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High Court notices to Urban Development Ministry, Delhi Government

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Union Ministry for Urban Development, the Delhi Government and the New Delhi Municipal Council on a public interest litigation challenging grant of accommodation, cars and secretarial staff to non-official members of the civic body in violation of rules framed under the NDMC Act.

A Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice M. K. Sharma and Justice Reva Khetrapal directed the respondents to file their replies by March 5, the next date of hearing.

C. L. Devgun, a former employee of the civic body, has filed the petition through his lawyer, Monika Arora, urging the Court to withdraw the facilities from these members.

Earlier, Ms. Arora submitted a copy of the rules to the Court. The Court had asked for it at the last hearing.

The rules say that non-official members are entitled only to an allowance of Rs.1,000 per meeting for attending meetings of the Council and telephone with free calls worth Rs. 2,000 per month.

Later, Ms. Arora submitted that these members were enjoying many more facilities than they were entitled to.

The civic body had allotted them Type IV or V residential accommodation in Golf Links and office accommodation in the Palika Kendra. Besides, it had provided them secretarial staff in Palika Kendra with separate chambers, chauffeur-driven cars, stenographers and senior assistants. Further, they got 250 litres of petrol each month for commuting, more than what the Delhi High Court Judges got, alleged counsel. Ms. Arora submitted that the NDMC on an average was spending Rs.2 lakh on each of the non-official members each month. She said they were enjoying all these benefits without performing public duties.

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