Mere receipt of a notice by Collector doesn’t allow the prohibition under Section 15(12) of UP Kshettra Panchayats and Zila Panchayats Adhiniyam, 1961 to come into play: SC

Supreme Court: In the case where it was contended that once a notice is given under Section 15(2) of Uttar Pradesh Kshettra Panchayats and Zila Panchayats Adhiniyam, 1961, another notice of no confidence shall not be received until after expiration of one year, the 3-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and AM Khanwilkar and Dr, DY Chandrachud, JJ held that the prohibition under Section 15(12) would only come into play when there is meeting and the motion is “not carried out” as per the provisions of Section 15 or meeting could not be held for want of quorum. It said:

“Mere receipt of a notice by the Collector will not allow the prohibition under Section 15(12) to come into play. That is not the purpose of the provision.”

Explaining the legislative intend behind the Act, the Court said that the legislature being empowered by the Constitution has legislated to provide for the establishment of Kshettra Panchayats and Zila Panchayats in the Districts of Uttar Pradesh to undertake certain Governmental functions at Kshettra and District levels respectively in furtherance of the principles of democratic decentralisation of Governmental functions. Stating that the Act intends to empower the Panchayats, the Court explained:

“Section 9 clearly provides that the term of the office of Pramukh is for five years from the date appointed for its first meeting. That brings stability to the administration of the Gram Panchayat. Simultaneously, it also provides that the democracy at the rural level must cherish the values of democracy and, therefore, a Pramukh can be removed when a vote of no confidence is passed against him. Once the no confidence motion fails, it cannot be brought again for one year. It is worthy to note here that sub­section (13) of Section 15 provides that no notice of a motion under Section 15 shall be received within two years of the assumption of office by a Pramukh.”

Hence, it was held that the scheme of the Act and Section 15 is in consonance with the principle of stability of rural governance. [Kiran Pal Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 547, decided on 17.05.2018]

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