Panchayat:Repo18/Law Manual Page0217

NOTES

Panchayat has a duty to take measures to prevent danger of stray dogs biting citizens within its territory. Panchayat liable to pay compensation to victims bitten by stray dogs. – Porathissery Grama Panchayath v. Anthony and Another - 2016 (4) KHC 409 : 2016 (3) KLJ 625.

In Pullur Periya Panchayat v. Karthiyani, 1996 (2) KLJ 599, the plaintiff's husband had died of drowning by falling into the water when the bridge over which he was walking collapsed. This Court held that lack of proper care in the construction and maintenance was the proximate and immediate cause for the collapse of the bridge. In the present case, the callous and negligent manner in which the foot bridge was constructed by the Panchayat is evident from the way in which the accident occurred. A foot bridge is intended for the use of the pedestrian commuters to cross the thodu. Therefore, it is expected to be strong enough to at least hold the weight of a human being. If the same is constructed in a manner in which it would collapse at the whiff of a breath, they cease to be public amenities but become death traps for the citizen. The citizen who suffers injuries in such incidents is entitled to claim compensation for such injuries from the Panchayat or whoever was responsible for providing such public amenity. The Panchayat has got a solemn duty to construct and maintain roads, bridges, drains and other civic amenities. The Panchayat has also got a duty to ensure that such amenities are safe. Because, an unwary pedestrian who is lulled into security by the sight of a concrete bridge would never expect it to give way the moment he steps on it. Therefore, corruption, carelessness and negligence is writ large upon such incidents. Authorities charged with the responsibilities of expending public money have also a duty to ensure that the same is utilized properly. Otherwise public amenities would become public traps for the unwary citizen. Therefore, the finding of the Court below that the Panchayat was liable to pay damages to the plaintiff for the injuries suffered by her is correct and supported not only by the evidence on record, but also by the law on the point ( Paras 11 & 12) - Executive Officer, Thrikkakara Panchayat V. Santhini and Others - 2009 (3) KHC 737 : ILR 2009 (3) ker. 918: 2009 (4) KLT SN 78. [Pullur Periya Panchayat v. Karthiyani, 1997 KHC 29. [1996 (2) KLJ 599 : 1997 (1) KLT 144 : ILR 1997 (1) Ker. (Para 11) Referred to).

When the power to evict unauthorised occupant is a statutory function of the Panchayat there is no meaning in contending that the Panchayat cannot act as an arbiter in its own cause. That is a quasijudicial power conferred on the Panchayat. In fact the Panchayat acts as the appellate authority in many matters as per the powers conferred by the Act. Moreover other similar statutes confer on the Government and other authorities of the State the power to evict unauthorised occupant from their own properties. Panchayat properties being public properties, there is no infirmity in conferring the power to protect such properties from unauthorised occupation on the Panchayat. (Para 12). The power to evict unauthorised occupation from property of the Panchayat is concurrently vested with the Government and the Panc both. There is no exclusion of this power of the Panchayat and conferring of exclusive jurisdiction on the Government in the matter of eviction of unauthorised occupation from land belonging to the Panchayat. As per the Panchayat Raj (Removal of Encroachment and imposition and Recovery of Penalty for Unatuthorised Occupation) Rules, there need not be a notice issued to the tenants for eviction. It will serve the purpose if the landlord has been put to notice regarding the encroachment and the landlord is convinced about the encroachment. Tenants do not have such right to get notice. - Saidalavi Haji N. N. and Others v. Secretary, Tanur Grama Panchayath and Others – 2009 (2) KHC 143 : ILR 2009 (2) Ker. 174 : 2009 (2) KLT 168.

Under S. 166(2), a Village Panchayath shall have exclusive power to administer matters relating to running of anganwadies and the only requirement is that it has to be subject to the other provisions of the Act and guidelines and financial, technical or other assistance of the Government. It is for the Village Panchayat to decide matters relating to running of anganwadies. The power of the Government to issue any guidelines under S. 166(2) of the Act can relate only to "issuing guidelines" and not to interfere or issue directions in individual cases. - Valanchery Service Co-operative Bank Ltd. State of Kerala – 2006 (1) KLT 425.

Jo The order of the Panchayat to close down the unit on the finding of excessive extraction of ground water is unauthorised. The Panchayat can be best, say, no more extractions of ground water will be permitted and ask the company to find out alternative sources for its water requirement. So, the Government's order to the extent it interfered with the closure of the unit has to be upheld. – Perumatty Grama Panchayat v. State of Kerala – 2004 (1) KLT 731.

Constitution of India, Art.226- A writ petition under Art. 226 is maintainable at the instance of a Panchayat. The Panchayat, while granting the licence, acts as a statutory authority. Apart from that, it is a body corporate constituted under Art. 243B of the Constitution of India read with S.5 of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act. If the decision of a Panchayat is reversed by the government on perverse grounds, it