Panchayat:Repo18/Law Manual Page0203

S. 157(2) & (4) - Motion of no-confidence - Notice not send by registered post but given by hand delivery is not valid. The rule is mandatory. The authorised officer is to convene a meeting, at the office of the Panchayat within 15 working days from the date of delivery of notice. Sub-section (4) requires the authorised officer to send by registered post, the notice of his intention to convene the meeting giving seven clear days counted from the date of despatch. - Anitha v. Kanjirappilly Grama Panchayat - 2004 (3) KLT 211. [2000 (2) KLT SN 92; AIR 1975 SC 915; (2003) 4 SCC 630 & 1964 KLJ 230 - Referred to]

Amendment Act 13 of 2000 to the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act requiring an officer nominated by State Election Commission to receive a copy of a resolution of motion for no confidence in the President or Vice President of a Panchayat and to preside over the meeting called to consider it is valid. - Kutappan v. State of Kerala - 2002 (3) KLT 57 [1992 (3) SCC 580 - Referred to; AIR 1959 SC 648 - Distinguished]

Here a motion of no confidence was moved in a meeting convened by the representative of the Election Commission and it had been carried with majority of the members voting for the motion. The result of such voting alone is announced by the representative of the Election Commission. In fact the Presiding Officer has to report that the office of the President has become vacant and by getting the report, the Government has to publish it in the Gazette in view of sub-s. (12) of S. 157. There is no provision for the State to interfere with the result of voting and to reverse or set aside the same. S.191 does not contemplate any interference of the State on the result of voting. - Valsalam v. State of Kerala – 2003 (1) KLT 858 : 2003 (1) KLJ 583. Non-Confidence motion - A non-confidence motion is carried or defeated depending on the votes polled for or against the motion - Block Development Officers is not a decision maker - Decision making body is the members. – Kunhimon v. Block Development Officer - 2003 (3) KLT 664. 2003 (1) SCC 108; AIR 1966 MP 20; 2003 (1) KLT 858; 2002 (3) KLT 57; 1996 (2) KLT 486; 1996 (2) KLT 927; 1992 (2) KLT 194; Referred to).

Despatch of notice - Seven clear days as termed in sub-s.(4) need not be between the date of receipt of the notice and the date of convening the meeting - The Section only contemplates that the notice be despatched before 7 days. - Joseph Varghese v. B. D. O. Ranni – 2003 (1) KLT 321.

No confidence motion-Validity - Written notice expressing want of confidence aiven in compliance with S. 157(2) - Question of giving copies of notice not contemplated - Petitioners would have full opportunity to meet the motion - No violation of principles of natural justice - Permitting Officer authorised by Government to conduct or presiding the meeting of no confidence motion is not illegal. – Jose Augustine v. State of Kerala - AIR 1999 Ker. 293.

S. 157(2) & (5) – Since here the 'no confidence motion' was given to the Deputy Director of Panchayat who was not an officer authorised by the Election Commissioner, the submission of 'no confidence motion' is illegal and without jurisdiction. Convening of a meeting by an officer authorised by the Government is also illegal and without jurisdiction in view of the Amendment Act. Therefore, decision taken in such a meeting is invalid and cannot be taken into account. – Retnamma v. State Election Commission - 2000 (2) KLT 584 : AIR 2000 Ker. 337.

S. 157(6) & (13) - Obstruction by unruly mob to the holding of non-confidence meeting - Expression 'beyond human control does not mean only 'Act of God' – The reference to 'not holding the meeting due to lack of quorum used in Sub-s.(13) is in respect of a meeting held under normal circumstances and not in a case whereby by deliberate action of one group, the other group is obstructed from attending the meeting resulting in lack of quorum – If, members of the Panchayat are obstructed by force from exercising their right to attend the meeting of the Panchayat and/or to exercise their right to vote in the, meeting, it would cut at the root of the functioning of the Panchayat. If the provisions of law are to be interpreted to sustain such undemocratic methods, it would certainly lead to failure of rule of law. - Jacob Abraham v. State of Kerala – 1999 (1) KLT 225: 1999 (1) KLJ 1: ILR 1999 (2) Ker. 225.

S.157(12) as amended – Effect of amendment – Nine members participating in the vote of noconfidence – Five members voting in favour of the no-confidence motion - One-half of the sanctioned strength is five and motion validly passed – In a Panchayat having a strength of 9 elected members, 5 members will constitute more than one-half of the sanctioned strength. That the interpretation that onehalf of the sanctioned strength in the facts of this case would be five and more than five would be six, will no doubt do violence to the legislative purpose. After the amendment, the object of the provision is made unambiguous and certain. - Joseph Thomas v. State of Kerala - 1996 (2) KLT 927 : 1996 (2) KLJ 692 : ILR 1997 (2) Ker.369. (The New Piece Goods Bazaar Co. Ltd. v. Commissioner of Income Tax AIR 1950 SC 165 - Referred to. Wahid Ullah Khan v. District Magistrate, Nainital AIR 1993 All.249 - Relied on.] Nine members participating in the vote of no-confidence – Five members voting in favour of the no-confidence motion and four members against the motion - Unless the motion has the support of six