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The Managiri Village Panchayat Represented by Its President K.R. Pitchai Vs. the Government of Tamil Nadu Represented by the Secretary to Government R.D. and L.A. Department and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1975)1MLJ265
AppellantThe Managiri Village Panchayat Represented by Its President K.R. Pitchai
RespondentThe Government of Tamil Nadu Represented by the Secretary to Government R.D. and L.A. Department and
Cases ReferredBhanu Dulta v. State
Excerpt:
- .....an area is excluded from one panchayat it shall form part of another panchayat and so also when an area is included in one panchayat it will be automatically excluded from the other panchayat from which the area is taken away-the section does not contemplate any area being left over without being included in any of the panchayats. thus, it will be seen that the scope of both the acts are entirely different. while the madurai city municipal corporation act, 1971 makes provision for including a local area in the municipal corporation area, the tamil nadu panchayats act, 1958 restricts itself to forming town panchayats and village panchayats and adjusting its jurisdiction. there is therefore no overlapping and the requirements of the panchayats act need not be fulfilled when a municipal.....
Judgment:

P.S. Kailasam, J.

1. The Managiri village panchayat represented by its President K.R. Pitchai, is the appellant in this writ appeal. Several panchayats filed writ petitions against the notification of the Government including the villages or parts of them in the Madurai Corporation. All the writ petitions were dismissed. The present appellant alone has preferred an appeal against the dismissal of its petition.

2. When the Madurai Municipal Corporation was constituted under the Madurai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1971 several areas which formed part of the various Panchayats were included in the Madurai Corporation. The validity of such inclusion was questioned in the various writ petitions.

3. Sub-sections (4), (5), (6), (7) and (8) of Section 3 of the Madurai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1971 are relevant and they are extracted below:

Section 3:

(1) ....

(2) ....

(3) ....

(4) The Government may, by notification! declare their intention:

(a) to exclude from the City any local area comprised therein and defined in such notification; or

(b) to include within the City any local area in the vicinity thereof and defined in such notification:

Provided that no cantonment shall be included within the City.(5) Any inhabitant of a local area in respect of which any such notification has been published or any local authority affected by any such notification, or the Council of the Corporation desiring to object to anything therein contained, may submit the objections in writing to the Government within six weeks from the publication of the notification and the Government shall take all such objections, into consideration.

(6) When six weeks from the publication of the notification have expired, and the Government have considered the objections, if any, which have been submitted, they may, as the case may be, by notification, exclude from or include in,, the city, the local area or any portion thereof.

(7) This Act shall come into force in, or cease to apply to, any such local area or any portion thereof as the case may be, on such date as may be specified in the notification under Sub-section (6).

(8) If any local area in which the Tamil Nadu District Municipalities Act, 1920 (Tamil Nadu Act V of 1920) or Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act, 1958 (Tamil Nadu Act XXXV of 1958) is in force, is constituted as, or included in, the City, the Government may pass such orders as they may deem fit as to the transfer to the Corporation or disposal otherwise of the assets or institutions of any municipality or panchayat in the local area and as to the discharge of the liabilities, if any of such municipality or panchayat relating to such assets or institutions, as the case may be.

According to Section 3 (4) the Government may by notification declare their intention to include within the City the local areas in the vicinity thereof and such areas defined in the notification. The procedure contemplated in Sub-sections 5 and 6 of Section 3 of issuing notice to the local authority etc., was also followed. The objection taken to the validity of the notification is that before any area in a panchayat is excluded action should be taken under the Panchayats Act and without such action being taken and without the provisions of the Panchayats Act being followed, the area cannot be included in the Madurai Municipal Corporation. The contention is based on Section 3 of the Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act, 1958 (Tamil Nadu Act XXXV of 1958). Sections 3 deals with the formation of panchayat villages and panchayat towns. Section 3 (1) (a) deals with constitution of town panchayats and Section 3 (1) (b) of village panchayats. Section 3(2) provides as follows:

3(2)(a) The Inspector may, by notification, exclude from a village or town any area comprised therein, provided that the population of the village or town, after such exclusion, is not less than five hundred.

(b) In regard to any area excluded under Clause (a), the Inspector shall, by notification under Sub-section (1), declare it to be a village or town if it has a population of not less than five hundred or it its population is less than five hundred include it in any contiguous village or town under Clause (c) (i). (c) The Inspector may, by notification:

(i) include in a village or town any local area contiguous thereto; or

(ii) cancel or modify a notification issued under Sub-section (1) ; or

(iii) alter the name of any village or town specified under Sub-section (1).

