The Kerala High Court on Monday held that the Ombudsman for local self-government institutions had no jurisdiction to entertain complaints regarding payment of money claimed by contractors or other agencies against local bodies.

Justice C.K. Abdul Rahem made the observation while quashing an order of the Ombudsman directing the Kulukkalloor panchayat in Palakkad to make payment to Raidco Kerala Ltd. for supplying certain materials to the panchayat.

The court said that according to the provisions of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act, the Ombudsman could look into complaints of maladministration or corruption in the panchayat. The court said that in the instant case, the claim for money was not a matter coming under the purview of allegation of corruption or maladministration. The Ombudsman had no jurisdiction to adjudicate the claims for payment of money. The terms defined in the Act did not include claims for money, except compensation claims.

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