w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



Gram Panchayat, Ekurka Through its Sarpanch Sharad & Others v/s The State of Maharashtra Through the Secretary, Rural Development & Panchayat Raj Department, Mantralaya & Others


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    Writ Petition No. 5589 of 2020

    Decided On, 28 January 2021

    At, In the High Court of Bombay at Aurangabad

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S.V. GANGAPURWALA & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE SHRIKANT D. KULKARNI

    For the Petitioners: V.D. Salunke, h/for Mr. Mayur V. Salunke, Advocates. For the Respondents: D.R. Kale, Incharge Government Pleader, R3, R.D. Raut, Advocate.



Judgment Text

Shrikant D. Kulkarni, J.1. Rule. Rule made returnable forthwith. Heard finally with the consent of both the sides at admission stage.2. Four Gram Panchayats out of district Osmanabad have challenged the corrigendum dated 29.04.2020 issued by the Secretary, Rural Development, Panchayat Raj, Mantralaya, Mumbai and prayed to quash and set aside the same with additional prayer to execute the Government Resolution dated 17.03.2020 issued by the same department to carry out internal road development works of 127 villages in Osmanabad District through the Zilla Parishad, Osmanabad.FACTUAL MATRIX3. According to the petitioners, road development work of near about 127 villages out of Osmanabad District were urgently needed to be undertaken under the Panchayat Raj. Under Panchayat Raj, Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samiti and Zila Parishad are bound to provide fund to carry out the work of road construction in 127 villages.4. The State has issued Government Resolution in the year 2015 to provide basic amenities to the villages as suggested by the peoples representatives/M.L.As. Peoples representatives/Members of Legislative Assembly have to recommend the necessity of basic need of internal road in the villages. The said suggestion has to be considered by Zilla Parishad. A decision is taken that to provide funds, Liability Register System (LRS) should be provided in view of the Government decision taken on 31.03.2018. It is decided to release funds from the said system, however, the Zilla Pariahad Osmanabad could not issue sanction orders till the Government issues work orders.5. In view of the above scheme and the procedure, the local M.L.A. has recommended internal roads in 127 villages of Osmanabad District to Zilla Parishad. The Zilla Parishad has forwarded the proposal to the State Government and the Government has accorded sanction for budget of 400 Lakhs Rupees 4 crores for construction of internal roads and issued Government Resolution dated 17.03.2020 along with list of villages. The Government has given administrative approval and sanctioned internal road works costing about Rupees four crores. In the said Government Resolution, it is made clear that the work sanctioned should be implemented till 31.03.2021.6. It is the contention of the petitioners that in view of change in ruling party and under the influence of the Guardian Minister, the Government has issued corrigendum dated 29.04.2020 to take away the work from Zilla Parishad. It is directed in the Corrigendum that sanctioned work of Rs.4 crores in respect of 127 villages as per the Government Resolution dated 17.03.2020 be transferred to the Superintending Engineer, Public Works Department, Osmanabad. The corrigendum issued by the Government dated 29.04.2020 is arbitrary. The said corrigendum is completely contrary to the object of Panchayat Raj provided in Chapter VIII, Article 243 of the Constitution of India. For development of villages, three tire system is adopted viz. Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samiti and Zilla Parishad. There is special statute having administrative and supervisory powers over the Panchayat Samiti at Taluka level and Zilla Parishad at district level, whereas both are having administrative and supervisory powers over the Gram Panchayat. It is pleaded by the petitioners that only to take away the powers of Zilla Parishad, the aforesaid corrigendum is issued. The State Government has already issued Government Resolution dated 27.03.2015 considering the provisions of the Zilla Parishad Act and there was no necessity to issue such corrigendum transferring the work from Zilla Parishad to the Public Works Department.7. According to the petitioners, the said scheme is implemented in Beed district through Zilla Parishad, Beed but different criteria is adopted for Zilla Parishad, Osmanabad which amounts to discrimination and violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. The impugned corrigendum dated 29.04.2020 is malafide and politically motivated. The said decision of changing the implementing agency to execute the work is contrary to the constitutional mandate under Articles 243, 243B, 243P 243W and 243D of the Constitution of India. The petitioners therefore have prayed to quash and set aside the impugned corrigendum dated 29.04.2020 and pressed the need to issue writ of mandamus or any other appropriate directions in the like nature to execute the Government Resolution dated 17.03.2020 issued bythe Rural Development Department, Panchayat Raj, Mantralaya, Mumbai to carry out internal road work in 127 villages through Zilla Parishad, Osmanabad.8. The State has filed affidavit in reply and denied the allegations made by the petitioners. It is the stand of the petitioners that the State Government has taken decision vide Government Resolution No. Vikas- 2015/C.R.52/Yojna-6 dated 27.03.2015 to implement the development work in the rural areas as per the recommendations