Panchayat:Repo18/Law Manual Page0201

In Gopalan v. Kerala State Election Commission and Others, a no-confidence motion was moved by a member which was stayed by the High Court. Subsequently, another no-confidence motion was also moved. Later on, the stay was vacated by the High Court. In a question of the legality of earlier noconfidence motion it was held that there is no statutory bar in holding a meeting for consideration of both the motions of no-confidence in a consolidated manner. - Gopalan v. Kerala State Election Commission and Others – 2009 (4) KHC 97:2009 (4) KLT 135 : ILR 2009 (4) Ker. 228.
Legal incidents referable to no-confidence motion arise at the meeting in which it is presented, unless the meeting falls for want of quorum. As a necessary con of the panchayat at the time of the meeting are entitled to participate in the consideration of that motion. Therefore, a member elected in a by-election, after notice of a no-confidence motion, is also entitled to participate in the consideration and voting in relation to that no-confidence motion. Hence, the member of the panchayat who came in following the by-election is also entitle to participate in the meeting in which the motions of no-confidence would be considered. (Para 6) - Gopalan v. Kerala State Election Commission and Others – 2009. (4) KHC 97 : 2009 (4) KLT 135 : ILR 2009 (4) Ker. 228.
A member could be deprived of certain rights if he proceeds abroad without leave. But if he goes with leave, he cannot be deprived of any of his rights in terms of the statutory provisions. He is entitled to receive honorarium also. Deprivations, if any, could be only in accordance with the statute. There is no prescription in law disabling a person who is abroad with leave from participating in motion. Hence, he will not be incapacitated even from being party to the exercise of moving a noconfidence motion. – Gopalan v. Kerala State Election Commission and Others – 2009 (4) KHC 97 : 2009 (4) KLT 135 : ILR 2009 (4) Ker. 228.
A motion of no-confidence does not necessarily depend upon the abilities, capabilities or qualities of the person against whom it is moved. That is part of political process. Support to a particular person may depend upon various factors; sometimes even unreasonable in the views of the common man. A no-confidence motion does not depend on anything other than the support that it may gather on being moved. If the motion does not gain the support of the required majority, that would fall on the floor. The ground, if at all any, for a non-confidence motion, is not a matter for consideration by any Court or any authority, except that democratic house before which it is moved. Though it is suggested that Section 57 of the Kerala Municipality Act, 1994, provides a forum to challenge a decision on a no-confidence motion, it does not appears to be so. All that could be challenged under that provision is a resolution. What emerges as the result of a meeting on the basis of a notice for moving a motion of no-confidence is nothing but the result of a voting in a house and is not a resultant resolution or a decision as envisaged in Section 57, for any superior authority to rectify or interfere with. Such power is unavailable with any authority. The fundamental theory of democracy would itself be annulled, if such interference is provided for. Democracy depends on the strength attained by votes and nothing else.- Chathukutty P. v. Kalpetta Municipality and Others – 2009 (4) KHC 74 : 2009 (4) KLT 303 : ILR 2009 Ker. 164 [N.J. Valsalam v. State of Kerala and Others, 2003 KHC 145. [2003 (1) KLJ 583: 2003 (1) KLT 858; (Para 3) Referred to:).
Adverting to the different Provisions in Section 157 of the Act, it can be seen that a motion expressing want of confidence may be moved in accordance with the procedure laid down in that Section. A written notice of the intention to move the motion, signed by such number of members as are prescribed in sub-section 2, shall be presented in the prescribed form with a copy of the motion which is proposed to be moved. That notice has to be delivered to the person authorised by the State Election Commission in that behalf. That officer is duty bound by sub-sections 3 and 4 to convene a meeting of the elected members of the Panchayat for the consideration of the motion and to issue notice. That meeting is to be presided by the authorised officer. Sub-Section 7 enjoins that the person presiding over that meeting shall read the motion and declare it to be open for debate, which debate is regulated by the time limit fixed in sub-section 9. Sub-section 13 provides that if the motion is not carried by such majority as is prescribed in sub-section 2 or if the meeting cannot be held for want of quorum, no notice of any subsequent motion expressing want of confidence shall be received until the expiry of six months from the date of the meeting. The logic in that quorum rule is that those who wanted to have the motion carried ought to have been present to carry it. Otherwise, the inescapable inference is that there were not sufficient members interested in carrying that motion expressing want of confidence. These provisions categorically show that the situs of the jurisdictional fact generating the prohibition contained in subsection 13 is the meeting. If the meeting falls for want of quorum, the prohibition immediately operates. If the meeting is held with the prescribed quorum, the prohibition operates when the motion is not carried by the required majority. What the authorised officer carries with him, till the stage at which he