1. The petitioner is the Panchavat Board, Karumandi Chellipalayara in Coimbatore Dist. The area comprised within this Panchayat Board was originally part of the Perundurai Panchayat Board. Till 1957, a weekly market was being held within the area of what is now the Perundurai Panchavat Board. In that year, it was shifted to the area which now lies within the jurisdiction of the petitioner Panchavat Board. It is classified as a Panchavat Union market. Under Section 104 of the Madras Panchayats Act, 1958, the Government have the power to apportion the income derived from Panchayat Union markets between the Panchavat Union Council and the Panchayat or order the payment of a contribution in respect thereof to the Panchavat or the Panchayat Union Council, as the case may be. In 1960, the contribution payable under this section was ordered to be paid to the petitioner Panchayat Board and it was fixed at 30 per cent. It was accordingly being paid for some years. In 1965, an order had been passed raising the contribution to 40 per cent and dividing it between the petitioner Panchayat Board and the Perundurai Panchayat Board. It is against this order that this writ petition is filed.
2. I am of opinion that the petitioner Panchayat Board is entitled to succeed. When Section 104 speaks of the Income being apportioned between the Panchayat Union Council and the Panchayat or the payment of a contribution in respect thereof to the Panchayat or the Panchayat Union Council as the case may be, the Panchayat referred to can be only the Panchayat within whose jurisdiction the market is being held. There must be some nexus between the market and the Panchayat in order to justify the payment of contribution to or the apportionment between that Panchayat and the Panchayat Union, There is no such nexus in this case between the Perundurai Panchayat Board and the market. To hold otherwise on the ground that the singular includes plural, would mean that It would be open to the Government to direct the payment of a portion of the contribution not merely to the Perundurai Panchayat Board but to any number of Panchavat Boards within the jurisdiction of the Perundurai Panchayat Union. Of course, the petitioner Board has no right to claim that any particular percentage of the Income should be paid to it. It cannot object if the Panchavat Union Council makes any payment to the Perundurai Panchayat Board except to a portion of the contribution or apportionment under Section 104.
Therefore, if the Government, instead of fixing the portion payable to the Panchayat Board at 40 per cent and ordering it to be divided equally between the petitioner-Panchavat Board and the Perundurai Panchayat Board had merely fixed It at 20 per cent or even 10 per cent and ordered it to be paid to the petitioner Board, the petitioner Board can have legally no grievance. The right of the petitioner Board to object to any portion of the contribution or an apportionment under Section 104 arises from the fact that such contribution or apportionment is payable only to the Panchayat within whose jurisdiction the market is held, or as I already pointed out, the Panchayat which has a nexus with the market As a payment is made to the Panchayat which has nexus with the market, no objection could be taken to the payment to any other Panchayat having a similar nexus. But objection could be legitimately taken to payment to a Panchayat which has no nexus with the market. It follows, therefore, that the petitioner is entitled to succeed in this writ petition. It is unnecessary to point out again that it is open to the Government to restrict the percentage of contribution payable and make it payable only to the petitioner-Panchayat Board, in which case, the petitioner can have legally no grievance. There will be no order as to costs.