1. The sole point involved in this revision petition is whether the District Panchayat Officer is competent to file a suit on behalf of Gram Panchayat to recover any sum certified to be due from any person by the auditor. In this case the District Panchayat Officer. Machilipatam filed a suit against the ex-sarpanch of Tasivipudi gram Panchayat to recover a sum of Rs. 442-18 Paise as the amount due from him in pursuance of a surcharge certificate issued against him by the audit party. The lower court dismissed the suit by holding that the District Panchayat Officer is not competent to file the suit on behalf of the gram panchayat. Rules 7 of the Rules relating to audit, surcharge, disallowance and appeals under Cls. VII and IX of sub-section (2) of S. 217 of the A. P. Gram Panchayat Act is as follows:---
'Every sum certified to be due from any person by the auditor under these rules shall be paid by such person into the nearest Government Treasury or in the nearest post office saving bank or into the office of the gram panchayat as required by the auditor within fourteen days after the intimation to him of the decision of the auditor unless within that time such person has appealed to the Government against the decision; and such sum if not paid, or such sum as the Government shall declare to be due, shall be recoverable by the District Panchayat Officer.'
2. From a reading of the above rule it is clear that the District Panchayat Officer was authorised to collect sums certified to be due from any person by the audit party. Though the lower court referred to this rule erroneously thought that this rule does not authorise the District Panchayat Officer to file suits. The lower court observed that this rule does not envisage that the District Panchayat Officer has been given the right to institute a suit in a court of law. When the said rule said that sums due shall be recoverable by the District Panchayat Officer it means that the District Panchayat Officer is competent to file suits to recovery the sums certified to be due. Accordingly, the judgment of the lower court is set aside and the case is remitted back to the lower court for fresh disposal on merits in the light of the observations made above. No costs.
3. Petition allowed.