The plea has alleged that the decision to remove him was taken after his elder brother Suvendu Adhikari, a former cabinet minister in Mamata Banerjee government, resigned to join BJP in December 2020.
The plea, which is an appeal against March 15, 2021, Calcutta High Court order adjourning the matter, seeks directions to be issued to the Calcutta High Court for expeditious disposal of his case since the High Court had “erroneously adjourned the matter without appreciating the fact that State was trying to adopt dilatory tactics.”
Soumendu Adhikari served as the Chairman of the Contai Municipality for two tenures, from 2010-2020. His tenure was due to expire on May 19, 2020.
Since general elections to the municipality could not be conducted on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, Adhikari was appointed as the Chairperson of the Board of Administrator by way of a notification.
It has been submitted that in December 2020 after the Petitioner’s elder brother, Suvendu Adhikari resigned from the Mamata Banerjee cabinet and joined the BJP, a notification was released stating inter alia that the earlier notification had been amended and that Siddhartha Maity has been appointed as the Chairperson of the Board of Administrators.
Adhikari approached the High Court against the same.
The High Court which was to decide Adhikari’s case on February 4 adjourned the matter for March 2021. In the interim, the petitioner moved an application stating that Contai Municipality has been “kept under the governance of a board of administrators loyal to the State Government since May 19, 2020 (more than ten months) without elections and that this amounts to colourable exercise of power and is an impediment to democratic elections.”
It has been claimed that the State Government has delayed elections despite the State Election Commission being ready to conduct them.
The plea before the Supreme Court states that the December 30 notification was issued only because since his elder brother had resigned from the cabinet and joined BJP.
“Action by the state government is not for the betterment of municipal administration but for the petty political reasons of showing no confidence in Adhikari, particularly because of recent political fabric and orientation,” says the plea.
The petition filed through advocate Sameer Kumar states that the newly appointed chairman of the board of councilors is not even a “holder of any public office nor does he have any special knowledge about municipal affairs”.
“The only reason for choosing him as the chairman is the fact that he is the President of TMC, Contai, and the husband of one of the councilors of the last expired board,” Adhikari has submitted.