Writ Appeal No. 194 of 2017. Case: Middela Yadi Reddy Vs The State of T.S. and Ors.. High Court of Andhra Pradesh (India)

Case NumberWrit Appeal No. 194 of 2017
JudgesRamesh Ranganathan, Actg. C.J. and Dr. Shameem Akther, J.
IssueAndhra Pradesh Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 - Sections 249, 249(1)
Judgement DateFebruary 13, 2017
CourtHigh Court of Andhra Pradesh (India)


Ramesh Ranganathan, Actg. C.J.

  1. This appeal, under Clause 15 of the Letters Patent, is preferred against the order passed by the Learned Single Judge in W.P.M.P. No. 4056 of 2017 in W.P. No. 3414 of 2017 dated 02.02.2017 whereby the order of the District Collector, Ranga Reddy dated 09.01.2017 was suspended pending disposal of W.P. No. 3414 of 2017.

  2. The order under appeal records the submissions of the learned Senior Counsel, appearing on behalf of the 4th respondent-writ petitioner, that the impugned order of the District Collector dated 09.01.2017 was contrary to the provisions of Section 249 of the A.P. Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 (for short "the Act'); without framing necessary charges, the District Collector had resorted to removal of the 4th respondent-writ petitioner from the post of Sarpanch; and the explanation offered by the 4th respondent-writ petitioner was not taken into consideration while passing the impugned order. The Learned Single Judge observed that, having heard the learned counsel on either side, he was of the opinion that the matter required consideration by the High Court. Thereafter, he directed interim suspension as prayed for.

  3. Heard Sri A. Sudershan Reddy, learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant (4th respondent in the writ petition) and Sri S. Satyam Reddy, learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of the 4th respondent-writ petitioner.

  4. Sri A. Sudershan Reddy, learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant, would submit that Section 249(1) of the Act only requires the Sarpanch to be put on notice and to be given an opportunity of being heard; the said provision does not contemplate an enquiry being caused; a copy of the report of the Divisional Panchayat Officer, which formed the basis for taking action against the 4th respondent-writ petitioner, was supplied to her; the order impugned in the writ petition is a reasoned order; the order reflects numerous opportunities being given to the 4th respondent-writ petitioner; in her explanation dated 03.01.2017, the 4th respondent-writ petitioner did not seek any further time to produce the measurement books; based on the documents submitted by her, the District Collector came to the conclusion that, as against the amounts referred to in show cause notice i.e., Rs. 2,05,14,386/-, the 4th respondent-writ petitioner had failed to submit measurement books and bills for Rs. 35,34,054/-; serious allegations of misappropriation and failure to submit bills are held established against an elected Sarpanch; as an order of removal is passed by the District Collector pursuant thereto, in the exercise of his powers under Section 249(1) of the Act, no interference was called for, more so at the stage of admission of the Writ Petition; the order, in effect, grants the main relief sought for in the writ petition; such an order ought not to have passed by the Learned Single Judge without assigning reasons; the order under appeal does not even record the satisfaction of the Learned Single Judge that it is necessary to interfere with the impugned order; except a vague averment in the writ affidavit that the 3rd respondent had influenced the officials, and had got a report from the Divisional Panchayat Officer alleging that she had misappropriated a sum for Rs. 2,05,14,386/-, no allegations of malice are made in the writ petition; it is only during the course of hearing, were these allegations of malice been made; and, in the light of the serious allegations of failure to submit bills and misappropriation of a sum of Rs. 35,34,054/-, the Learned Single Judge erred in interfering with the order impugned in the writ petition.

  5. On the other hand Sri S. Satyam Reddy, learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of the 4th respondent-writ petitioner, would submit that the remedy of the appellant was to file a petition seeking vacation of the interim order; the 4th respondent-writ petitioner, who belongs to S.C (Women) Category, took charge as a Sarpanch in August 2013; some of the allegations levelled against her relate to a period prior to her taking charge as a...

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