ANANT RAM NEGI Vs. STATE OF HIMACBAL PRADESH
HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
ANANT RAM NEGI
STATE OF HIMACBAL PRADESH
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(1.) Respondent 3 is the Pradhan of Gram Panchayat Mahasu which has been arrayed as respondent 2 in the Civil Writ Petition before us. The petitioner has averred that he owns immovable property within the area of Gram Sabha Mahasu and, therefore, is interested in the affairs of the said Gram Sabha. Alleging that respondent 3 was guilty of misconduct he filed Civil Writ Petition No. 597 of 1987 in this Court praying for his removal. A number of interim orders were made by this Court and ultimately the writ petition was disposed of with an order to respondent 1 (State of Himachal Pradesh) to re -examine the case in the light of the entire material which had been placed on record and arrive at a fresh decision whether or not any action under section 54 of the Himachal Pradesh Panchayati Raj Act, 1968, was called for.
(2.) Respondent 1 complied with the terms of the writ issued by this Court in C. W P. No. 597 of 1987 and the order made by the said authority has been attached as Annexure P -6 to the present writ petition. Manifestly, the petitioner is not satisfied with that order as well and has once again prayed by way of the present writ petition that this Court may issue an appropriate writ, direction or order quashing the order dated 4 -11 -1988 at Annexure P -6 and further directing respondent 1 to take action against the Pradhan (respondent 3) In accordance with law and order his removal.
(3.) After bearing the parties at some length we made a detailed order on 31 -10 -1989 which runs as follows: - "Pursuant to this Court order made on July 12, 1988, in Civil Writ Petition No. 597 of 1987, a direction was issued to the Secretary to the Government in the Panchayati Raj Department to re -examine the case made out against respondent No. 3 in the light of the entire material which had been placed on record of those proceedings and to arrive at a fresh decision whether or not any action under section 54 of the Himachal Pradesh Panchayati Raj Act, 1968, was called for. The Secretary, Panchayati Raj Department, thereafter heard both the parties and recorded an order on November 4, 1988, which has been annexed as P -6 to the writ petition. He came to the conclusion that there was no case of embezzlement and/or misappropriation of funds of the Gram Panchayat Mahasu but that respondent No 3 was responsible for adopting irregularities in making advances/payments for the development work and making wrong entries in record and accounts of the Panchayat. Consequently respondent No 3 was directed to remain vigilant in future within the ambit of section 54 of the H P. Pancbayati Raj Act and to adopt right procedure for maintaining records and accounts of the Gram Panchayat. A further direction was given that he should remove the objections mentioned in the audit report pertaining to the period from April 1985 to January 1988 within one month from the issue of the direction - As stated above the aforesaid order/ direction was Issued on November 4, 1988. In the supplementary affidavit filed by respondent No. 3, the stand taken by him is that the aforesaid audit objection were removed/attended to by the Panchayat and resolution to that effect was passed by the Panchayat on December 11, 1988. Actually the main grievance made out on behalf of the petitioner by Mr. Devinder Gupta his learned Counsel is that the State of Himachal Pradesh has not placed on record any material from which it could be concluded that those audit objections have been removed or attended to the satisfaction of the Secretary, Panchayat Raj. In fact we find from the perusal of letter dated January 18, 1989, at Annexure R -3/G that such compliance report is yet to be submitted to the Government, It appears necessary to us that the State Government should by way of filing a supplementary affidavit state before this Court that the audit objections in question have since been removed to their satisfaction. This would bring the controversy to an end specially because a categorical finding has already been returned by the State Government that respondent No. 3 is not guilty of any embezzlement and/ or mis -appropriation of funds and that there is no case for his removal under section 54 of the H. P. Panchayati Raj Act. Shri L. S. Panta, learned Dy. Advocate General, prays for two weeks in order to file the supplementary affidavit on the lines indicated above. List this case after two weeks." The supplementary affidavit has accordingly been filed by Shri S. K. Sood, Under Secretary (Panchayati Raj) to the Government of Himachal Pradesh. It may be noticed here that the entire cause of action urged by the petitioner hinges on the objections raised about the working of the Gram Sabha by the audit party. In the supplementary affidavit, it has been brought out that the total number of objections was 69 out of which 38 have been dropped since they meet the requirements of the audit Out of the remaining 31 audit objections, as many as 24 are stated to pertain only to procedural irregularities involving no embezzlement of funds by respondent 3 and regarding which the State of Himachal Pradesh Is stated to have issued a statutory warning to respondent;
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