A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra issued notice to the state government, Tata Steel and Jamshedpur Utilities Services Ltd (JUSCO) on a PIL filed by social activist Jawaharlal Sharma, who alleged that the city was being run as a "personal property" by the private firm.
The bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, however said the notice would not come in the way of the state government taking a decision in the matter.
It said the state government's decision on the status of the city would depend on the outcome of the case.
Lawyer Prashant Bushan, appearing for the petitioner, said the city was being controlled by Tatas for last 40-50 years and the civic rights of the citizens there were being hampered.
The plea filed by Sharma said "issue an order replacing the Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee by establishing a duly elected Municipal body in accordance with the provisions contained in Part IX-A of the Constitution."
"Because the state of Jharkhand has failed to declare Jamshedpur as a Municipality or an Industrial Township even after more than two decades of 73rd and 74th amendment of the Constitution coming into force, which inter alia makes it mandatory for the state government to create a municipality within a year of the amendment coming into force," the plea added.
Jamshedpur, originally called Sakchi, was identified as a location for the Tata Group's steel plant by Dorabji Tata in 1907. The region was later transformed into a thriving industrial township and the (British) government of India renamed it Jamshedpur after Dorabji Tata's father Jamsetji Tata in 1919.
The plea said the state government had on numerous occasions expressed its intention to constitute a municipality for Jamshedpur under Article 243Q (Constitution of Municipalities).
It also said the state government had chosen not to exercise its discretion under 243Q (1) to create an industrial township and brought notification declaring its intention to convert Jamshedpur into a municipality in 1967, which was dropped in 1973.
Sharma said with the expansion of Jamshedpur after formation of Jharkhand in 2000 and construction of multi-storied and high rise buildings, the demand for civic amenities increased manifold, justifying greater need for a regulatory authority such as elected civic body which is going to be accountable to its people.
It said that till date, there is neither a municipality in Jamshedpur, nor has it been declared as an Industrial Township.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)