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Sukhbir Singh Vs. Gram Panchayat of Mauza Pakhowal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Revn. No. 823 of 1955
Judge
Reported inAIR1957P& H77; 1957CriLJ474
ActsPunjab Gram Panchayat Act, 1953 - Sections 23, 99 and 100; Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1898 - Sections 435 and 438
AppellantSukhbir Singh
RespondentGram Panchayat of Mauza Pakhowal
Appellant Advocate H.L. Sarin, Adv.
Respondent Advocate Surindar Singh, Adv. General
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredDalip Singh v. The State
Excerpt:
.....shall lie against judgment/orders passed by single judge in a writ petition filed under article 226 of the constitution of india. in a writ application filed under articles 226 and 227 of constitution, if any order/judgment/decree is passed in exercise of jurisdiction under article 226, a writ appeal will lie. but, no writ appeal will lie against a judgment/order/decree passed by a single judge in exercising powers of superintendence under article 227 of the constitution. .....panchayat has the authority to impose a penalty for disobedience of that order. chapter iv confers criminal jurisdiction on a panchayat and this jurisdiction is called 'criminal judicial functions'. this chapter provides procedure which a panchayat has to observe to perform this criminal jurisdiction. chapter v confers civil and revenue jurisdiction on a panchayat and a detailed procedure has been laid down which a panchayat must observe in exercise of this jurisdiction. chapter vi lays down certain general provisions which are applicable to judicial proceedings taken by a panchayat whether their character be criminal, civil or revenue. the orders of the panchayat passed in exercise of the criminal jurisdiction are subject to supervisory jurisdiction of the district magistrate of the.....
Judgment:

Bishan Narain, J.

1. The Gram Panchayat or Mauza Pakhowal, Tehsil and District Ludhiana, made a conditional order under Section 21(1) of the Gram Panchayat Act IV of 1953 requiring Sukhbir Singh to remove the encroachments made by him within 24 hours and it was stated in that order that Sukhbir Singh had committed an act of encroachment by demolishing the drain and the floor previously constructed by the Panchayat and thereby had caused inconvenience to the public. Sukhbir Singh refused to receive the notice.

The Panchayat after recording the evidence Imposed a penalty of Rs. 25/- under Section 23 of the Gram Panchayat Act and also Imposed' a penalty of Re. 1/- per day fill the order Was carried out. The petitioner filed an application to the Additional District Magistrate, Ludhiana, under Section 51 of the said Act but it was dismissed on the ground that the proceedings under Sections 21-23 of the Act are of an executive and administrative nature. The petitioner has come to this Court under Section 439, Cr. P. C., and under Article 227 of the Constitution.

2. The only point that has been argued before me is that the proceedings under Sections 21-23 of the Act are judicial in nature and are not administrative. For determination of this point it isnecessary to refer to the general scheme of the Gram Panchayat Act in this matter. In Chapter II of the Act provision is made for establishment of a Panchayat in a specified area. Chapter III lays down the duties, functions and powers of a . Gram Panchayat established under the Act.

Administrative duties are laid down in Section 19, while under Section 20 it is open to a District Board to delegate certain of its functions to a Panchayat, Section 21 empowers a Panchayat to order removal of certain kind of encroachments and nuisances, and if the person concerned disobeys the order, then the Panchayat has the authority to Impose a penalty for disobedience of that order. Chapter IV confers criminal jurisdiction on a Panchayat and this Jurisdiction is called 'Criminal Judicial Functions'. This Chapter provides procedure which a Panchayat has to observe to perform this criminal jurisdiction. Chapter V confers Civil and Revenue Jurisdiction on a Panchayat and a detailed procedure has been laid down which a Panchayat must observe in exercise of this jurisdiction. Chapter VI lays down certain general provisions which are applicable to judicial proceedings taken by a Panchayat whether their character be criminal, civil or revenue. The orders of the Panchayat passed in exercise of the criminal jurisdiction are subject to supervisory jurisdiction of the District Magistrate of the area (section 51), while its orders in the exercise of civil and revenue jurisdiction are subject to supervisory Jurisdiction of the District Judge or Collector as the case may be (section 65). On the other hand, the resolutions and orders of the Panchayat other than those passed in judicial proceedings are subject to the orders of the Deputy Commissioner who on application or suo motu may confirm, rescind or modify them (section 97). The Government has overriding power to examine record of any proceedings and then confirm, rescind or modify any resolution or order of the Panchayat (section 100). It may be stated here that Sections 97 and 100 occur in Chapter IX which deal with control of a Panchayat.

3. It is clear from these provisions of the statute that the Legislature intended to create a new body to perform certain administrative and judicial functions. Its administrative functions as enumerated in Chapter III have been made subject to executive control under Sections 97 and 100 of the Act, while the judicial functions have been made subject to supervision of authorities mentioned in Sections 51 and 65 of the Act. The Act lays down procedure in some detail which a Panchayat should adopt when performing its judicial functions. Similarly for performance of certain administrative or executive matters procedure has been laid down in Section 21 and Section 23 of the Act. Thus the Act creates Panchayats to perform certain functions in accordance with the procedure laid down therein. Considering the scheme of the Act and the nature of the rights conferred on the Panchayat It appears to me to follow that remedy provided by the Act against particular orders of the Panchayat must be followed and no other.

As I have already said, in this Act the remedy provided to an aggrieved party when an order under 8. 23 is made against him is to invoke S 97 and then, if necessary, Section 100 of the Act. That being so the petitioner was in error, in applying to the Additional District Magistrate under Section 435/438. Cr P. C. and the Additional District Magistrate was correct in holding that the order being administrative in nature, criminal Courts had no jurisdiction to Interfere with it. This view is in accord with the view taken by Khosla J. in an unreported judgment Dalip Singh v. The State, Criminal Rev. No. 367 of 1958 (Punj) (A). In that case Khosla J. observed:

'I do not think, however, I can interfere at this stage because it seems to me that the order of the Panchayat under Section 23 was an executive order and the Sub-Divisional Officer also considered the matter in his executive capacity. Under Section 100 of the Act the Punjab Government can call for the record of the case and set aside the order of the Sub-Divisiorial Officer if this order appears to be unjust or unlawful. I have no doubt that the petitioner can move the Punjab Government to take action in this respect under Section 100, and until he does so I would not foe Justified in interfering at this stage. This is not a Judicial matter and a criminal revision does not in my opinion lie, although possibly a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution might be competent when the petitioner has exhausted all lawful remedies which are open to him under the Gram Panchayat Act.'

I am in respectul agreement with these observations of Khosla J.

4. The result is that this petition fails and is accordingly dismissed.


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