Panches allege payment of Rs.1.00 lakh as commission to Sarpanch for release of wages

HC directs Director RDD Jammu to look into the matter by taking it to its logical end


Jammu, Oct 14: In a significant Judgment the First Puisne Judge of J&K High Court Justice Rajesh Bindal while dismissing a writ petition filed by 07 Panches of Panchayat Halqa Upper Kandi (District Rajouri) titled Zatoon Begum & Ors V/s U.T. of J&K & Ors has directed the Director Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Jammu to look into the serious allegations leveled by 07 Panches/Petitioners with regard to payment of Rs.1.00 lakh as commission to the Sarpanch Panchayat Halqa Upper Kandi (District Rajouri) namely Parveen Akhter on April, 4, 2020 in presence of her husband Mohd. Ayoub Khan and son Shah Nawaz Ayoub. The petitioners in the writ petition submitted that they are Panches of different wards had engaged the poor people of their wards who were Below Poverty Line as Labourers under MGNREGA Scheme and alleged that when they demanded the wages from the Sarpanch of the area she made a demand of Rs.1.00 lakh as commission and promised that on receipt of same an amount of Rs.15.00 lakh will be released as wage payment in favour of all 07 wards of Panchayat Halqa Upper Kandi.
When this petition came up for hearing Senior AAG Seema Shekhar submitted that the petitioners have concealed material facts from this Court as on the Resolution sent by the petitioners immediate action was taken by the competent authority and meeting of the Gram Panchayat was called on September, 24, 2020 and appropriate action was taken. Though, the present petition was filed in this Court much later but this material fact has been concealed and process of law has been put into motion without there being any grievance left.
In response Advocate S.S. Ahmed appearing for the petitioners submitted that he did not have the knowledge about this fact. He could not dispute that the writ petition was filed on September, 29, 2020 after the meeting of the Gram Panchayat had already been held, however, he submitted that the petitioners being illiterate, they may be allowed to withdraw the present petition.
After considering the submissions of both the sides, Justice Rajesh Bindal observed and directed that in the opinion of the Court even if the petitioners are allowed to withdraw the writ petition, still they cannot be allowed to go scot free and the First Puisne Judge after referring several Judgments of the Apex Court dismissed the writ petition and did not allow the petitioners to withdraw the writ petition and imposed cost of Rs.10,000/- each on the 07 petitioners. The costs was directed to be deposited within a period of two months with the J&K State Legal Services Authority and in case of failure firstly the Director Rural Development Department and Panchayati Raj, Jammu shall ensure compliance of the order and if still not complied with, the Member Secretary, J&K State Legal Services Authority shall be entitled to file application before this Court for execution of the order.
The Court further directed that a copy of this order be sent to Secretary to Govt. of J&K Department of Law and Justice, Director Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Jammu and Member Secretary J&K State Legal Services Authority by the Registrar Judicial of this Court.

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