K BALACHANDRAN Vs. MAVELIKKARA MUNICIPALITY
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
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(1.) How are the Standing Committees of a Municipal Council to be constituted and what should be the minimum number of members in different Standing Committees
(2.) Two elected Councillors of Mavelikkara Municipality have raised this question in this Original Petition. They have challenged Ext. P4 resolution passed by the Muncipal Council constituting 5 Standing Committees of the Municipality. The following Standing Committees were constituted in the Municipality.
Standing Committee for Finance -- 4 members (including Chairman)
Standing Committee for Development -- 5 members
Standing Committee for Health -- 5 members
Standing Committee for Welfare -- 3 members
Standing Committee for Works -- 5 members
It is contended by the petitioners that the decision of the Council to fix the number of members in the Standing Committee for Welfare as 3 is arbitrary, illegal and against the provisions contained in S.21 of the Kerala Municipality Act and also the Kerala Municipality (Standing Committee) Rules, 2000 (for short the Rules). Petitioners therefore pray that Ext. P4 resolution passed by the Municipal Council on 11.12.2000 to the extent it declares election of members to the different Standing Committees in Mavelikkara Municipality be set aside and declared as illegal.
(3.) The contention of the petitioners is untenable. S.21 of the Kerala Municipality Act (for short, the Act) states that every Standing Committee shall consist of such number of members as may be decided by the Council including its Chairman, and it shall be in such a manner that every Councillor, except the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson shall be elected as a member of any one of the Standing Committees and the number of members to be elected to each Standing Committee shall, as far as possible, be equal. It is clear from a reading of the above statutory provision that the constitution and number of members of every Standing Committee shall be decided by the Council. The number of members to be elected to each Standing Committee shall, as far as possible, be equal.;
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