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K.V. Kandasamy Gounder, President Negamam Town Panchayat Vs. the Collector and Inspector of Panchayats and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1976)2MLJ182
AppellantK.V. Kandasamy Gounder, President Negamam Town Panchayat
RespondentThe Collector and Inspector of Panchayats and anr.
Excerpt:
- - chidambaram, learned counsel for the petitioner though wanted to attack the impugned order on several grounds, in the first instance, he confined his argument only to this narrow ground that having regard to the language of section 149-a, sub-sections (11) and (12) of the act, the fixing of the date by the collector as 13th february, 1976 in the impugned order is bad since sub-section (11) of section 149-a of the act contemplates only a prospective date......regard to the language of section 149-a, sub-sections (11) and (12) of the act, the fixing of the date by the collector as 13th february, 1976 in the impugned order is bad since sub-section (11) of section 149-a of the act contemplates only a prospective date. he bases his submission by drawing my attention to section 56 of the act and contends that if any other date is fixed, all the acts which were done would be rendered invalid and that there is no section which would cure that invalidity. at the time when he exercises the function as a president, certainly he had every legal competency. the fixing of the retrospective date would render all the acts which were done by the petitioner invalid. it would certainly not have been the intention of the legislature.3. it is further argued by.....
Judgment:
ORDER

S. Mohan, J.

1. The short facts leading to this Writ Petition in which the petitioner prays for certiorari to quash the proceedings of the Collector (Inspector of Panchayats, Coimbatore District, Coimbatore), dated 21st March, 1976 are as follows ; In 1970, the petitioner was elected as the President of Negamam Town Panchayat. The electorate consists of voters on the electoral roll of the Town Panchayat. The sanctioned strength of the Panchayat is fifteen. On 22nd October, 1975, the respondent communicated to the petitioner certain charges and called upon him to show cause as to why action should not be taken under Section 149-A(1) of the Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act (XXXV of 1958). The petitioner submitted his explanation. A meeting took place on 13th February, 1976 to ascertain the views of the members of the Panchayat about the removal of the petitioner from the Office of President. At that time, the petitioner protested against the convening of the meeting. This meeting was attended by 13 members. Seven voted for removal while six were against. After ascertaining the views of the members, the Tahsildar sent a report to the first respondent who passed the impugned order on 21st March, 1976 directing the removal of the writ-petitioner from the Office of President with effect from the date of resolution of the Panchayat, namely, 13th February, 1976.

2. Mr. P. Chidambaram, learned Counsel for the petitioner though wanted to attack the impugned order on several grounds, in the first instance, he confined his argument only to this narrow ground that having regard to the language of Section 149-A, Sub-sections (11) and (12) of the Act, the fixing of the date by the Collector as 13th February, 1976 in the impugned order is bad since Sub-section (11) of Section 149-A of the Act contemplates only a prospective date. He bases his submission by drawing my attention to Section 56 of the Act and contends that if any other date is fixed, all the acts which were done would be rendered invalid and that there is no section which would cure that invalidity. At the time when he exercises the function as a President, certainly he had every legal competency. The fixing of the retrospective date would render all the acts which were done by the petitioner invalid. It would certainly not have been the intention of the Legislature.

3. It is further argued by the learned Counsel for the writ petitioner that Sub-section (12) of Section 149-A of the Act gives an indirect clue that it should only be a prospective date. The learned Government Pleader in meeting these submissions, argues that all that is mentioned under Sub-section (11) is a date to be specified and that that date may be either prospective or retrospective. So long as it is a specified date, there is a proper compliance of Sub-section (11) of Section 149-A of the Act. Mr. K.V. Sankaran, learned Counsel for the 2nd respondent who has been impleded by an order, dated 9th April, 1976, submits that the removal could be only by Sub-section (12) of Section 149-A of the Act since the notification under Sub-section (11) comes into effect only on publication. Therefore, there would be time enough for the person affected by the order of the Inspector to move the Government and seek a postponement of the date specified in the notification.

4. I may, at the outset, say that both the Sub-sections (11) and (12) of Section 149-A are not happily worded and it is this unhappy wording that has given rise to these arguments. Secondly, if it was the intention of the Legislature that a retrospective date also is contemplated within Sub-section (11) of Section 149-A, it should have been specifically stated. But the language used is - ' remove the President from office by notification with effect from a date to be specified therein.' It is possible to argue, as it is being done, by the respondents, that this takes in even a retrospective specification of the date. But the argument of the respondent ignores the important fact that till the Collector decides to remove after considering the views of the Panchayats, every act of the President would be valid in law. If a retrospective date is contemplated under Sub-section (11) what is to happen to various contracts or any other similar action entered into or taken by the President? They would all be rendered invalid. Section 56 of the Act cannot also cure that invalidity since that section contemplates the invalidity arising out of a defect in the establishment or on the ground of the petitioner not being entitled to hold or continue in such office by reason of any disqualification or by reason of any irregularity or illegality in his election or again by reason of the act having been done during the period of any vacancy. If read in the light of that section, the only conclusion that is possible is a prospective date. However, Sub-section (12) does not throw any light with regard to the interpretation of Sub-section (11) since sub-section contemplates removal only by notification which notification would come into effect on publication. Therefore between the date of the order and the publication the affected President would have, time enough to move the Government and seek the postponement of the date specified for removal. This apart, the order of the Collector does not give as to what exactly is the reason that prompted him to fix the date as 13th February, 1976. Perhaps he thought that from the date of the passing of the resolution, inasmuch as the Panchayat had expressed in unequivocal terms in favour of removal of the writ petitioner, it should take effect. It may even be possible to argue under these circumstances that the Inspector did not exercise his statutory function while considering the views of the panchayat since the relates the removal to the date of the resolution. But I am not going into that question. On the short ground that only a prospective date is contemplated under Sub-section (11) of Section 149-A of the Act, this writ petition is allowed and the matter is remitted to the Collector for fresh consideration in the light of the observations made above. However, there will be no order as to costs.


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