Article 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India empowers High Courts to exercise supervisory jurisdiction over local state authorities: The High Court of Kerela

It lies within the supervisory jurisdiction of the High court under Article 226 and 227 of the Constitution to direct local state authorities to issue or expedite the process of issuing certificates in accordance with law as soon as possible. The aforementioned was the premise adopted by the Kerela High Court while deciding the case of P.Muralidharan v. Kadambur Grama Panchayath and Ors. [WP(C) NO. 12113 OF 2021] which was adjudicated by a single judge bench comprising Justice C.S. Dias on 11th June 2021.

The facts of the case are as follows. The petitioner is the Manager of the Kadambur Higher Secondary School at Kannur, which was established in the year 1899 and was subsequently upgraded as a U.P School on 1.6.1958. In 2004, the petitioner wanted to start a Teachers Training Institute, which as per the requirement of National Council for Teachers Education required a separate building to cater to which, the petitioner approached the Secretary, Kadambur Grama Panchayath (second respondent). However, the second respondent stated that there was no need for prior permission as per the Kerala Municipal Building Rules since it was not extended to the Kadambur Panchayat. Accordingly, as there was no requirement to obtain prior permission from the Panchayat, the petitioner constructed the building in the year 2006. Consequently, on the implementation of the Kerela Municipal Building Rules in the Panchayat the Teacher Training Institute which was converted into a High School in 2010 was required to produce a building fitness certificate.

Hence, the petitioner submitted a request before the Assistant Engineer, LSGD section of the Kadambur Panchayat to issue a fitness certificate, but the second respondent rejected the request following which the petitioner filed an appeal with the Tribunal for Local Self Government (third respondent) in the year 2019. There was an inordinate delay on the part of respondent 3 and the appeal was adjourned to 7th September 2021. On the other hand, the petitioner was being scrutinized by the Education Department for not complying with the direction of its Regional Deputy Director. Hence the petitioner sought a direction to the third respondent to consider and dispose of appeal within a time frame.

After a in depth perusal of the facts and arguments presented in the instant case, the court was of the opinion that “in exercise of the supervisory powers of this Court under Article 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India, I direct the third respondent to consider Ext P3 appeal, in accordance with law, as expeditiously as possible and at any rate within a period of one month from the date of production of a copy of this judgment.”

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