EXECUTIVE OFFICER KAVILAMPARA PANCHAYAT Vs. AMMAD
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
EXECUTIVE OFFICER, KAVILAMPARA PANCHAYAT
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(1.) The respondent has been acquitted of an offence under S.84(a) read with S.132(2) of the Kerala Panchayats Act; and the Executive Officer of the panchayat has filed this appeal.
(2.) The charge against the respondent was that he caused obstruction, by putting up a fence, to a road of the Malabar District Board running across the Panchayat. The Sub Magistrate acquitted him on the ground that the road of the Malabar District Board did not vest in the panchayat so that the Panchayat had no locus standi to prosecute the respondent The obstruction was not disputed. I may also add that the respondent was once convicted under S.132(1) on his admission that the panchayat had power to prosecute him.
(3.) The question for consideration is whether for causing obstruction to a road like the one in hand a panchayat can institute a prosecution.
"Public road" is defined under S.2(28) of the Panchayats Act as any street, road, square, court, alley, passage, cart tract, footpath or riding path, over which the public have a right of way, whether a thoroughfare or not. The inclusive portion of the definition is not material for the case. S.62(1) dealing with the vesting of public roads in Panchayats enacts that all public roads in any Panchayat area other than roads classified as National Highways, State Highways and roads of the Malabar District Board shall vest in the panchayat. And this is the ground for the acquittal.;
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