Chhattisgarh High Court: The petitioner Councillor of Municipal Council, Mahasamund approached the Court complaining that the Municipal Council, Mahasamund had failed to perform its statutory duty envisaged under the Chhattisgarh Municipalities Act, 1961. The grievance of the petitioner was that the condition of the roads is such that they were not even able to approach to shops for their daily needs.

In this respect, the Court highlighted the landmark judgment by Supreme Court on the same, that is, Municipal Council, Ratlam v. Shri Vardichan,  (1980) 4 SCC 162 to express the fact that the Court clearly had jurisdiction to not just express concerns, but also to express in such matters. The Court observed that in the context of constitutional provisions, the existence of roads in workable conditions is part of citizens’ right to life enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Sanjay k Agarwal, J. observed that Municipal Council has clearly failed to discharge its statutory obligation responsibility contained in Sections 123 and 124 of the Municipalities Act, 1961 and stated that lack of financial resources can never be the reason for not fulfilling the statutory obligations as held in Ratlam Municipality case by the Apex Court itself.

The Court held that the council has failed to perform its statutory obligation of providing usable and workable roads and also to fill up uncovered drains after the alleged removal of encroachment from National Highway. The Court then directed the authorities to take effective and proper steps to provide basic civic amenities, including usable roads, covered drainage etc., to the residents. [Pankaj Sahu v. State of Chhatisgarh, WPC No. 946 of 2017, decided on 25.10.2017]

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