THAKOR ANARAJI DHUDAJI Vs. STATE OF GUJARAT
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
Thakor Anaraji Dhudaji
STATE OF GUJARAT
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M.R.SHAH, J. -
(1.) BY way of this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the petitioner has prayed for appropriate writ, order and/or direction directing the respondent authorities to decide the application made by the petitioner on 16/12/2011 and to direct the respondent authorities to quash and set aside the election of Saviyana Gram Panchayat, Taluka Deesa, District Banaskantha. It is also further prayed for an appropriate writ, order and/or direction directing the respondent No.3 to cancel the nomination papers of the respondent No.4 and also to quash and set aside the election held on 29/12/20011 of Saviyana Gram Panchayat, Taluka Deesa.
(2.) THAT the petitioner is resident of village Saviyana. That the respondent No.4 filled in nomination form for the post of Sarpanch of Village Saviyana, Taluka Deesa, District Banaskantha, which was to be held on 30/31 -12 -2011. It is the case on behalf of the petitioner that the day on whcih the respondent No.4 filled in nomination form for the post of Sarpanch on 15/12/2011, there was already an order passed against him by the Deputy Secretary, Forest and Environment, State of Gujarat dated 19/11/2011 under the provisions of the Saurashtra Tree Cutting Act, 1951 and he was required to pay the penalty equal to the amount of trees cut which was not paid by the respondent No.4 at the time of filling nomination form and therefore, as such the respondent No.4 was in arrears and/or in default of the Government dues and therefore, disqualified to contest the election for the post of Sarpanch. It was the case on behalf of the petitioner that the said fact was not disclosed by the respondent No.4 at the time when he filled in nomination form. Therefore, he filed objection within a period of limitation / within stipulated time i.e. on 16/12/2011 which was required to be decided by the Returning Officer as per Rule 15 of the Gujarat Panchayats Elections Rules, 1994 (hereinafter referred to as the Rules for short), however, the same was not decided. It is the case on behalf of the petitioner that despite the objections, the Returning Officer accepted the nomination form of the respondent No.4 and permitted him to contest the election. That thereafter the respondent No.4 has been declared elected. Hence, the petitioner has preferred the present Special Civil Application under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.
Mr.Vijay Nangesh, learned advocate appearing on behalf of the petitioner has vehemently submitted that as such the Returning Officer was required to decide the objections against the nomination form within a period of 24 hours as required under Rule 15 of the Rules. 3.01. Mr.Nangesh, learned advocate appearing on behalf of the petitioner has further submitted that as such as per Rule 11 of the Rules, the respondent No.4 can be said to be in arrears and/or in default of the Government dues. It is submitted that the day on which the respondent No.4 filled in the nomination form, there was already an order passed under the provisions of the Saurashtra Trees Cutting Act and the amount due and payable under the order passed under the Saurashtra Trees Cutting Act was not paid by the respondent No.4 and therefore, he can be said to be in arrears and/or in default to the government and therefore, as such he was disqualified. By making above submissions, it is requested to allow the present petition.
(3.) THE representative of the respondent Nos.2 and 3 both have remained present at the time of the present petition. It is submitted that as such the petitioner was orally informed on the objections raised by him by communication dated 16/12/2011 and was informed that as No Due Certificate was issued by the concerned authority, nomination form of the respondent No.4 has been accepted. It was further submitted that as such there was no suppression on the part of the respondent No.4, as alleged. It is further submitted that as such even considering section 30(1)(i) of the Gujarat Panchayats Act, 1993 ( the Act for short) and considering the fact that after the order dated 19/11/2011, respondent No.4 was not disqualified as there was no special notice for recovery. It is submitted that within a period of three months from the order dated 19/11/2011, the respondent No.4 was required to deposit the entire amount due and payable under the order dated 19/11/2011. It is submitted that therefore, even on merits also the respondent No.4 cannot be said to be in default and/or in arrears and consequently disqualified. By making above submissions, it is requested to dismiss the present petition.;
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