HC notices to Mundhe, smart city corp board on naming CEO

Nagpur: The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has issued notices to city civic chief Tukaram Mundhe and the Board of Directors of smart city corporation NSSCDCL on a plea filed by seven former employees of the company against their termination from service.

The petition has alleged that Mundhe, an IAS officer, had “illegally usurped” the position of CEO of Nagpur Smart & Sustainable City Development Corporation Ltd (NSSCDCL).

A division bench of Justices S B Shukre and S M Modak on Thursday issued notices to all the respondents named in the plea, including Mundhe.

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The petitioners were working with NSSCDCL since 2018- 2019 on contract basis on the respective post allocated, appointed and designated by the corporation.

They claim they were “illegally, arbitrarily and forcibly” terminated by Mundhe by orders dated May 26 and June 16, 2020.

The petitioners alleged that Mundhe acted in “utter defiance” of law and usurped the power of CEO of NSSCDCL and asked them to resign.

When the petitioners refused to resign, he terminated their services in “malafide manner and with an oblique motive, without there being any authority under law vested in him”, the plea claimed.

The petition, filed through advocate Shreerang Bhandarkar, sought the court to declare Mundhe’s appointment as illegal and quash their termination orders.

The HC bench issued notices to all the respondents, including Mundhe, and posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks.

In the past, Mundhe has claimed he was appointed CEO of the corporation by the NSSCDCL chairman after the incumbent resigned in February this year.

NSSCDCL is a company registered under provisions of the Companies Act, 2013, as a special purpose vehicle and is jointly owned by the Nagpur Municipal Corporation and the Maharashtra government.

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