Make rules for statutory meetings including trust vote amid Covid-19: HC
The order was passed while hearing a case by the head of a Panchayat in Bijnor, who objected to holding of a meeting for taking up the no confidence motion against her during the Covid-19 pandemicUpdated: Sep 13, 2020 11:57 IST
In the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, the Allahabad high court has directed the state government to consider framing of guidelines regarding holding of statutory meetings of local bodies, including those for the consideration of no confidence motions, within three weeks.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, everybody has to act with utmost caution so that the spread of infection may be curtailed as much as possible,” observed a division bench of justice Shashi Kant Gupta and justice Piyush Agrawal while passing the order and dismissing a writ petition filed by Tripti Rani, the head of kotwali kshetra panchayat, Bijnor.
A no confidence motion was moved against Tripti Rani in accordance with the procedure laid down in UP Kshetra Panchayat and Zila Panchayat Act, 1961.
The district magistrate, Bijnor, then issued a notice on August 21 for convening a meeting for considering the no confidence motion against Tripti Rani on September 15.
The petitioner had challenged the notice on the ground that since there were about 185 members in kotwali kshetra panchayat in Bijnor, they exceeded the number of persons permitted to gather at a place under the guidelines issued for Unlock-4 by the government of India on August 29. Her petition further stated that the meeting called on September 15, 2020 would be in violation of the Disaster Management Act.
Rejecting the plea of the petitioner, the court observed, “In a democratic set up where the right to govern depends on the will of the people, the person who has lost the majority cannot be permitted to hold office. If a representative no longer enjoys the confidence of the people, elected representatives have a right to remove him and he cannot be permitted to remain in power even for a second and has to be immediately replaced by a newly elected representative”.
The court then directed the district magistrate, Bijnor to ensure all the protocols applicable for social and physical distancing are adhered to in the meeting for consideration of the motion of no confidence.
The court observed that everybody had to act with utmost caution so that the spread of infection may be curtailed as much as possible.