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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Submit development plans within a month: HC

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Panaji: All the panchayats, Zilla Panchayats and municipal councils in the state will have to submit their development plans within 30 days from Monday.

Bombay High Court at Goa has directed the Goa government to implement the provisions of the Goa Panchayati Raj Act and has directed the Director of Panchayats, the State government and the Director of Municipal Administration to issue the necessary intimation/directions to the Panchayats, Zilla Panchayats and Municipal Councils in 30 days fixing the time limit within which the Panchayats, the Zilla Panchayats and the Municipal Councils must submit their development plans.

The Court gave the order in the petition filed by South Goa based NGO United Goans’ Foundation which had prayed before the Judge  for directions that the Goa government immediately ensure that all village Panchayats and Municipal Councils/Corporations in the State of Goa prepare the development plans as required by section 238 of the Goa Panchayat Raj Act 1994 and section 184 F of the Goa Municipal Act, 1968, the High Court ruled that the provisions of the two Acts will have to be implemented.

The High Court noticed that the Goa Panchayati Raj Act mandated that every panchayat shall prepare every year a development plan and submit it to the zilla panchayat before such date and in such form as may be prescribed. Further, every zilla panchayat shall prepare every year, a development plan on the district after including the development plans of panchayats and submit it to the District Planning Committee constituted under Section 239 while every council shall prepare every year a development plan and submit it to the District Planning Committee constituted under Section 239 of the Goa Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 (Act 14 of 1994).”

“Simply because no Rules may have been framed under the provisions of the Panchayat Raj Act, in relation to the implementation of the provisions of Section 238 of the Panchayat Raj Act, it cannot be said that there is no obligation to comply with the mandate of Section 238 of the Panchayat Raj Act, 1994. The mandate of the statutory provisions, which have a nexus with the constitutional provisions, cannot be frustrated by not framing rules for effective implementation,” the High Court noted.

“It is only appropriate to direct the Director of Panchayats to fix such a date and thereafter to intimate such a date to all the panchayats in the State, so that all the panchayats comply with the duty which is cast upon them. This exercise of fixing the date and giving intimation to all the Panchayats in the State of Goa should be completed by the Director of

Panchayat within a period of thirty days from today,” the High Court ruled.

“The State government should issue the necessary intimation to the Zilla Panchayats fixing the last date by which such development plan must be submitted to the District Planning Committee. Such intimation to be issued by the State Government to the Zilla Panchayat within a period of thirty days from today,” the High Court also ruled.

“In order that provisions of Section 184 F of the Goa Municipalities Act, 1968, are effectively implemented, it is only appropriate that the Director of Municipal Administration, who, otherwise, has sufficient powers to oversee the functioning of Municipal Councils, must direct the Municipal Councils in the State of Goa to submit such development plans to the District Planning Committee constituted under Section 239 of the Panchayat Raj Act, 1994, on or before a single specified date,” the HC said.

“Such directions to be issued by the Director of Municipal Administration to all the Municipal Councils of the State of Goa within a period of thirty days from today,” the HC ruled.

The bench said panchayats must prepare development plan and submit  it to zilla panchayat every year

Zilla panchayat must prepare development plan after including the development plans  of panchayats and submit it to DPC every year

Municipal Councils must prepare development plan and submit it to DPC every  year

The court ordered that simply because no rules may have been framed it cannot be said that there is  no obligation to comply with the mandate of Section 238 of Panchayat Raj Act Mandate of statutory provisions cannot be frustrated by  not framing rules for effective implementation.

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