SITARAM GEDEKAR Vs. STATE OF CHHATTISGARH
HIGH COURT OF CHHATTISGARH
STATE OF CHHATTISGARH
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(1.)THE petitioner is the directly elected President of Nagar Panchayat Nawagarh, whereas, respondent Nos. 6 to 17 are the elected Councillors. The strength of the Nagar Panchayat is 15.
(2.)ON 11-7-2007 respondent No. 11-Shri Jahid Beg moved an application (Annexure P-2) before respondent No. 2-Collector, Durg for recalling the petitioner from the post of President, Nagar Panchayat, Nawagarh claiming that 11 Other Councillors have also signed the application for recalling the petitioner. Respondent No. 3-Deputy Collector vide memo of Annexure P-3 summoned all the Councillors, who had signed the application of Annexure P-2 on 13-7-2007 in his office.
The Collector, vide memo dated 13-7-2007 (Annexure P-6) addressed to the Secretary, Local Administration and Development, sent a report under Section 47 (2) of the C.G. Municipalities Act, 1961 (for brevity 'the Act') mentioning therein that proposal of "recall against the petitioner" was received on 11-7-2007, 12 Councillors out of total 15 have signed the proposal, their signatures were duly verified. All the Councillors were duly identified by the Chief Municipal Officer and their statements were duly certified. Proposal has been moved on the following grounds:
(i) The 3/4th of total elected Councillors have signed the 'proposal for recall' which is proved from their statements. (ii) Two years have already completed since the election of President; and (iii) He is satisfied that the proposal moved against Shri Sitaram Gedekar is in order and the same has been duly verified. The petitioner, being aggrieved by the proposal of Annexure P-6, has filed the instant petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India on following grounds: (a) Motion of recall has not been validly presented by 3/4th of total number of elected Councillors. (b) Proposal was never placed before the Collector for verification and recording his satisfaction, as required under Section 47 (2) of the Act. (c) Statements were recorded by respondent No. 3-Deputy Collector without any authority and that too before the time fixed, i.e., at 11.00 a.m. on 13-7-2007. (d) Objections of the petitioner with regard to the genuineness and correctness of the proposal to recall has not been considered and the whole exercise was held without any notice to the petitioner and he was not given opportunity to be present during the course of verification. (e) The Collector was duty bound to verify the genuineness of the proposal and he could not have entrusted the job of verification to the Deputy Collector, as Section 47 (2) of the Act does not empower the Collector to delegate his powers to the Deputy Collector.
(3.)LEARNED Counsel for the petitioner submits that the Collector while exercising power under Section 47 (2) of the Act was duty bound to verify the genuineness of the proposal, i.e., it was duly signed by not less than 3/4th Councillors of Nagar Panchayat and only thereafter he could have recorded his satisfaction and forwarded the proposal to the State Government. He had no power to direct the Deputy Collector or any other authority for the purpose of verification of the proposal. The Deputy Collector issued notice to the Councillors summoning them to remain present before him for verification and the Chief Municipal Officer of Nagar Panchayat, Nawagarh has clearly stated in his return that he had verified each of the Councillors before the Deputy Collector. Thus, from the above it is clear that whole exercise of verification was in fact done by the Deputy Collector in presence of the Chief Municipal Officer and the same has not been done by the Collector. It was further argued that act of recall under Section 47 (2) of the Act has penal consequences and therefore, the same has to be construed strictly.
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