17 May 2023 2:00 PM GMT
The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently dismissed a petition filed by Gram Panchayat Badaliyan against the Collector's order to construct a ‘rasta’ for a person, which it alleged is an unauthorised occupant of its landThe division bench of Justice Sureshwar Thakur and Justice Kuldeep Tiwari observed:“……even if purportedly, only a single individual, may become benefitted from...
The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently dismissed a petition filed by Gram Panchayat Badaliyan against the Collector's order to construct a ‘rasta’ for a person, which it alleged is an unauthorised occupant of its land
The division bench of Justice Sureshwar Thakur and Justice Kuldeep Tiwari observed:
“……even if purportedly, only a single individual, may become benefitted from the construction of a revenue rasta, at the instance of the Collector of the revenue district concerned, yet the above is not a sufficient and well informed reason, for the Panchayat to yet, through a resolution, thus resist to make compliance with the orders of the Collector of the revenue district concerned, as thereby there would be breach of the mandate of right to life as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India.”
The counsel appearing for the petitioner contended that the collector has not considered the Resolution passed by the Gram Panchayat concerned, whereby it has shown its resistance to construct the rasta as the same is not meant for the benefit of the entire villagers, but is being constructed only for the personal benefit of an individual.
It was further submitted that the Gram Panchayat concerned has resisted the directions of the Collector of the revenue district concerned as the revenue rasta which is proposed to be constructed would subserve the estate-holders of Gram Panchayat Swar and would not subserve the estate-holders of Gram Panchayat Badaliyan.
However, after considering the affidavit filed by the concerned authorities, the court observed that the Gair Mumkin Rasta which is being proposed to be constructed on the directions of the Collector of the revenue district, rather would serve the villagers of Gram Panchayat Badaliyan.
The court further observed that the constitutional mandate of right to life also encapsulates the right to a road being constructed upto the homestead of any citizen, thus for facilitating able ambulance services being purveyed to citizen requiring emergent medical aid.
“Even if assumingly, the Panchayat has through a resolution, resisted the directions of the Collector of the revenue district concerned, besides, even if the said revenue rasta may serve only the interests of co-respondent No.9. However, the Gram Panchayat concerned, is under an obligation, to provide a revenue rasta to even a solitary villager, as thereby the right to life, as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India, which but encompasses therein the duty of State, to purvey convenient accesses to even a singular homestead, so as to enable its inhabitant(s), that in case any emergent medical situation does arise, to thus through an able ambulance road being constructed, upto, even a solitary home of any villager concerned, hence thereby alleviating medical care rather can be purveyed at the medical centres concerned,” the court said.
The court remarked that when the Panchayat land is meant for the common purposes of the village proprietary body, it is also meant to serve any member of the village/
“The Collector of the revenue district concerned, if is funding the construction of the said revenue rasta, and, if it is being constructed at the aegis of the Gram Panchayat concerned, construction whereof, otherwise also is the solemn duty cast, upon the Gram Panchayat, thus to enable all villagers concerned, to become facilitated with an ambulance road,” the court said.
Dismissing the petition, the court further imposed a cost of Rs. 50,000 on the Sarpanch of Gram Panchayat concerned to be personally borne by him for filing completely frivolous petition which, in Court’s opinion, was "generated by malafides".
Case Title: Gram Panchayat Badaliyan v. The Financial Commissioner to Govt. Punjab and Ors.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (PH) 90
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