Tender case allowed MR.JUSTICE G.R.SWAMINATHAN W.P(MD)No.7444 of 2020

  1. [7/25, 12:06] Sekarreporter 1: 1 W.P.(MD)No.7444 of 2020
    BEFORE THE MADURAI BENCH OF MADRAS HIGH COURT
    DATED: 21.07.2020
    CORAM
    THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE G.R.SWAMINATHAN
    W.P(MD)No.7444 of 2020
    and
    WMP(MD)No.6903 & 7138 of 2020
    Ramu … Petitioner
    Vs.
    1.The Secretary to Government,
    Municipal Administration and
    Water Supply Department,
    Secretariat, Chennai – 600 009.
    2.The District Collector,
    Sivagangai District, Sivagangai.
    3.The Block Development Officer,
    Thiruppuvanam,
    Sivagangai District.
    4.The Assistant Director, (Panchayats),
    Sivagangai District. … Respondents
    (R4 is suo motu amended as per
    order dated 21.07.2020)
    Prayer: Writ petition is filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, to
    issue a Writ of Certiorarified Mandamus, to call for the records pertaining
    to the impugned tender notification of the third respondents, dated
    01.07.2020 in Na.Ka.No.A2/2225/2019 and quash the same and
    consequently direct the third respondent to include the works mentioned by
    the petitioner in his representation dated 28.05.2020 and pass such further
    or other orders as this Court may deems fit in the circusmtances of the
    case and thus render justice.
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    For Petitioner : Mr.G.Prabhu Rajadurai
    for Mr.J.Anandkumar
    For R1, R2 & R4 : Ms.S.Srimathy,
    Special Government Pleader
    For R3 : Ms.J.Padmavathi Devi
    Special Government Pleader
    ORDER
    The petitioner is an elected ward member of Thiruppuvanam
    Panchayat Union. It is in Sivagangai District. He challenges the tender
    notification bearing Na.Ka.No.A2/2225/2019 dated 01.07.2020 issued by
    the Block Development Officer, Thiruppuvanam. He alleges that the choice
    of tender works has been influenced by political considerations. The more
    important ones are to be carried out in the wards that have elected the
    candidates belonging to the party ruling the State. Out of seventeen
    members in the panchayat union, nine belong to the opposition parties.
    One independent ward member is also with them. The party ruling the
    State could not secure a majority in this panchayat union. Hence, the
    officials are not convening the meetings for holding elections for the posts
    of Chairman and Vice-chairman. Taking advantage of the situation, the
    third respondent has issued the impugned tender notification bypassing the
    local body.
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    for devolution of powers upon and assigned various
    functions listed in the Eleventh Schedule to the
    Panchayats. The primary focus of the subjects
    enumerated in the Eleventh Schedule is on social and
    economic development of the rural parts of the country by
    conferring upon the Panchayat the status of a
    constitutional body. Parliament has ensured that the
    Panchayats would no longer perform the role of simply
    executing the programs and policies evolved by the
    political executive of the State. By virtue of the provisions
    contained in Part IX, the Panchayats have been
    empowered to formulate and implement their own
    programs of economic development and social justice in
    tune with their status as the third tier of government which
    is mandated to represent the interests of the people living
    within its jurisdiction. The system of Panchayats envisaged
    in this Part aims at establishing strong and accountable
    systems of governance that will in turn ensure more
    equitable distribution of resources in a manner beneficial
    to all.”
    14.The respondents 2 to 4 have not kept in view the
    constitutional objective as adumbrated above. A duly elected local body
    has been treated as non-existent and totally ignored in the process of
    decision-making. While the District Collector is the authority competent to
    accord administrative sanction for tender works valued more than
    Rs.50,000/-, the proposals must emanate from the local body concerned. If
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    there is no elected local body, the Block Development Officer can submit
    proposals. Unless it is a case of emergency, it is the local body that must
    deliberate and make the proposals. The learned counsel for the petitioner
    has convincingly established that the impugned tender notification was
    issued by the third respondent by usurping the role of the Panchayat Union
    Council and by violating the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act,
    1994. The third respondent cannot invoke either Section 86 or Section
    261-A of the Act to sustain the impugned tender notification which clearly
    lacks jurisdiction. It is quashed. The writ petition stands allowed. There
    shall be no order as to costs. Connected miscellaneous petitions are
    closed.
    21.07.2020
    Index : Yes / No
    Internet : Yes/ No
    skm
    Note : 1.Issue order copy within one day after the
    same received by the Court Officers Section.
    2. In view of the present lock down owing to
    COVID-19 pandemic, a web copy of the order may
    be utilized for official purposes, but, ensuring that the
    copy of the order that is presented is the correct
    copy, shall be the responsibility of the
    advocate/litigant concerned.
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