Decided on February 27,1978

Raghunath Das And Ors. Appellant
State of Orissa and Ors. Respondents


R.N. Misra, J. - (1.) BOTH these applications are by some residents of certain villages within the Chatrapur Police Station of the district of Ganjam challenging the Notification of the State Government dated 31st of March, 1977, constituting with effect from 1st of April, 1977, the areas indicated in the Schedule to the Notification to be a notified area in terms of Section 417 -A(1) of the Orissa Municipal Act (hereinafter referred to as the 'Act ').
(2.) SEVERAL allegations have been made in the two writ applications, but the ultimate relief claimed is the same. For convenience, we may now enumerate the grounds on which the Notifications has been challenged: (1) Referring to the Schedule in the Notification under Section 417 -A(1) of the Act, it is maintained that eleven villages are covered and according to the Census of 1971, the adult population of these villages works out at 10,960. Of them, as per the particulars available in the Census Report, 894 persons are employed in non -agricultural pursuits and the rest are agriculturists. Of the 2,170 houses in these villages 510 have tiled roofs and the rest are thatched huts. Ten of the villages are scattered around Ganjam village at a distance of half a kilometre or a kilometre on the average and these are separated by paddy fields intervening. The National Highway touches three of these villages and the remaining villages are connected by village paths. Requirement of Section 4 of the Act is thus not satisfied. (2) The Notification under Section 417 -A(1 -a) of the Act has not been validly published in any newspaper as required under the law and the same being a condition precedent to the constitution of notified area, the final notification is not valid. (3) Government had declared their intention to constitute the notified area in question consisting of two villages only, namely Ganjam and Damodarpur and it is, therefore, not open to them to add the remaining nine villages at the stage of constituting the notified area. Again, in the Notification of Government 's intention to constitute a notified area, the purposes had not been indicated and the Notification suffered from vagueness, prejudicing the local residents from raising appropriate objection. The Collector of the District was not satisfied that the villages should be constituted into a notified area and had, therefore, reported against the proposal. Action ha, however, been taken on account of considerations not germane to the Statute. Two counter affidavits have been filed - one by the opposite parties 1 to 6 and the other following a rejoinder of the Petitioners by opposite parties 3, 4, 6, 9, 12 to 15 of 0.J.C No. 241 of 1977. The Under Secretary to Government in the Urban Development Department in the first of these two counters have claimed that Section 4 of the Act has no application and it is not open to the Petitioners to advance any submission founded upon Section 4 of the Act. It has been maintained that a notification as required under Section 417 -A(1 -A) had been duly published. Objections were entertained and after disposing of "the same, Government have made the final Notification under Section 417 -A(1) of the Act. It has been maintained that it has never been the intention of the State Government to add the remaining nine villages within the area and thus there has been no difference between the preliminary and the final Notifications. In the other counter affidavit, several facts asserted in the rejoinder have been refuted.
(3.) THE fact that the intention of the State Government had been notified in the daily Samaj is no more disputed in view of the production of a copy of the daily Samaj dated 10 -8 -1972, which is to the following effect: In pursuance of Sub -section (La) of Section 417 -A of the Orissa Municipal Act, 1950 (Orissa Act 23 of 1950) the State Government do hereby announce their intention to issue a notification under Sub -section (1) of the said section in respect of the areas in the district of Ganjam, specified in the schedule appended hereto. Any person residing within the said area may submit his/her objections, if any, in writing the District Magistrate, Ganjam, within one month from the date of publication of this proclamation in the Orissa Gazette. Schedule Name of vill. 1. Police station with Thana No. 2. Name of the G.P. 3. 1. Ganjam Chatrapur Thana No. 17 Ganjam 2. Damodarpur Chatrapur Thana No. 17 ainchapur." It is, however, submitted that the notification should not have been in English and should not have been left so vague as it has been. In view of the fact that the Notification has been in English, the residents of the area on whom a statutory right of raising objection has been conferred have been deprived of raising any objection and of voicing their opinion. Simultaneously it is contended that it has not been specifically indicated that Government evinced the intention of constituting a notified area and the, purposes of the Act for which administrative provision was intended in constituting the notified area had also not been indicated.;

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