K S RAMASWAMI Vs. INSPECTOR OF MUNICIPALITIES MADRAS
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
INSPECTOR OF MUNICIPALITIES, MADRAS
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(1.) THESE writ appeals have been preferred by the State of Madras and one K. S. Ramaswami against the order of Kailasam, J. allowing the W. P. Nos. 538 and 539 of 1968 filed by one P. Murugaiyan, setting aside the order of the Inspector of municipalities, appointing K. S. Ramaswami as the Manager of Erode Municipality and restoring that of the appointment of Committee appointing P. Murugaiyan for the paid post.
(2.) UNDER Section 73 of the Madras District Municipalities Act, hereinafter referred to as the Act, the appointments to all posts under the Municipal Council, other than those specified in Sections 12-C and 72 of the Act, the pay or the maximum pay of which exceeds Rs. 50 per mensem, shall be made by a Committee consisting of the Chairman, the Commissioner and one member elected by the council, subject to any rules, including the rules for the representation of the different communities which the State Government may make in this behalf. Under Rule 7-B of the Rules relating to establishment under the Municipal. Council, the post of Manager shall be a selection post and promotion to the selection post shall be made on grounds of qualification and merit, seniority being considered only where the qualifications and merit are approximately equal. Under Section 73 of the Act, the appointment Committee considered the claims of p. Murugaiyan and K. S. Ramaswami and by resolution No. 29 dated 4-8-1967 appointed P. Murugaiyan as the manager. K. S. Ramaswami preferred an appeal to the Inspector of Municipal councils, who allowed the appeal by his order dated 1611-1967, and issued a show cause notice to P. Murugaiyan and after hearing his representations made in the form of a petition, rejected the same and directed the commissioner to appoint K. S. Ramaswami as the manager with immediate effect. In doing so, he has evidently relied on Rule 7-B (5) of the rules relating to establishment under Municipal Councils which runs as follows:-"the Government or the inspector of Municipal Councils and Local Boards may call for the records relating to the appointments of manager, accountant, upper division clerks, clerk dealing with electrical licencee's accounts or accountant in the electrical department and revenue officer and pass such orders as he may deem fit The orders passed by the inspector of Municipal Councils and Local Boards shall be carried out by the appointing authority. " we may at once state that there is no provision" in the rules enabling a person aggrieved by the order of the appointment committee to prefer an appeal to the inspector of Municipal Councils. But the above rule clearly empowers the Inspector of Municipal Councils and Local Boards to call for the records relating to the appointment of manager and pass such orders as he may deem fit and the order passed by him shall be carried out by the appointing authority. Thus the Inspector of Municipal Councils has jurisdiction to revise the order of appointment of Manager made by the appointing authority and, in exercising such jurisdiction he could act either suo motu or at the instance of a third party who could very well be an aggrieved party who has no right of appeal. It is true the inspector of Municipal Councils could in his discretion refuse to interfere with the order of the appointing authority and the aggrieved party may have no right to compel him to exercise his powers of revision. Kailasam, J. held that the rule making power under Section 73 of the Act would not enable the Government to invest the Inspector of Municipal Councils with power to revise the order of appointment of the appointment committee. Hence the main question for consideration in these writ appeals is whether Rule 7-B (5) of the rules is ultra vires.
(3.) THE history of Indian administration shows that the Municipal administration commenced in the three presidency towns of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay even in the days of the East India Company. So far back as 1687, the Court of Directors ordered that a corporation should be formed at Madras. So far as the presidency towns are concerned, there was a uniform system of municipal administration till the passing of the Councils Act in 1861 and thereafter there was divergence in the acts passed for the cities of Madras, Calcutta and Bombay. In the earlier decades of this century, the control of the local government over the madras Corporation was far more stringent than in the other presidency towns. If we leave out of consideration the municipal administration of the presidency towns of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay, there was practically no attempt at Municipal legislation as regards the mofussil areas before the year 1842. It was only in 1870 that real progress was made when Lord Mayo's Government in their famous resolution introducing the system of provincial finance referred to the necessity of taking further steps to bring local interest and supervision to bear on the management of funds devoted to education, sanitation, medical charge and local public works. The advance in local self-government was largely stimulated by the memorable resolution of 1882 on the subject issued by the Government of Lord Ripon, which laid down some common principles for the guidance of the local governments in the matter. It is not necessary to refer in detail the progress of municipalities in the districts. Thus, on account of historical reasons, there were different legislative enactments, one dealing with City Municipal Corporations, and the other with the district Municipalities. But the common feature is that the State Government retained some ultimate control over both types of institution.;
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