Panchayat:Repo18/Law Manual Page0226
176B. Provision for lighting public streets.- (1) A Village Panchayat shall cause all public streets in its area to be lighted and for that purpose shall provide such lamps and works as may be necessary.
(2) For the purpose of sub-section (1) Kerala State Electricity Board shall provide necessary electric energy and other technical assistance to the Village Panchayat at the rate fixed by the Government and on such other terms as prescribed.
(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) the Government may in consultation with the Village Panchayat arrange a lighting system on any public streets through an agency approved by the Government.
(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, a Village Panchayat or any other local self Government Institutions may jointly arrange and maintain a street lighting system.]
177. Power to accept donations and trusts.- A Panchayat may accept donations or trusts relating exclusively to the furtherance of any purpose to which its funds may be applied and shall apply the same solely for such purpose.
178. Acquisition of immovable property required by the Panchayat.— Any immovable property which is required by a Panchayat for a public purpose connected with the discharge of the functions imposed on it under this Act or the rules or bye-laws made thereunder, or any other law, may be acquired under the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (Central Act 1 of 1894) and on payment of compensation awarded under that Act in respect of such property and of any other charges incurred in acquiring it, the said property shall stand transferred to and vest in the Panchayat:
Provided that nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to prevent any Panchayat from acquiring immovable property either through private purchase or any free surrender.
In Sakkeer and Another v. Director of Panchayath, Tvm and Others, it was held that a licensee can be evicted by grantor at any time. On revocation of licence, licensee is entitled to a reasonable time to leave property. In other words, eviction in terms of the Rules does not contemplate eviction by due process of law. Remedy of licensee is not restoration, but only restitution. It was also held that in terms of Act and Rules, property of Grama Panchayat can be given under a licence. Once licence is determined, mode of eviction that has been prescribed in the Rules has to be followed. S.249 enables dispossessed person to file a suit for recovery of immovable property within six months next after the accrual of alleged cause of action. In this case the Court also made adverse remarks on official apathy in frittering away public property due to irregularities and ordered comprehensive enquiry in respect of lease of shop rooms and further to take appropriate action against erring officials of the Panchayat. Moreover, the lease deed was executed prior to the date of purchase of stamp paper. No explanation was given for such discrepancy. Herein it was held that the document is a contemporaneously executed one and the Court directed to launch criminal prosecution against parties and officials of Grama Panchayat in respect of the contemporaneous lease deed. – Sakkeer and Another v. Director of Panchayath, Tvm and Others – 2015 (3) KHC 207.
Road development is undoubtedly a purpose to which Panchayat funds if available could have been utilised. Therefore the contention of the petitioners that since it is not public funds which are being utilised for the acquisition, the purpose of acquisition cannot be treated as a public purpose cannot be upheld. Just because the acquisition proceedings have been preceded by litigations resulting in order or decrees in favour of the petitioners who are owners of the land, the acquisition will not become bad on the reason that the same is initiated after unfavourable results in the previous litigations. - Vasantha Prasad v. State of Kerala - 2005 (4) KLT SN 6. (AIR 1993 SC 151; AIR 2003 SC 1941; AIR 2003 SC 3140 & (1996) 8 SCC 282 Referred to).