Kabir Makhija one of the two nominated as Councillors to the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) has refunded to the CCP the honoraium of Rs 10,800 which was paid to him while stating that it would satisfy him if the honorarium remains in the coffers of the CCP for the betterment of Panaji and its residents.
Kabir Makhija has stated this in his reply before the High Court to the petition filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues challenging his appointment and that of Kishor Sastry as nominated Councillors.
The petition is scheduled to come up for hearing before the High Court on Monday 19th July.
Kabir Makhija in his reply has also stated that in the first week of April he was informed by the Mayor that he would like to propose his name as nominated Councillor and had requested him to furnish his biodata.
While stating that he had neither requested nor clamored for the post of nominated Councillor, Kabir Makhija in his reply has further stated that he has played no role in his nomination besides tendering his biodata.
Stating that his father late Prem Makhija was a civil contractor who undertook civil works of commercial and residential nature , Kabir Makhija has submitted to the Court that between 1999 and 2001 he assisted his father and gained practical experience in civil engineering. This experience however does not figure in the biodata that Kabir Makhija had submitted to the Mayor.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues in his petition before the High Court has stated that the appointment of Kabir Makhija and Kishor Sastry as nominated Councillors was in total breach and violation of the CCP Act as both did not meet the requirement to be nominated as Councillors not having the necessary special knowledge or experience in the required fields.
Adv. Rodrigues has further stated that the CCP while proposing to nominate Kabir Makhija and Kishor Sastry as Councillors had falsely stated that they were experts in the field of Engineering and Urban Administration respectively.
Adv. Rodrigues has also pointed out 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 has stated that his educational qualification is I.T.I in Electricals while Kabir Makhija states that besides a diploma in Civil Engineering he is a Sportsman and did modeling at the Lakme Fashion Week.
Stating that the provision for nominated Councillors was so that the CCP could get the proficient advice and guidance of experts in the designated fields and not to be misused to politically rehabilitate former Councillors, Adv. Rodrigues in his petition has drawn the attention of the High Court that Kishor Sastry had lost the recent CCP Polls held in March 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 stated that the intent of the law to create posts of nominated councilors was to have persons with vast experience in the fields specified so that they could through their long experience and enhanced knowledge contribute their ideas at meetings and deliberations of the Corporation.
Adv. Rodrigues has also submitted that in the absence of CCP inviting applications for being nominated the entire process of nominating Kabir Makhija and Kishor Sastry was murky and untenable.
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.