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In a democratic setup, elected representatives who have lost majority cannot be allowed to hold power for even a second – Allahabad High Court

In a democratic setup, where the right to govern is on the will of the people the elected representative who has lost majority cannot be permitted to hold office held by Justice Shashi Kant Gupta and Justice Piyush Agrawal in the case of Tripti Rani V. State of UP and Ors [C No. – 13665 of 2020].

The Facts related to this case is The petitioner was the Pramukh of the Kotwali Kshetra Panchayat, Bijnor. The petitioner assumed the charge of Pramukh on 29.07.2019. On 21.08.2020, a no-confidence motion, as per section 15 of the Uttar Pradesh Kshetra Panchayat & Zila Panchayat Act, 1961, was made in accordance with the procedure laid down under the Act of 1961. In pursuance of the no-confidence motion, the District Magistrate, Bijnor issued a notice dated 21.08.2020 convening a meeting for consideration of the motion of no confidence on 15.09.2020 at 11.00 a.m. at the Kotwali Kshetra Panchayat Office. In view of the aforesaid notice of the District Magistrate, Bijnor, a meeting for consideration of no-confidence motion was to be held at 11.00 a.m. on 15.09.2020.

It was contended by the learned counsel for the petitioner that since there were about 185 Members in the Kotwali Kshetra Panchayat, District – Bijnor, they exceeded the number of persons permitted under the Guidelines for Phased Re-opening issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India on 29.08.2020. It was further submitted that in view of the aforesaid Guidelines, the proposed meeting for consideration of no-confidence motion could not be convened on 15.09.2020 since it would be in violation of the provisions of the Disaster Management Act.

It was observed by the Hon’ble Court that “Democracy is a system of government in which a country’s political leaders are chosen by the people in regular, free, and fair elections. In a democracy, people have a choice between different candidates and parties who want the power to govern. The people are sovereign. They are the highest authority and government is based on the will of the people. Elected representatives at the national and local levels must listen to the people and be responsive to their needs. Thus, the voters have right to elect their representatives and also criticize and replace them if they do not perform well.”

The Hon’ble Court while examining the legal question as to whether the meeting for consideration of a no-confidence motion cannot be convened on being in violation of the Disaster Management Act, the court observed that “In view of the above inherent political philosophy and principle, the provision for bringing a no-confidence motion for removing the representatives, has been introduced in the present Act of 1961. The Will of the people is supreme. It cannot be lightly interfered with. Under no circumstance can the will of the people be permitted to be frustrated. In a democratic setup where the right to govern depends on the will of the people, the person who has lost the majority cannot be permitted to hold office. If a representative no longer enjoys the confidence of the people, elected representatives have a right to remove him and he cannot be permitted to remain in power even for a second and has to be immediately replaced by a newly elected representative.”

The writ petition lacks merit and it was hereby dismissed.

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Judgement reviewed by-Sarita Kumari

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