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Gauhati HC Quashes No-Confidence Resolution Against Gram Panchayat President Citing Participation Of Member Disqualified For Having 3 Children

28 Jun 2022 1:22 PM GMT
Guahati HC Quashes No-Confidence Resolution Against President Of A Gram Panchayat For Non-Compliance With Assam Panchayat Act

The Gauhati High Court has quashed a resolution expressing no-confidence in the petitioner - the President of a Gram Panchayat, as a result of which she as removed from office, citing non-compliance with Assam Panchayat Act, 1994 read with Rule 62 of the Assam Panchayat (Constitution) Rules, 1995.

The petitioner referred to the materials available on record to argue that one of the respondents, a member of the Gaon Panchayat, who voted against the petitioner, had given birth to her third child the previous year. Therefore, by virtue of Section 111(2)(a) of the Act read with Rule 62 of the Rules, she stood automatically disqualified on the date of voting. Despite this, her vote was taken into account while passing the no-confidence resolution.

The petitioner prayed for setting aside the impugned resolution and for issuance of a direction to restore his client back in the office. Alternatively, liberty could be granted to the respondents to initiate a fresh proceeding, following due process.

Counsels for the respondents agreed that the said member of the panchayat had been disqualified, but retained that the disqualification would have no bearing on the petitioner's case, as the impugned resolution was passed before the declaration of her disqualification.

Justice Suman Shyam noted that the member had voted against the petitioner and without her vote, the petitioner would not have been ousted from office. He also found no dispute about the fact that the member had incurred disqualification under the law prior the date of adoption of the impugned resolution. He found it unnecessary to delve into other aspects of the matter, including the procedural formalities for declaring the member a disqualified candidate.

The impugned resolution was declared to be vitiated and liable to be set aside. The Court restored the petitioner to the office of the President of the Bongalmara Gaon Panchayat with immediate effect. The Court said that the order will not stand in the way should the authorities or any member of the Gaon Panchayat propose a fresh motion of "no-confidence" against the petitioner, following due process of law.

Case Title : Jugitawali Pawe v State of Assam and 15 ors.

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Gau) 46

Click Here To Read/Download Order

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