made by the peoples representatives. The said Government Resolution is very much clearthat the implementing agency would be decided by the Government at the State level and as prayed in the proposal. It is specifically mentioned in the said Government Resolution that approved work would be implemented by any of the agencies as per the decision taken by the Government and recommendation made by the public representatives. Even the powers are vested with the Government for changing the implementing agency for development work.9. It is the stand of the State Government that on 28.02.2020, the local M.L.A. of Osmanabad constituency requested and recommended to the Government about development work in near about 151 villages mentioned in the list. In the letter given by the M.L.A. of Osmanabad constituency along-with the list, it is specifically mentioned that the P.W.D. should be an implementing agency for the said work. The State has sanctioned the work by issuing Government Resolution dated 17.03.2020 which has been recommended by the local M.L.A. But inadvertently, while issuing the said Government Resolution, the implementing agency of the the said work was mentioned as Zilla Parishad. In fact, as per recommendation and request made by the local M.L.A., implementing agency ought to have been Public Works Department. As per the Government Resolution dated 27.03.2015, the implementing agency should have been P.W.D. only, when it is specifically requested by the Public representative. In order to rectify the mistake, and in view of the request made by the local M.L.A., the implementing agency is changed by issuing corrigendum dated 29.04.2020. The said corrigendum is within the four-corners of the law and as per the policy decision taken by the State Government. It is denied by the State that the impugned corrigendum has been issued due to to change in political scenario in the State and in view of political pressure of local M.L.A. and Guardian minister. There is no malafide intention while issuing corrigendum by the Government.10. It is further stand of the State that only four Gram Panchayats have challenged the impugned corrigendum with respect to works to be carried out in Gram Panchayat of different villages. There is no public interest. The petition seems to be motivated with political intention and is driven by political malafides.11. It is the stand of the Government that in the budget estimate for the year 2019-20 published in White Book, the budget estimate submitted/demand made by the Rural Development Department under the Head 2515-Other Rural Development Programme was shown as 3554, 45, 49000. This scheme grant comes from consolidated fund of the State provided under the expenditure Head 2515. This grant does not come under the expenditure Head 3054 and 5054 whose grant directly provided to Zilla Parishad. Grant provided under the expenditure Head 2515, where implementing agency can be Zilla Parishad or Public Works Department as per Government Resolution dated 27.03.2015.12. The said Government Resolution dated 27.03.2015 has been upheld by the Division Bench of this Court at Nagpur Bench, while deciding Writ Petition No. 3514/2014. The Division Bench has upheld that the State Government has power to appoint implementing agency in view of the Government Resolution dated 27.03.2015.13. It is the stand of the State Government that the Government Resolution dated 27.03.2015 is issued, the grants are sanctioned under the said scheme and the State Government exercised the powers conferred on it under the said Government Resolution by appointing implementing agency, which power is legally and validly exercised by the State. It is within the power of the State Government to appoint implementing agency for the works to be carried out under the Scheme.14. It is the stand of the State Government that all the works are suggested by the local M.L.A. as per his letter dated 28.02.2020. The Zilla Parishad, Osmanabad has not forwarded any proposal to the State Government. All these works are suggested by Local M.L.A. and sanctioned by the State Government as per procedure mentioned in the Government Resolution dated 27.03.2015. This is the State fund and not relating to District Planning and Development Committee (DPDC) Scheme.15. According to the State, the Superintending Engineer, Public Works Department, Circle Osmanabad made party first time on 07.09.2020, by that time, already some works have been started and process of issuing tender and completing formalities also started. Therefore, at this stage, quashing of corrigendum as prayed by the petitioners would not be proper in the interest of justice. The petition filed by four Gram Panchayats deserves to be dismissed in view of the Government's authority and powers to appoint and change an implementing agency for the work to be carried out under the Panchyat Raj Scheme under the Government Resolution dated 27.03.2015.16. Mr. Sanjay Bhujangrao Korde, Deputy Engineer, Construction Department, Zilla Parishad Osmanabad, Sub Division, Kallam has filed his affidavit on behalf of respondent No.3/Zilla Parishad, Osmanabad. It is the stand of the Zilla Parishad that most of the works in the list are of petty nature and below Rs.3 lakhs. Nature of works relate to internal roads, drainage, etc. of concerned villages. It is for the purpose of development of the concerned villages. According to Section 135 of the Maharashtra Village Panchayat Act, 1959, the Zilla Parishad is required to develop village panchayats, supervise and control administration of Panchayat and perform works imposed by the State Government. Since many years, all such similar types of works were implemented by the