Decided on November 23,1970



- (1.) THE question in this case is whether notwithstanding that the Panchayat Union council concerned came to an end by efflux of time, the appellant, who was nominated as a non-official member by the Township Committee for a term of five years. could continue his membership after the lifetime of the Panchayat Union council. A reading of Section 12 (1), 17 (1) and 19 of the Madras Panchayats Act. 1958, makes it clear that the term of the appellant in the Panchayat Union Council terminated with the lifetime of the Council itself. Section 12 (1) relates to the composition of the Panchayat Union Council. It should consist of the Presidents of all the Panchayats in the Panchayat Union and also one non-official member of each Township Committee in the Panchayat Union, and such a member has to be chosen in the prescribed manner. The appellant appears to have been chosen in august 1968, for a term of five years, but the term of the Council expired before the expiry of the term of five years. Section 17 (1) is to the effect that the term of office of a member who had been elected to a Panchayat would be five years beginning at noon on the day on which the vacancy occurred. Section 19 is as follows:-"the term of office of members of every Panchayat Union Council including a co-opted member. shall expire on the date of the expiry of the term of five years specified in sub-section (1) of Section 17. " it is manifest from this provision that whatever may be the term of the nomination of a non-official member of a Panchayat Union Council, it comes to an end with the expiry of the term of five years specified in sub-section (1) of Section 17. But Mr. Chengalvarayan, for the appellant, argues that the proviso to Section 19 enables his client to outlast the Panchayat Union Council's life, and notwithstanding the expiry of its term, continues to be its non-official member. Not only is it against the tenor of the proviso, but also against Section 17 (1 ). The proviso contemplates a disqualification, that is to say, the moment a non-official member of a Township committee ceases to be a member of the Township Committee, he would automatically forfeit his membership of the Panchayat Union Council as well, but it does not speak of the converse, and the proviso cannot be invoked for that purpose. The proviso does not mean that once a member of a Township committee has been elected to represent it in the Panchayat Union Council for a term of five years, he would serve for the full term, notwithstanding the fact that the Council itself has come to an end by efflux of time. The proviso to Section 19 is not devoted to qualification but to disqualification. The appeal is therefore dismissed. No costs.
(2.) APPEAL dismissed.;

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