|“Latest amendment to Act not applicable”|
MADURAI: A latest amendment to the Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act, stating that there should be a gap of one year between two no-confidence motions, will not be applicable to motions moved prior to the amendment but not taken up for voting, the Madras High Court has ruled.
Allowing two writ petitions filed in the Madurai Bench by six members of Udangudi panchayat union in Tuticorin district, Justice K. Chandru said that the Revenue Divisional Officer had committed an error in construing such a motion, moved against the union chairman, of having been barred under the amended enactment.
Petitioners’ counsel P.H. Manoj Pandian and K. Mahendran pointed out that their clients submitted a no-confidence motion on November 5, 2007. When the matter was pending consideration, Sections 211 and 212 of the Panchayats Act were amended through a Government Ordinance on December 12.
Thereafter, the petitioners moved a fresh no-confidence motion on January 14 because the earlier notice stood abated as per the amendment. The RDO refused to accept the fresh motion on the ground that it could be moved only after one year in consonance with the amended Act.
The Judge agreed with the arguments advanced by Mr. Manoj Pandian that the intention of the legislature while amending the Panchayats Act was to curb the frequent use and misuse of no-confidence motions and not to curtail the democratic right once for all as construed by the RDO.
“Therefore, the order passed by Revenue Divisional Officer, Tiruchendur, in the writ petitions is illegal and beyond the statutory discretion vested on him. There is no embargo on the members of the panchayat union council in moving the motion of no-confidence,” Mr. Justice Chandru said.
He said that courts could not go into the motive behind no-confidence motions as it was an inevitable power vested on the individual members.
© Copyright 2000 - 2008 The Hindu