State Government through Zilla Parishad and the answering Zilla Parishad has executed many such works for last so many years. In the present matter, the Zilla Parishad Osmanabad was directed to carryout the works since it has separate construction department. All of a sudden, the implementing agency came to be changed. No notice was given to Zilla Parishad, Osmanabad. The State even did not consult with Zilla Pariishad Osmanabad to that effect.17. It is the stand of respondent No.3/Zilla Parishad Osmanabad that the Government Resolution dated 17.03.2020 came to be issued by the State Government in consonance with the Government resolution dated 31.03.2018. Accordingly, works are allotted to the Zilla Parishad, Osmanabad for implementation of the said work. Therefore, taking away the said works from Zilla Parishad without any consultation is unjust and against the constitutional mandate of Article 243(C) of the Constitution of India..SUBMISSIONS OF MR V. D. SALUNKE, ADVOCATE FOR THE PETITIONER18. Mr. V. D. Salunke, the learned Advocate for the petitioners invited our attention to the 73rd Amendment introduced in the Constitution of India, whereby Chapter IX- Panchayat Raj came to be added and three tire system is adopted for the rural development under Article 243. The learned counsel submitted that the Government has sanctioned the budget for rural development, which is to be utilized through Panchayat Samiti and Zilla Parishad and specifically for development of road in the district. Different expenditure Heads for funds are created. In the case at hand, near about 127 villages urgently need road development work. The State has issued Government Resolution in the year 2015 to provide basic needs to the villages, suggested by the peoples representatives viz. M.L.As. through the Zilla Parishadas. The Peoples representatives have to recommend the necessity of basic needs of internal roads in the villages. It is decided that to provide funds, Liability Register System (LRS) should be applied per as per decision taken by the Government dated 31.03.2018.19. Mr. Salunke the learned Advocate submitted that in view of the above scheme and the procedure, local M.L.A. has recommended roads in 127 villages of Osmanabad district through the Zilla Parishad. The Zilla Parishad, Osmanabad has forwarded the said proposal to the State Government and the State Government has accorded sanction to the budget of Rs.4 crores for construction of internal roads in 127 villages vide Governed Resolution dated 17.03.2020.20. Mr. Salunke, the learned advocate for the petitioner submitted that the election of Zilla Parishad Osmanabad was held in the month of February, 2017. There is majority of B.J.P. political party. The president of Zilla Parishad is from B.J.P party, whereas the Guardian Minister belongs to Congress party and the local M.L.A. is from Shiv Sena, ruling parties. He submitted that the Guardian Minister has used his office to change the nature of above scheme at the instance of the local M.L.A. since both are from ruling parties by taking away the work from Zilla Parishad and to handover the same to the P.W.D. as implementing agency. According to the learned counsel, the corrigendum issued to that effect dated 29.04.2020 is arbitrary, malafide and with political pressure. The impugned corrigendum is nothing but decision of colourable exercise. By way of impugned corrigendum, the sanctioned work of Rs. 4 crores for construction of roads in 127 villages now needs to be transferred to the Superintending Engineer, P.W.D. Osmanabad. The impugned corrigendum has been issued arbitrarily so that the work can be allotted as per choice of local M.L.A., M.P. or Guardian Minister. Mr. Salunke, the learned counsel invited our attention that under same scheme in Beed district, the implementing agency is Zilla Parishad, Beed. According to Mr. Salunke, the aforesaid corrigendum is completely contrary to the object of Panchayat Raj. Changing implementing agency at this stage would amount to taking away the powers of the Zilla Parishad.21. Mr. Salunke, the learned Advocate for the petitioners has placed his reliance on the following decisions in support of his argument.(1) Gram Panchayat, Waghbet Vs. State of Maharashtra & others, reported in 2018 (6) Mh.L.J. 407.(2) Decision of the Division Bench,Nagpur in case of Devendra Sureshrao Wankhede Vs. The State of Maharashtra P.I.L. No.86/2016 and in the case of Nivrutti Dinkar Ingle Vs. State of Maharashtra, P.I.L. No.102/2016 dated 26.08.2016.By placing reliance on the above-said decision, Mr. Salunke, the learned counsel submitted that Article 226 of the Constitution of India can be invoked, if decision is taken in arbitrary manner and the impugned corrigendum issued by the Government needs to be quashed.SUBMISSIONS OF MR. D.R.KALE, I/C GOVERNMENT PLEADER22. Mr. Kale, the learned i/c Government Pleader justified the decision of the State Government of issuing corrigendum dated 29.04.2020. He submitted that the State Government has taken decision vide Government Resolution dated 27.03.2015 to implement the development work in the rural areas as per the recommendations made by the peoples representative. In the said Government Resolution, it is specifically mentioned that implementing agency would be decided by the State Government at State level and as prayed in the proposal. He submitted that the powers are vested with the Government even to change the implementing agency for development work. He invited our attention to the Government Resolution dated 27.03.2015 and submitted that the local M.L.A. has recommended the development work in near about 151 villages as mentioned in the list to the