Himachal Pradesh High Court: The Division Bench of Surya Kant, CJ and Ajay Mohan Goel, J. disposed of the petition allowing the petitioner to continue in the office of Pradhan of Gram Panchayat subject to certain restrictions.

In the case a complaint was made against the petitioner, alleging huge irregularities in the execution of development works, including misappropriation/embezzlement of funds. Subsequently, the preliminary enquiry report was also released in support of the same which later resulted in the petitioner’s suspension. The appellate authority also declined to interfere in the suspension orders and directed to conclude the inquiry within 6 months. However, the Court allowed the petitioner to continue in the office subject to certain restrictions since it would be preposterous to assume the allegations against him would hold true in the ongoing enquiry.

It cannot be overlooked that due to personal rivalry within the village, there would be unabated complaints against an elected office bearers in whom the majority of resident of the village have expressed their faith. Such an elected person should not be lightly suspended from the office and/or be deprived from performing the duties of elected office merely because there is a complaint against irregularities.

The petition was accordingly disposed of. [Roshan Lal v. State of H.P., 2019 SCC OnLine HP 125, Order dated 11-01-2019]

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