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Allahabad HC directs DM not to amend name in family register

In this case, the Petitioner is the wife of late Radhey Shyam. The name of the Petitioner and six others were initially recorded in the family register.

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The Allahabad High Court recently said in an order the District Magistrate does not have the right to enter or amend the name in the family register.

The order has been given by a division bench of Justice S.P Kesharwani and Justice S.K Ojha while allowing the Petition of Ram Murti Devi.

In this case, the Petitioner is the wife of late Radhey Shyam. The name of the Petitioner and six others were initially recorded in the family register.

Subsequently, the office of the District Magistrate issued a certificate dated March 04, 2020, titled “Sansodhit Parivari Jan Praman Patra” by which he included the respondents along with the Petitioner and her family members.

Accordingly, the names of the respondents were entered in the family register by the Village Development Officer vide entry dated March 18, 2020.

The Counsel for the Petitioner submitted that order dated March 04, 2020, passed by the office of the District Magistrate, Mainpuri, and the consequential entries made in the family register by the Additional Village Development Officer, dated March 18, 2020 are wholly without authority of law inasmuch as the provisions of the U.P. Panchayat Raj (Maintenance of Family Registers) Rules, 1970, do not empower the District Magistrate to pass such an order.

On March 23, 2021, the Court passed an order in which the Rules, 1970, was specifically referred and it was observed that prima facie the order of the District Magistrate, Mainpuri dated March 04, 2020, appears to be without jurisdiction and yet the respondents in the short counter affidavit dated March 26, 2021 has not disclosed his source of power to issue the amended family members certificate.

The Court observed that, for the purposes of controversy involved in the writ Petition Rules 6 and 6A are relevant. Perusal of Rule 6 would reveal that any person whose name is not included in the family register may apply to the Assistant Development Officer (Panchayat) for the inclusion of his name and if the Assistant Development Officer (Panchayat) is satisfied, after such enquiry as he thinks fit; that the applicant is entitled to be registered in the register, he may direct to include the name of the applicant in the family register and thereupon the Secretary of the Gram Sabha shall include the name of the applicant accordingly.

Rule 6-A provides for appeal within 30 days from the date of the order, before the Sub -Divisional Officer whose decision shall be final.

The Court held that, the case clearly reveal that neither the respondents have moved an application before the Competent Authority i.e. the Additional Development Officer (Panchayat) for inclusion of their name in the family register nor the Assistant Development Officer (Panchayat) has passed any order for inclusion of their name after due inquiry as required under Rule 6 of the Rules.

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“Liberty is granted to the respondents to move an application in accordance with law before the Assistant Development Officer (Panchayat). If such an application is filed by the respondents within three weeks, then the Assistant Development Officer (Panchayat) shall consider the application of the respondents for inclusion of their names and after due inquiry, pass an appropriate order, in accordance with law, expeditiously, preferably within next six weeks, after affording reasonable opportunity of hearing to all the parties concerned and without being influenced by any of the observations made in this order”, the Court ordered.

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