Ahmedabad: The Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) on Friday opened its public gallery during the general board meetings after three years after the intervention of Gujarat high court in response to a public interest litigation.
On questioning by the high court on why the public gallery in the local body house was closed by the civic authorities, the RMC communicated to the high court that it has opened it for common people for viewing the proceedings in the house.

Petitioner Ashok Patel for Rajkot Matdar Ekta Manch complained about the closure of the public gallery and demanded that it should be thrown open for people. He had told the HC that after a disturbance caused by political party workers from public gallery in April 2016, RMC decided to keep the public gallery closed during the general board meetings.

Patel had contended that the public gallery is meant for people to view discussion by elected representatives. He had submitted that a provision in Section 1E in Chapter II of the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporation (BPMC) Act says that “every meeting shall be open to the public”.

The petitioner had also demanded action against those officials and office-bearers of the RMC who had decided to close the public gallery, but the high court has refused to issue any directions in this regard. The petitioner was left little discontent with this and has decided to make representation to the court again in this regard. “If the high court does not consider my request to order action against those responsible for keeping the public gallery closed for three years, I will move the Supreme Court,” he said.

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