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Embargo of 15 months for GP chiefs starts with date of assuming office: Karnataka HC

A division bench, comprising Chief Justice NV Anjaria and Justice Krishna S Dixit, said this while allowing the appeal filed by one P Preethi Munegowda, president of Bagalur Gram Panchayat in Bengaluru North taluk.
Last Updated : 20 June 2024, 23:34 IST

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A division bench of the Karnataka High Court has held that the embargo of 15 months should be reckoned from the date of assumption of office by any president and vice-president of a Gram Panchayat under the Karnataka Grama Swaraj and Panchayath Raj (Amendment) Act 2021.

A division bench, comprising Chief Justice NV Anjaria and Justice Krishna S Dixit, said this while allowing the appeal filed by one P Preethi Munegowda, president of Bagalur Gram Panchayat in Bengaluru North taluk.

In this case, Hameeda was elected as the first president of the Bagalur Gram Panchayat in December 2021. After she resigned from the post in March 2023, Preethi Munegowda was elected as the president. On November 4, 2023, a notice about moving a no-confidence motion was moved against her.

The appeal was filed challenging the single bench order. The single judge dismissed Preethi Munegowda’s petition saying that the embargo of 15 months has to be calculated from the date when the first president was elected. The single bench had said that the period of 15 months starts from the date of the president’s election for the first time and when such period is over, there is no bar to move the no-confidence motion.

The division bench allowed the appeal after examining the provisions of the Gram Swaraj Act. It said the courts are not expected to depart from the statute’s plain language unless the statute or section peddles serious mischief in its application or becomes perverse in achieving its object.

The bench said the second proviso to section 49, clearly provides that no resolution expressing want of confidence against the president or vice president shall be moved within the ‘first fifteen months from the date of his election’.

The division bench said, “It is always desired that a democratically elected body at the grassroots level, like the Panchayat, functions with stability. The president or vice-president of Panchayat becomes prone to be subjected to no-confidence motion by the meddling groups of opposition but for the provision like the second proviso.”

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Published 20 June 2024, 23:34 IST

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