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No illegality or irregularity merely by showing the Vigilance case is still pending before the learned court of Special Judge, Vigilance: Patna high court

The petitioner cannot prove that the entire proceeding adopted by the authorities was illegal and baseless by merely showing the Vigilance case is still pending before the learned court of Special Judge. A single bench comprising of Justice Anjani Kumar Sharan adjudicating the matter of Anuj Kumar v. The State of Bihar (Civil Writ Jurisdiction No. 7646 of 2020) dealt with an issue of whether to allow the writ petition in favour of the Petitioner or not.

 

 In the present case, the Petitioner is the elected Mukhiya of Patharaura Gram Panchayat, under Rajgir Block, in Nalanda district and is challenging the order dated 19.08.2020 by which the petitioner was removed from the post of Mukhiya under the provision of Section 18 (5) of the Bihar Panchayati Raj Act, 2006 and also seeks ancillary reliefs.

It was submitted by the Petitioner that the ex-Mukhiya of Patharaura Gram Panchayat, namely Ranjeet Kumar and his friend Sagar Paswan made an application dated 24.12.2018 before the District Magistrate, Nalanda, to remove the petitioner from his elected post as Mukhiya under Section 18 (5) of Bihar Panchayati Raj Act, 2006, alleging of financial irregularities and accusation of a bribery case. According to the application, the Dist. Magistrate Nalanda made a physical enquiry and the report was sent to him. The accusation of demanding bribery by the petitioner and in this regard an FIR has been lodged under Section 7 of Prevention of Corruption Act’ before Vigilance Police Station in the Patna District which is still pending before the Special Judge, Vigilance, Patna. The Petitioner has arrested and later was released on bail.

The petitioner upon direction also served a detailed show cause notice concerning all allegations of financial irregularities of his previous and present tenure along with evidence in support. Also, it was contended that District Magistrate, Nalanda, did not serve any notice to the petitioner and without any hearing or examination any evidentiary materials recommended for removable of petitioner from the post of Mukhiya of Patharaura, Gram Panchayat, and the petitioner knew this only when a notice for hearing was sent to him by the Principal Secretary, Panchayati Raj Department, Government of Bihar.

The Respondents in their reply stated that that the show causes notice and sufficient opportunities were given to the District Panchayati Raj Officer, Nalanda, as well as by the Panchayati Raj Department, Government of Bihar, Patna, to the petitioner to place his case and the petitioner submitted his show cause notice before the concerned authorities, considering all material on record the final order was passed by the Panchayati Raj Department, which was under challenge in the instant writ petition. Learned senior counsel further argued that the District Magistrate, Nalanda, sent his recommendation for removal of the then Mukhiya under Section 18 (5) of the Act, 2006 based on the findings of the enquiry into the aforementioned allegation in the enquiry report submitted by the Sub-divisional Officer.

Considering the entire facts and circumstances of this case as well as the pleadings of the parties and the material on the record, it is quite apparent that.” at first the District Panchayati Raj Officer, Nalanda, and thereafter, the Panchayati Raj Department, had taken all due steps in the matter and impugned order had been passed after fulfilling all the formalities including the issuance of show-cause notice to the petitioner and also after considering the show cause of the petitioner, merely by showing the Vigilance case is still pending before the learned court of Special Judge, Vigilance, Patna, the petitioner cannot prove that the entire proceeding adopted by the authorities was illegal and baseless. In the said circumstance, this court does not find any illegality and irregularity in the process adopted by the authorities concerned.”

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