Sarpanches move HC for being ignored by MLAs
VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh High Court has admitted a petition against GO 123 that confers rights on MLAs to oversee development in their constituencies along with officials under “Gadapa Gadapaku Mana Prabhutvam” programme without involving gram sarpanches and ward members.
The High Court directed respondents, including principal secretary (panchayat raj) and principal secretary (finance and planning) to file their counter affidavits in three weeks. It posted the next hearing on the matter after four weeks.
Sarpanch Beera Santhi of Biravaripeta in K. Pedapudi of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Konaseema district filed a petition in the AP High Court with a plea that it set aside the impugned GO.
Petitioner’s counsel Jada Sravan Kumar contended that the operational guidelines of GO 123 allow MLAs to take up developmental activities at the village level without involving gram sarpanch and ward members concerned, and without any reference to any gram sabha resolution. As such the GO is illegal, unjust and arbitrary, amounts to excessive delegation of power, is against the provisions of AP Panchayat Raj Act, 1994, and violates Article 243 of the Constitution of India.
Counsel Sravan Kumar submitted to the High Court that unless the GO is set aside, sarpanches cannot exercise powers conferred upon them.
The court heard both parties and issued notices to respondents.