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N.P. Guruswamy Vs. the Collector and Inspector of Panchayat and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1977)2MLJ326
AppellantN.P. Guruswamy
RespondentThe Collector and Inspector of Panchayat and anr.
Excerpt:
- - section 149-a(1) provides that on a representation in writing signed by not less than two-thirds of the sanctioned strength of the panchayat containing a statement of charges against the president and presented in person to the inspector by any two of the member's of the panchayat, if the inspector is satisfied that the president wilfully omits or refuses to carry out or disobeys any provision of the act, he shall by notice in writing require the president to offer his explanation. if two-thirds of the members of the panchayat are not satisfied with the president, and if they present a representation in writing as provided under section 149-a(1) (b), the inspector shall act under sub-section (2) :i......a writ of certiorari to quash the order of the collector, dated 18th october, 1976.2. before the learned judge it was submitted that the power of removal contained in section 149-a of the act was quasi-judicial in nature, that no reason whatsoever had been given by the collector in his order and that therefore his order was not valid. in rejecting the contention of the learned counsel for the appellant, the learned judge found that it might not be correct to say that the power that was exercised by the collector was quasi-judicial. the learned judge held that it was not open to the appellant to contend that reasons must be given for the removal. the satisfaction contemplated under the section is subjective in nature, and the learned judge found that it was not necessary that reasons.....
Judgment:
ORDER

P.S. Kailasam, C.J.

1. This appeal is filed by the President of the Nallampatti Panchayat, whose removal was directed by the Collector under Section 149-A of the Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act, 1958. Ten members of the Panchayat made a signed representation to the Collector and the Collector, after considering the representation, issued a notice under Section 149-A (1) (b) of the Act, calling upon the appellant to offer his explanation. The appellant sent his explanation. The Collector found that the explanation was not satisfactory and, as he considered that the notice and the explanation should be placed before the Panchayat for its views, he directed the Tahsildar to convene a meeting for considering the proposal for the removal of the appellant. The Panchayat at a special meeting held on 12th October, 1976 resolved to accept the proposal to remove the appellant from office, by a majority. After perusal of the resolution of the Panchayat and considering its views, the Collector in exercise of his powers under Section 149-A (11) directed that the appellant be removed from the office of President with effect, from 23rd October, 1976. Aggrieved by this order, the appellant filed a writ petition praying for the issue of a writ of certiorari to quash the order of the Collector, dated 18th October, 1976.

2. Before the learned Judge it was submitted that the power of removal contained in Section 149-A of the Act was quasi-judicial in nature, that no reason whatsoever had been given by the Collector in his order and that therefore his order was not valid. In rejecting the contention of the learned Counsel for the appellant, the learned Judge found that it might not be correct to say that the power that was exercised by the Collector was quasi-judicial. The learned Judge held that it was not open to the appellant to contend that reasons must be given for the removal. The satisfaction contemplated under the section is subjective in nature, and the learned Judge found that it was not necessary that reasons should be given.

3. On a reading of the section, we agree with the conclusion arrived at by the learned Judge. Section 149-A(1) provides that on a representation in writing signed by not less than two-thirds of the sanctioned strength of the panchayat containing a statement of charges against the President and presented in person to the Inspector by any two of the member's of the panchayat, if the Inspector is satisfied that the President wilfully omits or refuses to carry out or disobeys any provision of the Act, he shall by notice in writing require the President to offer his explanation. A complaint was given as required, and the Inspector, after satisfying himself, called upon the appellant to offer his explanation. On receipt of the explanation, the Inspector found that it was not satisfactory, and forwarded a copy of the notice and the explanation of the President to the Tahsildar for convening a meeting for considering the proposal for the removal of the President. The Tahsildar convened a meeting and presided over it, wherein the Panchayat expressed its view that the appellant should be removed from the office of President. After considering the views of the Panchayat, the Inspector decided to remove the President from office by notification.

4. The main contention of the learned Counsel for the appellant is that the function of the Inspector acting under Section 149-A(11) is quasi-judicial in nature and therefore the Inspector was bound to give reasons. We are unable to accept this contention for the rights and privileges of the President flow from the statutory provisions and he cannot claim any right which is not secured to him under the enactment. In the administration of the Panchayat certain procedure is envisaged. If two-thirds of the members of the Panchayat are not satisfied with the President, and if they present a representation in writing as provided under Section 149-A(1) (b), the Inspector shall act under Sub-section (2) : i.e., if he considers it necessary, he has to consider the explanation of the President, and, if he finds that the explanation is not satisfactory, he shall direct the Tahsildar to convene a meeting. After considering the views of the Panchayat the Inspector shall, in his discretion, either remove the President from office by notification or drop further action. This exercise of the discretion cannot be said to be judicial or quasi-judicial. We see no justification for the President insisting that the Collector should give reasons for his accepting the views of the Panchayat. We agree with the learned Judge and dismiss the writ appeal.


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