Bhanumati v. State of U.P.

Bhanumati

v.

 State of U.P.

CitationAIR 2010 SC 3796
CourtSupreme Court of India
Judges/BenchG.S. Singhvi, Asok Kumar Ganguly
RespondentState of Uttar Pradesh through Its PrincipalSecretary and Others
ReferencenceConstitution (73rd Amendment) Act 1992,U.P. Panchayat Laws (Amendment) Act 2007, U.P. Panchayat Laws (Amendment) Act 2007, Uttar Pradesh Kshetra Panchayats and Zila Panchayats Adhiniyam 1961, Uttar Pradesh Appropriation Act 1996, United Provinces Panchayat Raj Act 1947, Constitution of India, 1950  
Legislation & Rules1. Part IX, 7th Schedule Entry 5 list II Indian Constitution
2. Articles 243A, 243C (1), (5), 243D (4), 243X (6),  243F (1) (6),243G, 243H, 243I (2), 243J, 243(K) (2), (4) and Art. 243C(5)Articles 118 and 208 of Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992
Section 15 and 28 Uttar Pradesh Kshetra Panchayats and Zila Panchayats Adhiniyam, 1961

Introduction

This is a case between Bhanumati and the State of U.P. through Its Principal Secretory and Others where the U.P. Panchayat Laws (Amendment) Act, 2007 Sec. 15 and 28 were Challenged based on the establishment of the concept of no-confidence provision relating to the office of Chairperson of Panchayat in the statute substitution of the proviso ‘more than half’ instead of ‘not less than two thirds’ in relation to the majority for moving no-confidence proviso and block time of ‘one year’ for starting of the no-confidence motion instead of ‘two years’.

Background of the case

The appeal was filed by Bhanumati in the Supreme Court against the decision of High Courtwhich has declared the U.P. Panchayat Laws (Amendment) Act, 2007 (U.P. Act 44 of 2007) as valid even after the absence of detailed explanation of no-confidence motion in the Constitution of India and therefore initiation of this law goes against the rule of Panchayati Raj institution. The Division Bench applied the very well-known Constitutional doctrine of silence given by Michael Folley and the learned counsel of petitioner argued that by bringing such amendment, the nature of the Panchayati rules has been destroyed and provisions have been made for the administrative interruption. At last, the Court said that even though there are no clear provisions about no-confidence motion it does not affect the post of chairperson of Panchayat and the amendment act is valid, and the appeals were dismissed and all interim orders were renounced.

Facts

  • The facts of the case were that the Uttar Pradesh Kshetra Panchayats and Zila Panchayats Adhiniyam, 1961, for the incorporation of no-confidence provision for Kshetra Samiti, the block period was of one year plus the majority of more than half of the total no. of members of Kshetra Panchayat were needed.
  • The 1961 Act was altered some times in the years 1965, 1976, 1990, 1994, and 1998 and again in 2007 by Act No. 44 of 2007, for the incorporation of the no-confidence motion, the block period of ‘two years’ was decreased to ‘12 months’ and as a concern, the law regarding the majority for passing no-confidence provision, the phrase ‘not less than two-third’ was replaced by ‘more than half’.
  • The plaintiffs questioned the constitutional validity of the U.P. Panchayat Laws (Amendment) Act, 2007. The High Court held that the amendment act is valid.  Complainants questioned that the no-confidence motion is lacking in detailed constitutional provision under Chapter IX of the Indian Constitution.
  • Therefore, the initiation of the stated law in the statute oppose against the teachings of Panchayati Raj Institution; and that the exchange of the legal regulation ‘more than half’ instead of ‘not less than two thirds’ and the phrase ‘one year’ in place of ‘two years’ in Sections 15 and 28 of the Amendment Act blurs the principle of stability and continuity which are main objectives behind the object and purposes of the Constitutional Amendments in Part IX of the Indian Constitution.

Issues

  1. Whether the U.P. Panchayat Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2007 (U.P. Ordinance 26 of 2007) which later on became U.P. Panchayat Laws (Amendment) Act, 2007 (U.P. Act 44 of 2007) was valid or not?
  2. The absence of no-confidence motion in detail under Chapter IX of the Constitution militates against the principles of Panchayati Raj Institution?
  3. Whether the chairperson of Panchayat should have the same powers as the President of India?

