LPA No.606 of 2011 (O&M) 1 IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH
Letters Patent Appeal No.606 of 2011 (O&M) Date of decision:- 10.01.2012
Guddu Sarpanch and others
State of Punjab and others
CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE HEMANT GUPTA HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE A.N. JINDAL
Present: Mr. R.K. Garg, Advocate,
for the appellants.
Mr. Sandeep Moudgil, DAG, Punjab,
for respondent Nos. 1 to 4.
Mr. G.S. Punia, Advocate,
for respondent No.5.
HEMANT GUPTA, J. (Oral)
The challenge in the present appeal is to an order passed by the learned Single Judge of this Court on 08.02.2011, whereby the writ petition challenging the order dated 02.08.2010 passed by the Financial Commissioner, exercising the powers of State Government under Section 20 (6) of the Punjab Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, was dismissed. The appellants were earlier suspended, but in pursuance of the regular enquiry conducted by the District Development and Panchayat Officer, the order of suspension was revoked and the appellants were reinstated as Sarpanch/Panches. The complainant filed an appeal against the said order, which was accepted by the Financial Commissioner, LPA No.606 of 2011 (O&M) 2 exercising the powers of State Government and the matter was remitted back to the Director, Rural Development and Panchayats for fresh decision. It is the said order, which was challenged by the petitioners before this Court by way of writ petition, which has been dismissed. The sole controversy raised by the appellants before the learned Single Bench as also before this Bench, is competency of the appeal by the complainant against the order of reinstatement of Sarpanch and Panches in terms of Section 20 (6) of the Punjab Panchayati Raj Act, 1994 (for short 'the Act').
The issue in the present appeal is short and concluded by a Full Bench judgment of this Court in Darshan Singh Vs. State of Haryana and others, 2006 (1) RCR (Civil) 170. In the aforesaid case, the provisions of Haryana Panchayati Raj Act, 1994 came up for interpretation. The provisions of Section 51 (5) of the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, read as under:-
"51 (5):- Any person aggrieved by an order passed under sub sections (1), (3) and (4) may within a period of thirty days from the communication of the order, prefer an appeal to the Government." The provisions of Section 20 (6) of the Punjab Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, read as under:-
"20 (6) Any person aggrieved by an order of removal or suspension passed under this section, may within a period of thirty days from the date of communication of the order, prefer an appeal to the State Government."
A comparison of the above said two provisions shows that Section 51 sub section 5 of the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, is pari materia with Section 20 sub section 6 of the Punjab Panchayati Raj Act, 1994. Therefore, the ratio of the Full Bench in Darshan Singh's case LPA No.606 of 2011 (O&M) 3 (supra) is applicable in all force to the provisions of Punjab Panchayati Raj Act, 1994 as well.
In view thereof, the complainant has a right to file an appeal before the State Government in terms of Section 20 (6) of the Act. Consequently, we do not find any merit in the present appeal. The same is hereby dismissed.
January 10, 2012