Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Allahabad High Court quashes Gorakhpur DM order against Nagar Panchayat President

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The Allahabad High Court has quashed the order of the District Magistrate that had ceased the financial powers of the President of Nagar Panchayat, Pepeeganj, Gorakhpur. The Court said the District Magistrate does not have the right to curtail the financial powers of the President of Nagar Panchayat.

The Division Bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Gupta and Justice Chandra Kumar Rai passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Ganga Prasad Jaiswal.

The order passed by the District Magistrate, Gorakhpur ceasing financial powers of the petitioner, who is President of Nagar Panchayat, Pepeeganj, Gorakhpur, is being challenged on the ground of jurisdiction.

The order recites that he was in receipt of various complaints from Sabhasads relating to financial irregularities committed by the petitioner/ Executive Officer, Nagar Panchayat. A committee was constituted for inquiry and its report has been forwarded to the State Government. Keeping in mind the said situation, the financial powers of the petitioner have been ceased except to the extent of payment of salary, pension and office expenses.

Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the impugned order is without jurisdiction as the District Magistrate has no such power. Only the State Government can exercise such power under the provision of sub-Section (2) of Section 48 of the UP Municipalities Act, 1916.

The Standing Counsel conceded to the above legal position and submitted the State Government be granted liberty to pass fresh order in respect of ceasing of the financial powers.

“Having regard to the submissions made and being satisfied with the contention that the District Magistrate has no such power, we quash the order dated 13.05.2022 leaving it open to the State Government to pass a fresh order, if facts of the case so warrants,” the Court observed while allowing the petition.

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