ENGALA VENKATA JITENDER REDDY Vs. PRESIDING OFFICER
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
ENGALA VENKATA JITENDER REDDY
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A.D.V.Reddy, J., -
(1.) 1. This is an appeal against the order of our learned brother Parthasarathi, J., in W. P. No 8669 of 1970 allowing the petition under Article 226 of the Constitution and setting aside the election of the President and Vice-President as well as the co-option of some of the members of the Guduru Panchayat Samithi at the meeting held on 18-7-1970.
(2.) After the Governor of Andhra Pradesh bv his order amended the Gram Panchayats Act and the Panchayat Samithis and Zilla Parishads Act, providing inter-alia that in respect of the Panchayats and Panchayat Sarnithis in scheduled areas persons belonging to the Scheduled Tribes alone shall be eligible for election to the offices of President and Vice-President, the election to the Gram Panchayat held in contravention of that order came to be challenged in the High Court in W. P. No. 3319 of 1970 and by the order dated 17th July 1970 those elections were set aside. On the following day i. e. 18th July 1970 at the special meeting of the Gudur Panchayat Samithi the co-option of members and election of the President and Vice-President took place. These were challenged in the writ petition, which is the subject matter of this appeal on several grounds, viz,. (1) that the nomination for the seats that had fallen vacant should have been made before the election was held ; (2) that there was no necessary quprum for the meeting held on that day; (3)that as Gudur lies in the schemed areas; only persons belonging to the scheduled tribes are eligible for election as President and Vice-President, Our learned, brother Parthasarathi, J., over-ruled the firsthand third objections, but held that with regard to the second objection, the meeting held on 18th, July 1970 suffered from want of quorum In that view, he allowed the petition as stated above. Hence this appeal.
(3.) In this appeal the only point that is canvassed before us is with regard to the order of the Court relating to the quorum, The decision on this question depended on the interpretation of Rule 4-A of the Rules for election framed under the Act, which runs as follows :
"No meeting for the conduct of election of members specified in clause (v) of sub-section (i) of Section 4 of the Act shall be held unless there be present at the meeting at least one half of the number of members then on the Panchayat Samithi.";
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