P RAMNARAYANA Vs. COMMISSIONER OF PANCHAYAT RAJ RURAL DEVELOPMENT CUM ELECTION AUTHORITY
LAWS(APH)-1992-3-51
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Decided on March 24,1992

P.RAMNARAYANA Appellant
VERSUS
COMMISSIONER OF PANCHAYAT RAJ, RURAL DEVELOPMENT CUM-ELECTION AUTHORITY Respondents

JUDGEMENT

B.Subhashan Reddy, J. - (1.)This Writ Petition is filed seeking a Writ of Certiorari to quash the proceedings dated 20-2-88 issued by the first respondent in his proceedings WM No. 2420/Election-I/88, withholding the elections. The petitioner is a resident of Khanapuram Haveli Gram Panchayat of Khammam Urban Mandal of Khammam District. Ordinary elections to the Gram Panchayat were scheduled during the year 1988. But on tke ground that the area covered by the Gram Panchayat mentioned supra was to be merged in Khammam Municipality, Gram Panchayat elections, be that of Sarpanch or Committee thereof, were withheld under the impugned proceedings issued by the first respondent. It is not in dispute that the merger proposals were quashed by this Court in Writ Petition No. 5025 of 1988. As yet no fresh proposals were initiated as contained under Section 3(2) of the Andhra Pradesh Gram Panchayat Act, 1964. No notification is also placed before us merging the area of the instant Gram Panchayat into that of Khammam Municipality.
(2.)In the circumstances, absolutely there is no power vested in the respondents to withhold the elections and the democratic process scuttled in this fashion. No election can be withheld on the ground that part of the area of the Gram Panchayat is to be deleted and to be merged with other local authority. The position of law is so clear that even if the elections are held and even if the elected body of the Gram Panchayat is subsisting, nothing prevents the authorities concerned, be it under the Andhra Pradesh Gram Panchayat Act, 1964 or the Andhra Pradesh Municipality Act, to delete a particular area from the Gram Panchayat, or to renotify the entire Gram Panchayat and merge that particular area or the entire area of the Gram Panchayat with any other local authority, like Khammarn Municipality in the instant case. For that reason the elections need not be postponed or withheld.
(3.)In the circumstances, we issue directions to respondents to hold elections to Khanapuram Haveli Gram Panchayat. However, we also make it clear that this order of ours does not preclude the authorities concerned from acting in the direction to delete a partion of the Gram Panchayat or the entire Gram Panchayat by issuing an appropriate notification, after affording opportunity and then to merge with other local authority, be it Khammam Municipality or otherwise.
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