Contentions of the parties

Arguments on behalf of the appellant

  1. The constitutional validity of U.P. Panchayat Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2007 was challenged and it was argued that by inducing such amendment, the nature of the Panchayati principles have been worsened and regulations have been enacted for executive intervention.
  2. It was further requested that such an amendment has been in total contradiction to the principle sanctified in Part IX of the Indian Constitution. It was argued that Part IX of the Indian Constitution grants for a three-wheel structure of Panchayat administration and the grounds for this kind of a three-wheel is to lessen the extent of the executive intrusion.
  3. It was contended that if the Pramukh of the system of governance in  Gram Panchayat is, for any purpose, eliminated or excluded, from managing the organisation, the up-pramukh prior to such reformation could have got over, whereas the eradication of these duties will cover the route of executive intrusion.
  4. It was further proposed that there is no concept of a no-confidence motion in detail under Chapter IX of the Indian Constitution. Accordingly, the establishment of the stated regulation in the enactment resists against the origins of Panchayati Raj Institution.

Judgment

  • The judgment, in this case, was given by two Hon’ble Judges of Supreme Court.
    • The court held that the constitutional validity of the U.P. Panchayat Laws (Amendment) Act, 2007 (U.P. act 44 of 2007) is valid.
    • After analyzing all the facts, the Supreme Court believed that there is no reason to change the decision of the High Court. The 73rd Amendment stated that “Government State” is no longer an assistance provider but will be a facilitator who will initiate individuals to develop upon equality and social justice and for the betterment of system citizens should be made aware of their functions and duty in the system.
    • Thus, the formation of the Panchayat, its role, its selection, and many other aspects of its management are now explained more broadly under the Constitution with laws that allow the State Legislature to establish laws to execute the constitutional order. Therefore, the creation of Panchayat and its functioning is now essential under the Constitutional scheme, Part IX of the Constitution.
    • The purpose and the grounds for Part IX are to give status and honor to “Panchayati Raj Institutions” as well as to confer assurance, flow, and power to them. A Constitution doesn’t provide all details about the legal provisions considered under the scheme of alteration. In the 73rd amendment of the Constitution, under different articles, like Articles 243A, 243C(1), (5), 243D(4), 243X(6), 243F(1) (6), 243G, 243H, 243I (2), 243J, 243(K) (2), (4) of the Constitution, the government of the State has been authorized to make laws to execute the Constitutional provisions.
    • At last, Art. 243C(5) provides for the election of Chairperson. Hence, the submission that the law of no-confidence motion against the Chairman, is not in the Constitution, so it cannot be given in the law, is unacceptable when the Constitution specially permits the Legislature to proffer the details of the selection of the Chairperson.
  • The law of no-confidence motion against the Chairperson is a pre-Constitutional provision and was there in Sec. 15 of the 1961 Act and was never annulled by any qualified authority.
    • On the other side by following statutory laws, the stated proviso of no-Confidence has been approved with some changes but its essence was upheld.
    • Thus, the rule of no-confidence is not contradictory to Part IX of the Constitution. The provision of Art. 243N of the Constitution makes it clear that if Panchayat laws are in force in any State before Amendment in the constitution and contain rules which are in contradiction with Part IX, then there will be two outcomes: these laws will be in force until annulled or changed by capable authority, and those provisions will be valid until one year from the beginning of the amendment in the constitution, if not abolished earlier.
    • The appeals cannot be accepted because of a well recognized Constitutional doctrine of silence given by Michael Folley. A Constitution which declares to be democratic and legislator as well as which brings a radical change by 73rd Constitutional amendment by creating special law for democratic decentralization and self Command on the policy of basic level justice cannot be simplified to eliminate the no-confidence provision in respect of the office of the Chairperson of  Panchayat just because of its silence on that aspect.
  • In, the conclusion of the no-confidence motion, the chairperson of Panchayat, doesn’t lose his position as a member of Panchayat, so there is no set back for the Panchayat. The base of democratic republicanism is all the people who embrace the bodies mentioned above. Accordingly, the “statutory provision” cannot be called either unacceptable or ultra vires of Part IX  of the constitution.
  • With regard to the conflict that the position of chairperson should have the same power as the president of India, the Judge upheld the contention of desperation and proceeded without any regard to the enormous variation between the constitution status and position between the two posts, which were not at all comparable by any criteria even the president of India is subject to impeachment proceedings under Article 61 of the Indian constitution.

