Madhya Pradesh High Court: The Division Bench of Sheel Nagu and Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav, JJ. allowed petition filed under Art 226 of the Constitution filed by Smt Rampyari Patel and quashed impugned order dated 06-07-2021 passed by State Government.

Sarpanch of Gram Panchayat was suspended u/s 39 of M.P. Panchayat Raj Avam Gram Swaraj Adhiniyam, 1993 on the ground of charges having been framed against him for the offences punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. By order dated 20-05-2019 the Additional Collector, Chattarpur dismissed the appeal thereby upholding the foundational order and the revision of same was further dismissed by Revisional Authority Commissioner, Sagar Division, Sagar on 05-11-2019. An order was passed by State Government in exercise of its power under rule 5 of M.P. Panchayat (Appeal and Revision) Rules, 1995. The said order had stayed the order dated 050-11-2019 passed by Revisional Authority Commissioner.

The Court by interim order passed on 26-07-2021 had stayed the effect and operation of order dated 06-07-2021 by State Government. The counsel appearing on behalf of petitioner informed the Court that the revision against order dated 05-11-2019 by Commissioner Sagar Division, Sagar was not maintainable as they could not have entertained the revision without condoning the delay of more than one year in preferring the revision and in the view of bar contained in Rule 5(1)(b) of M.P. Panchayat (Appeal and Revision) Rules, 1995.

The Court acknowledged that the Respondent 7 (Sarpanch) was caught red-handed while taking a bribe and charges were framed accordingly. Therefore, Court held that the suspension was rightly placed. Court also observed the “volumes about influence wielded by respondent 7 upon Janpad Panchayat, Zila Panchayat and functionaries of the State.” Finally, the Court while allowing the petition (a) quashed the impugned order dated 06-07-2021 and (b) restrained the State/Revisional Authority/Minister In charge of Department concerned or any other revisional authority from entertaining second revision without first condoning the delay and without first ensuring that only legal and factual dispute is involved. A cost of Rs 5000 was also imposed on the State for colourably exercising power of favour.[Rampyari Patel v. State of Madhya Pradesh, WP. No.12956 of 2021, decided on 23-12-2021]

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

For petitioner: Shreyas Pandit

For respondent: Sankalp Kocher

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