Order dissolving Rajapalayam Municipal Council set aside

Special Correspondent

Objections raised by councillors at meeting were not considered: court

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Tuesday set aside a Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department G.O. issued in October dissolving the Rajapalayam Municipal Council.

In his order, Justice K. Venkataraman said the objections raised at the council meeting by a majority of the councillors were not taken into consideration by the department while passing the order. Nor did it consider the explanation or objections as required under section 41 (1) (A) of the District Municipalities Act, which was an act of arbitrariness.

In the petition filed by counsel P.H. Manoj Pandian, the petitioner, S.A. Manikandaraja, a councillor belonging to the AIADMK, submitted that “persistent non-performance” of Ms. Rathinam, Chairman of the municipality, could not be construed as non-performance of the municipal council. For the fault of the Chairman, the petitioner and other councillors could not be blamed and the council dissolved.

Mr. Justice Venkataraman said the MAWS Department should have taken action under the Act on the failure of the Chairman or the executive authority for not performing their duties.

Lack of interest

The petitioner and a majority of councillors had reminded the Chairman to convene the meeting of the council, but she did not oblige. There seemed to be a lack of interest on the Chairman’s part for convening the council meetings for reasons best known to her.

The Judge observed that he was constrained to express his anguish over the issue on hand. People elected councillors in the fond hope that they would act as their custodians and initiate welfare measures. It was a sorry state that without fulfilling their aspirations there was infighting in the council.

He hoped that at least hereafter, the paramount consideration of councillors would be the welfare of the people.

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