Conclusion

From the judgment of this case, we can consider that the Supreme Court has analyzed the facts very carefully by adding a very famous doctrine of silence. Providing the fact that no-confidence motion will not affect the position of a chairperson of the gram panchayat. In every case, justice should be rendered than giving a decision. Any decision taken by the court should be for the betterment of people and the court also highlighted that Finality is a good thing, but justice is better

References

  1. Bhanumati Etc. Etc vs State Of U.P.Tr.Prinl.Sec.& Ors on 4 May, 2010, available at: https://indiankanoon.org
  2. BHANUMATI ETC. ETC. vs. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH THROUGH ITS PRINCIPALSECRETARY AND OTHERS, available at: https://main.sci.gov.in
  3. Commissioner of Sales Tax M.P. vs. Popular Trading Company, Ujjain 2000 (5) SCC 511.
  4. CONCEPT OF VILLAGE PANCHAYAT, available at: https://www.lawctopus.com
  5. Dharam Dutt and Ors. vs. Union of India and Ors. (2004) 1 SCC 712 .
  6. Diamond Sugar Mills Limited and Anr. vs. The State of Uttar Pradesh and Anr. AIR 1961 SC 652.
  7. Jilubhai Nanbhai Khachar etc. etc. vs. State of Gujarat and Anr. AIR 1995 SC 142.
  8. Navinchandra Mafatlal, Bombay vs. Commissioner of Income Tax, Bombay City AIR 1955 SC 58.
  9. Ram Beti vs. District Panchayat Raj Adhikari and Ors.1998 (1) SCC 680.
  10. State of Bihar and Ors. vs. Bihar Distillery Limited JT 1996 (10) S.C. 854.
  11. State of Gujarat vs. Mirzapur Moti Kureshi Kassab Jamat and Ors. (2005) 8 SCC 534.
  12. State of Tamil Nadu vs. M/s. Payarelal Malhotra and Ors. 1976 (1) SCC 834.
  13. Thanjavur and another vs. S. Naganatha Ayyar and Ors. (1979) 3 SCC 466.
  14. Bhanumati Etc. Etc vs State Of U.P.Tr.Prinl.Sec.& Ors on 4 May, 2010, available at: https://indiankanoon.org
  15. BHANUMATI ETC. ETC. vs. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH THROUGH ITS PRINCIPALSECRETARY AND OTHERS, available at: https://main.sci.gov.in.
  16. Commissioner of Sales Tax M.P. vs. Popular Trading Company, Ujjain 2000 (5) SCC 511.
  17. CONCEPT OF VILLAGE PANCHAYAT, available at: https://www.lawctopus.com
  18. Dharam Dutt and Ors. vs. Union of India and Ors. (2004) 1 SCC 712 .
  19. Diamond Sugar Mills Limited and Anr. vs. The State of Uttar Pradesh and Anr. AIR 1961 SC 652.
  20. Jilubhai Nanbhai Khachar etc. etc. vs. State of Gujarat and Anr. AIR 1995 SC 142.
  21. Navinchandra Mafatlal, Bombay vs. Commissioner of Income Tax, Bombay City AIR 1955 SC 58.
  22. Ram Beti vs. District Panchayat Raj Adhikari and Ors.1998 (1) SCC 680.
  23. State of Bihar and Ors. vs. Bihar Distillery Limited JT 1996 (10) S.C. 854.
  24. State of Gujarat vs. Mirzapur Moti Kureshi Kassab Jamat and Ors. (2005) 8 SCC 534.
  25. State of Tamil Nadu vs. M/s. Payarelal Malhotra and Ors. 1976 (1) SCC 834.
  26. Thanjavur and another vs. S. Naganatha Ayyar and Ors. (1979) 3 SCC 466.

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