A Division Bench of the Bombay High Court at Goa comprising of Justice M.S.Sonak and Justice M.S.Jawalkar today directed the Corporation of City of Panaji and the Government to justify the non-constitution of Ward committees as required by the CCP Act. The Court directions came after hearing a petition filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues over the failure of the Corporation of City of Panaji to constitute the Ward Committees as required by law. The matter will now be heard on June 16th.
In his petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, Adv. Aires Rodrigues has sought High court directions to immediately constitute Ward committees for the City of Panaji in accordance with section 41 of the CCP Act.
On 31st January in a legal notice served on the Chief Secretary, Secretary Urban Development, Director of Municipal Administration and the Commissioner of Corporation of City of Panaji, Adv. Rodrigues had given the authorities 15 days to constitute the Ward committees.
Pointing out that every provision of any law has to be enforced by the concerned authorities in toto as otherwise the Government would be acting in rank breach of law, Adv. Rodrigues in his notice stated that for the last 18 years in rank violation of law this very vital provision in the CCP Act have not been implemented to the detriment of Panaji and its residents.
Stating that Public participation is a vital part of our democracy and it allows Citizens to get involved in how their communities are governed, Adv Rodrigues further stated that the Ward Committees envisaged by law would act as a crucial link between Ward Corporators, the community and the CCP while allowing members of the public to rightly influence the city’s much needed planning in a manner which best addresses their needs.
Adv. Rodrigues also stated that the Ward committees were planned to help improve communication between the CCP and the community besides playing an important role in being a link between the public needs and the CCP planning processes and that members who serve on these Ward committees would be well placed to ensure that resources are allocated to the most pressing needs in the Wards.
Adv. Rodrigues stated that the Ward committees would participate in determining core CCP processes such as Integrated Development Planning, CCP budgeting and its performance management besides helping make sure that financial transfers from Central or State government is used for the purposes they are intended for while ensuring that the people of Panaji get the best services on all fronts.