A Division Bench of the Bombay High Court at Goa comprising of Justice S.P. Deshmukh and Justice M.S Sonak today asked the Goa Government to file an affidavit on whether it had applied its independent mind before appointing Kabir Makhija and Kishor Sastry as nominated Councillors of the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP). The High Court directions came while hearing a petition filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues challenging the appointment of the two nominated Councillors.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues today submitted to the Court that the the appointment of Kabir Makhija and Kishor Sastry as nominated Councillors was in total breach and violation of law and that the CCP while proposing to nominate them as Councillors had falsely stated that they were experts in the field of Engineering and Urban Administration respectively.
Further submitting that the government had hurreiedly made the appointment without proper application of mind, Adv. Rodrigues drew the Court’s attention to the statement made by the Advocate General before the High Court on 19th July that the two were appointed as nominated councilors based on the recommendation of the CCP.
Adv. Rodrigues also pointed out to the Court that the bio-data submitted by Kabir Makhija and Kishor Sastry does not make any mention of them having any expertise in Engineering and Urban Administration while Kishor Sastry in his biodata had stated that his educational qualification is I.T.I in Electricals while Kabir Makhija stated that besides a diploma in Civil Engineering he is a Sportsman and did modeling at various events including the Lakme Fashion Week.
Adv. Rodrigues also drew the Court’s attention that Kishor Sastry had lost the CCP elections held in March this year while Kabir Makhija’s ward having been reserved for women was contested by his sister who was also defeated.
Adv. Rodrigues in his petition has also challenged the very validity of Section 9 (1) (b) of the CCP Act which makes a provision to nominate up to five Councillors having special knowledge or experience in municipal administration, engineering, architecture, archaeology, heritage etc, while drawing the attention of the High Court that this provision was violative of Article 243R of the Constitution of India which enables a non-elected member to be given a representation in a Municipality only if he has special knowledge or experience in Municipal Administration.