul Congress chairman lost the trust vote. However, according to the rules, the state government is bound to allow the civic body to elect a chairman at the earliest. It cannot delay the process by saying that it would take legal advice,” he said.

According to the Bengal Municipal Act, the vice-president of a civic board has to declare the date of election for a new chairperson within seven days of the no-trust vote.