The contention of the learned Counsel for the appellant is that before any portion of the panchayat is excluded the provisions of Section 3 (2) (a) and (b) should be followed and if any area is to be included in any village or town panchayat, the provisions of Section 3 (2) (c) will have to be followed. Without notifying a particular area and excluding it from a panchayat, it is submitted that that area will not be available for being incorporated into the Corporation. This argument is based on a misconception. Section 3 prescribes the method of forming panchayats. A town panchayat shall be formed according to the provisions of Section 3 (1) (a) and the other local areas left over after forming of town panchayats shall be formed into village panchayats as provided for under Section 3 (1) (6). Section 3 (2) (a) and (b) deal with the exclusion of particular areas from the panchayats for being included in some other panchayats. Section 3 (2) (a) while stating that the Inspector may exclude from a village or town any area comprised therein, Section 3 (2) (6) requires that such area excluded under Clause (a) shall be declared to be a village or town. So far as Section 3 (2) (a) and (b) are concerned, it is clear that the exclusion of a portion from a revenue area is for the purpose of being included in some other local area so as to constitute a panchayat. Under these provisions, no area is taken away from the panchayat so as to be an area without being included in any panchayat. So also Section 3(2)(c) empowers the Inspector to include in a village any local area contiguous thereto. The Inspector may also cancel or modify such a notification. This Sub-section contemplates inclusion of an area belonging to a panchayat in some other panchayat. The moment it is thus included it forms part of the new panchayat and therefore no provision is made enabling the Inspector to exclude it from the panchayat. Thus it will be seen the entire Section 3 is for the formation of the town and village panchayats and for adjusting the territorial limits of the panchayats. The section does not contemplate the Inspector removing out of the panchayat certain areas and to keep it away from the jurisdiction of one or other of the panchayats. The moment an area is excluded from one panchayat it shall form part of another panchayat and so also when an area is Included in one panchayat it will be automatically excluded from the other panchayat from which the area is taken away-The section does not contemplate any area being left over without being included in any of the panchayats. Thus, it will be seen that the scope of both the Acts are entirely different. While the Madurai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1971 makes provision for including a local area in the municipal corporation area, the Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act, 1958 restricts itself to forming town panchayats and village panchayats and adjusting its jurisdiction. There is therefore no overlapping and the requirements of the Panchayats Act need not be fulfilled when a municipal corporation is constituted under the Madurai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1971. It is not disputed that all the requirements of the Madurai City Municipal Corporation Act have been fulfilled. A notification had been issued, the affected parties have been given an opportunity to be heard and the Government after hearing the objections came to the conclusion that these areas should be included in the Madurai Municipality. There is no breach of the provisions and the validity of the notification cannot be questioned.

4. On behalf of the petitioner, certain decisions were brought to our notice. The learned Counsel for the petitioner relied on a decision in P. Nagar Co-op. H.C.S. Ltd. v. Government of A.P. (1966) 2 A.W.R. 458. The learned Judge was dealing with the provisions of the District Municipalities Act and the Gram Panchayat Act. The provisions are, more or less, similar to the enactments with which we are concerned. We are unable to agree with the learned Judge that unless an area is excluded from the gram panchayat under the Gram Panchayat Act it cannot be included in the District Municipality. The reason given by him is equally unacceptable to us for the learned Judge says that the same area cannot be subjected to administrative jurisdiction of both the panchayat and the Municipality. This reason is obviously inapplicable to the present case for the Madurai City Municipal Corporation Act under Section 3 (7) provides that the said Act shall come into force in any local area which had been included in the municipality and Sub-section 8 says that if any local area wherein the Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act was in force is constituted or included in the City, the Government may pass orders transferring the assets or the institution of the panchayat to the municipality, and the municipal corporation will discharge the liabilities of such panchayat relating to the assets or institutions. Not only from the date of the transfer will the Madurai City Municipal Corporation Act be applicable, the assets and liabilities also will stand transferred. The question as to management by both the authorities and taxation being levied by both of them does not arise. The learned Judge did not agree with the earlier decision of the same Court in Viswanath v. State of A.P. (1960) A.L.T. 719, wherein the learned Judge held that when two villages were included in the municipality they became part of the municipality and the inhabitants of the villages were bound to pay the taxes already accrued to the municipality. The learned Judge proceeded on the basis that there is no prohibition for including any local areas within the municipality so long as it was not a cantonment. The decision of the Calcutta High Court in Bhanu Dulta v. State : AIR1970Cal127 , was relied on. In that case, under the Howrah Municipal Act the areas that formed part of the Bally Municipality were included in the Howrah Municipality. The contention that was raised was that the notification including the areas which formed part of Bally Municipality was not included in the Howrah Municipality under the Bengal Municipal Act of 1932. The learned Judge held that both the provisions under the Bengal Municipal Act as well as the Howrah Municipal Act ought to have been followed. We were taken through the facts of the case and we find ourselves unable to agree with the conclusion reached by the learned Judge. It is found that the State of West Bengal by an enactment included the areas covered by the Bally Municipality into the Howrah Municipal Corporation by enacting the Howrah Municipal Act. The competence of the Legislature to constitute a municipality including the areas that were covered by another municipality cannot be questioned for it is within the legislative competence of the State. The only other reason given by the learned Judge was that there was no notification under Section 6 (1) (6) of the Bengal Municipal Act notifying the Government's intention to withdraw the Bally Municipality from the operation of the Bengal Municipal Act. In this case, it may be stated that there was a notification under the Madurai City Municipal Corporation Act as required by the statute. Even in the absence of a notification under the Bengal Municipal Act, as there was a separate legislation including the area covered by the Bally Municipality, the inclusion cannot be questioned as it is within the legislative competence of the West Bengal State. For the reasons stated above, we are unable to agree with the reasoning and the conclusion arrived at by the learned Judge of the Calcutta High Court. In the result, we agree with the learned single Judge and hold that the constitution of Madurai Municipality including the panchayat areas now in dispute is valid and cannot be challenged. The writ appeal is dismissed with costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 200.


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