Decided on April 01,2014

Shrinathgadh Gram Panchayat And Ors Appellant
N M Tatamiya - Election Officer And Ors Respondents


- (1.) THE controversy in the present petition centers around the applicability of ratio laid down by the Full Bench in case of Nasirkhan Nivaskhan Pathan v. District Development Officer, 2001 3 GLH 133. The question in the present case is scope of right of the suspended Sarpanch of the Panchayat.
(2.) FEW relevant facts are, thus; The respondent No.2 was Sarpanch at the relevant time. Pursuant to the Criminal Case No.170 of 2009 instituted against him before the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Gondal, wherein the allegation was made that respondent No.2, while acting as a Sarpanch, has abetted in disposing of the Government's land at nominal price. Pursuant to the said criminal case, the District Development Officer had suspended the Sarpanch. The said order was passed by the DDO on 16.6.2009. The respondent No.2 preferred an appeal before the Additional Development Commissioner, Gandhinagar. The said appeal i.e. Appeal No.76 of 2009 came to be rejected by the said Authority by order dated 19.12.2009. It appears that thereafter election took place on 29.12.2011. The respondent No.2 along with others had filed nomination form for contesting the said election. The Election Officer had fixed 16.12.2011 for verifying the nomination form. Upon verification, form of respondent No.2 came to be rejected on 17.12.2011. In view of rejection of nomination form of respondent No.2, the respondent No.2 could not contest the election. Accordingly, election took place and the present petitioner No.2 came to be elected. Thereafter, the respondent No.2 filed Election Petition before the learned Principal Senior Civil Judge, Gondal under the provisions of the Gujarat Panchayat Act. Said Election Petition No.3 of 2012 came to be allowed by judgment and order dated 13.3.2013. The learned trial court, inter -alia, had held that nomination form of respondent No.2 was illegally rejected by the Authority. It also set aside the election of petitioner No.2 as Sarpanch. Being aggrieved by the said order, the present petitioners have preferred this petition.
(3.) THIS Court by order dated 11.3.2014 had granted interim relief and stayed the operation of the order passed by the learned trial court. This Court in the said order had made the rule returnable on 20.3.2014. With consent, the matter is taken up for final hearing. Heard learned advocate Mr.Harshit Tolia for the petitioners, learned AGP Ms.Jyoti Bhatt for respondent No.1 and learned advocate Mr.S.P.Majmudar for respondent No.2.;

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