Plea challenging removal order of Sarpanch allowed

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Feb 2018 12:08:12

Legal Correspondent,

IN THE matter related to challenging removal order on post of Sarpanch of Gram Panchayat, Amanala, Janpad Panchayat, Mandla Mandla district, single bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court comprising Justice J K Maheshwari said that in view of foregoing discussion, inescapable conclusion can be arrived in the facts of the case is to quash order dated on October 12, 2017, passed by the Chief Executive Officer, Jila Panchayat, Mandla and to quash proceedings of removal of petitioner from the post of Sarpanch, Gram Panchayat, Amanala. It is made clear that dropping of proceedings due to delay will not debar authorities to take recourse of law afresh. Consequently, this petition succeeds and is hereby allowed. Order dated on October 12, 2017, passed by respondent CEO is hereby quashed. Proceeding initiated under Sub-Section (1) of Section 40 of the Panchayat Act is also quashed. In the facts and circumstances, parties are directed to bear there own costs.’

Single bench of MPHC heard the petition filed by Rajesh Barkade challenging order dated on October 12, 2017, passed by respondent CEO, Jila Panchayat Mandla and also prayed to culminate proceeding pending in furtherance to show cause notice dated on June 14, 2016, issued under Section 40(1) of the Panchayat Act because the order finalising enquiry within the time so prescribed in second proviso has not been passed. Undisputed facts of the case are the petitioner is elected Sarpanch of the Gram Panchayat, Amanala, Janpad Panchayat, Mandla district. He was served a show cause notice on June 14, 2016, as to why he should not be removed in exercise of power under Section 40 (1) of Madhya Pradesh Panchayat Raj Evam Gram Swaraj Adhiniyam, 1993. On receiving the notice, reply was filed, but the final order completing the enquiry has not yet passed, however, appropriate directions have been sought to quash the proceedings.

It is said, as per proviso to Section 40(1) of the Panchayat Act final order ought to be passed within 90 days otherwise appropriate authority may seek extension in writing from immediate senior officer, who can grant only 30 days’ extension. It is urged to pass the order from the date of show cause notice, 90 days time extendable to 30 days total period of 120 days is specified. When proceedings were not dropped, he submitted an application before Sub-Divisional Officer on September 14, 2016, to close the proceedings. Sub-Divisional Officer vide order dated on May 17, 2017, referred the matter to the Chief Executive Officer Jila Panchayat, Mandla, in reference to a letter dated on May 3, 2017, of Madhya Pradesh Government, Panchayat and Rural Development Department, Bhopal. The Chief Executive Officer in place of extension of time fixed various dates and vide order dated on October 12, 2017, rejected the application of the petitioner, however, this petition has been filed seeking quashment of said order and to drop proceeding of Section 40(1) of the Panchayat Act.

Counsel for the petitioner submits that as per Section 40(1) of the Panchayat Act and its proviso, after issuance of show cause notice, final order if not passed within a period of 90 days by prescribed authority, he is supposed to ask extension reporting the matter to immediate Senior Officer in writing. The said extension of time shall not be more than 30 days. However, from the date of issuance of show cause notice total period of 120 days is prescribed to pass final order, including extended period.


Plea of ex-employees of Betul Watch Factory dismissed

Legal Correspondent,

IN THE matter related to Madhya Pradesh Watch Factory, Betul, single bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court comprising Justice Sujoy Paul has dismissed petition filed by Jyoti Pawar and others said that no relief can be granted to petitioners in these petitions. In the petitions, the petitioners have prayed to set aside the order dated on November 18, 2008, whereby their prayer to absorb them in any Government department is rejected. It is further prayed that petitioners were compulsorily retired and department has erred in treating them as retired on voluntary basis. It is further prayed that consequential benefits arising out of their compulsory retirement be paid to them.

Briefly stated, facts are that the petitioners have worked in Madhya Pradesh Watch Factory, Betul. The said factory was closed down on August 8, 2002. Petitioners were given benefit of retrenchment compensation etc as per provisions of Industrial Disputes Act-1947. In an industrial dispute raised by union of petitioners, appropriate Government by order dated on January 23, 1999, opined that workmen are entitled to get retrenchment compensation. In the event, closed down factory is reopened or industry get new orders, the retrenched workmen will get preference in getting re-employment.

The petitioners’ union filed, which was decided on April 7, 2005. The court directed the petitioners to file representation seeking absorption and in turn, the Government was directed to decide the representation. Petitioners filed detailed representation dated on August 8, 2005. The said representation was rejected on March 7, 2006, wherein it was held that petitioners were voluntarily retired and since industry is closed down w.e.f. August 8, 2002, they cannot be taken back in Government service. Aggrieved, the union filed a petition, which was decided on July 29, 2008. This court opined that reason for rejection was based on improper consideration and on wrong facts because petitioners were not voluntarily retired. Hence, the rejection order dated on July 7, 2006, was set aside. The competent authority was directed to decide the representation afresh. In turn, order dated on July 30, 2010, is passed. The said order is not called in question in these petitions. Yet, prayer is made to absorb them in service.