2013(7) ALL MR 5
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY(NAGPUR BENCH)
V.A. NAIK AND A.B. CHAUDHARI, JJ.
Shri Devidas S/O. Matiramji Surwade Vs. Additional Commissioner, Amravati & Ors.
Letters Patent Appeal No. 305 of 2012,Writ Petition No.2078 of 2012
31st July, 2012
Petitioner Counsel: S/Shri P.B. Patil,M.A. Sable
Respondent Counsel: Mrs. A.R. Taiwade,Shri K.S. Malokar
Bombay Village Panchayats Act (1958), S.14 - Disqualification - Father of appellant encroached upon land - Disqualified appellant living in house constructed by his father on encroached land - Term 'person' in provision has to be interpreted to mean legal heirs of such person, who has encroached and continued to occupy Government land - If such interpretation is not made, person remaining on such encroached Government land would claim right to get elected as member of democratically elected body - This interpretation defeats object of Act - Appeal liable to be rejected. (Paras 4, 5, 6)
3. In support of the appeal, Mr.P.B.Patil, the learned counsel for the appellant, vehemently argued that the Plot bearing No.168 was admittedly not encroached by the appellant but by his father way back in the year 1966. A house was constructed on Plot No.168 by the father of appellant and after the death of his father, the appellant is residing in the said house. According to Mr.Patil, the disqualification provided by Section 14(1)(j-3) of the Bombay Village Panchayats Act, 1958 is inapplicable to the appellant and the appellant could not have been removed for the encroachment made by his father. He, therefore, prayed for setting aside the judgment and order of the learned Single Judge as well as the order of the Additional Commissioner.
4. We have heard the learned counsel for the appellant. On the facts described by the learned counsel for the appellant, we find that the State Legislature while enacting the said provision fully accepted the Statement of Objects and Reasons in respect of the said particular provision regarding encroachment on the Government properties. The Statement of Objects and Reasons states that the person, who has encroached on the Government property, shall not only be disqualified to be a member of Gram Panchayat, but also the disqualification shall be attached to such person till his tenure. In other words, on such disqualifi-cation the member can be disqualified and thus removed.
5. We find that there is a definite object in making the said amendment to the provisions of disqualification and the object is that one, who encroaches upon the Government land or the Government property, cannot make any claim to represent the people by becoming an elected member of the Gram Panchayat. The term 'person'in the said amende d provision has to be interpreted to mean the legal heirs of such person, who has encroached and continues to occupy the Government land or the Government property, his agent, assignee or transferee or as the case may be. If such an interpretation is not made in the said provision, the result would be absurd in the sense that the Government land would continue to remain encroached and the legal heirs or the assignees or the transferees remaining on such encroached Government land shall claim the right to get elected as a member of democratically elected body. In no case our conscious permits such type of interpretation to defeat the very object of the Bombay Village Panchayats (Amendment) Act, 2006.