(PER : HONOURABLE THE ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE ANANT S. DAVE) In Letters Patent Appeal No.2094/2017 and allied matter, a Division Bench of this Court vide order dated 20.11.2017 took note of observations made by the learned Single Judge in Special Civil Application No.1351/2005 vide order dated 3.10.2016, that "On account of gross misdeeds on part of the Panchayat, the Court held that the Gram Panchayat would be liable to pay salary of the teacher for the period between 15.12.1999 to 11.02.2003." The Division Bench in the penultimate paragraph held and observed as under :
"3. The record would reveal that the teacher had resigned from his appointment in other school to join the present post. He had actually worked as a teacher for the period from 15.12.1999 to 11.02.2003. In that view of the matter, even on the principle of quantum meruit, he must receive his salary. The learned Single Judge, however, noticed that there were serious irregularities and illegalities committed Page 1 of 3 C/MCA/155/2018 ORDER by the Panchayat in the process of selection and appointment of the teacher. The findings of fact recorded by the Education Tribunal were not challenged by the teacher or by the Panchayat. It was on this basis that the learned Single Judge did not burden the Government revenue with the salary of the teacher."
Now affidavitinreply has been filed by the respondents herein taking a specious plea that Panchayat is not directly responsible for misdeeds of erstwhile Sarpanch who committed certain irregularities in appointment including that of the petitioner. It is also submitted that execution petition could be filed before the Education Tribunal which passed the original order against which writ petition and Letters Patent Appeal were preferred.
We are of the opinion that inspite of notice being issued, no attempt is made to make the payment on the ground of scant financial resources with the Panchayat.
The stand taken by the respondent Gram Panchayat above, clearly disclose defiance and willful disobedience on part of the Panchayat authority.
Section 253 of the Gujarat Panchayats Act, 1993 provides for dissolution or supersession of Panchayats for default. It is interalia provided that if in the opinion of the State Government, a Panchayat exceed or abuses its powers or is incompetent to perform or makes persistent default in the performance of the duties imposed on it or functions entrusted to it under any provision of this Act or by under any other law for the time being in force, the State Government may dissolve such Panchayat or supersede such Panchayat for the period specified in the order.
C/MCA/155/2018 ORDER In our view, by not carrying out the orders passed by this Court to which reference is made hereinabove, Panchayat has abused its powers and is incompetent to perform the duties imposed on it or functions entrusted to it. We therefore, direct the District Development Officer and the State Government to look into above aspects and on the next date of hearing, Sarpanch of the Panchayat is directed to personally remain present before this Court.
Adjourned to 15.3.2019.
(ANANT S. DAVE, ACJ) (BIREN VAISHNAV, J) RAGHUNATH R NAIR Page 3 of 3