Government. Accordingly, the Government has sanctioned funds for the development of roads in villages vide Government Resolution dated 17.03.2020. But inadvertently, while issuing said Government Resolution, implementing agency of the said work was mentioned as Zilla Parishad. In fact as per recommendation and request made by the local M.L.A., the implementing agency ought to be P.W.D. When that mistake was noticed by the local M.L.A., on his request and recommendation, the Government has rectified its mistake by issuing corrigendum dated 29.04.2020, whereby the work is to be implemented through the Public Works department. He submitted that there is no substance in the allegations levelled by the petitioners regarding political interference. He submitted that corrigendum came to be issued when mistake was brought to the notice of the Government and as such, there was no malafide intention. He submitted that the grant sanctioned for the said work does not come under the expenditure Head 3054 and 5054 whose grant directly provided to the Zilla Parishad. He submitted that the grant provided under expenditure Head 2515 where the implementing agency may be Zilla Parishad or Public Works Department as per the G.R. dated 27.03.2015.23. The learned Incharge G.P. submitted that the Government Resolution dated 27.03.2015 was challenged before Division Bench at Nagpur by filing writ petition No. 3514/2014. The Division Bench at Nagpur has dismissed the said writ petition upholding power of the State Government to appoint implementing agency under the aforesaid Government Resolution. The Government Resolution dated 17.03.2020 is issued, whereby grants are sanctioned under the said scheme and the State has exercised the powers conferred on it under Government Resolution dated 27.03.2015, which is legal, valid, correct and cannot be said to be colourable exercise. He submitted that some works have been started and process of issuing tender and completing formalities also commenced. He invited our attention to the chart showing position of work annexed with the affidavit at Exh.R-6. Mr. Kale, the learned G.P. submitted that at this Stage, it may not be proper to quash the corrigendum in the interest of justice.24. Mr. R.D.Raut, the learned Advocate for respondent No.3/Zilla Parishad, Osmanabad echoed the argument advanced by Mr. V.D. Salunke, learned Advocate for the petitioners.REASONS25. We have considered the arguments advanced by Mr. V.D. Salunke, learned Advocate for the petitioners, Mr. D.R.Kale, the learned I/c. Government Pleader and Mr. R. D. Raut, the learned Advocate for respondent No.3/Zilla Parishad, Osmanabad.26. The Maharashtra Village Panchayat Act 1959 came into force with effect from 1st day of June 1959. The object of State enactment is to implement Part IX, Article 243 of the Constitution of India which provides to have a local self-government for the rural areas. It is for the local self government/Panchayat to carry out functions of developmental activities in rural areas. Article 243B of the Constitution speaks about constitution of Panchayat and Article 243-C speaks about composition of Panchayat. It is the aim of the State enactment to establish village panchayat for every village, investing with powers and authority to enable them to function as Units of local self-government. The powers, authority and responsibilities of the Panchayat is prescribed under Article 243-G of the Constitution of India.27. Subject in this petition relates to development of roads in nearabout 127 villages in Osmanabad District coupled with who should be the implementing agency to carry out the work. The Government Resolution dated 27.03.2015 relates to basic amenities to be provided by the Government in rural areas as per the recommendations of the Peoples’ representative. The complete procedure has been laid-down in the said Government Resolution dated 27.03.2015. On studying the Government resolution, it is found that the Government has considered various problems and difficulties faced by local self-government and the work undertaken through the Zilla Parishad and the Public Works Department. In order to overcome those local problems and difficulties, the Government has adopted a policy and introduced the procedure regarding the said development works vide the Government resolution dated 27.03.2015 issued by the Rural Development department, Government of Maharashtra.28. Relevant part of the Government Resolution, in vernacular, reads as under:“HINDI”29. The above-said Government resolution was challenged before the Division Bench of this Court at Nagpur Bench in Writ Petition No. 3514/2014 in the case of Chandrakant Subhash Thakre Vs. State of Maharashtra and others. The Division Bench was pleased to dismiss that writ petition under judgment and order dated 23.11.2015 and confirmed the policy decision taken by the Government vide Government resolution dated 27.03.2015. Certainly, the procedure laid down under the said Government resolution needs to be followed in its letter and spirit.30. On plain reading of above-said Government resolution, it is very much clear that it is for the Government to take call about implementing agency regarding the works at village level. It is specifically mentioned in the said Government resolution that approved work would be implemented by any of the agencies as per the decision taken by the government and the recommendations made by the peoples’ representatives. Even powers are vested with the Government for changing the implementing agency for development work. Peoples’ representatives/MLAs have to recommend basic need of internal roads in villages.31. It is noticed by us that the local M.L.A. of Osmanabad has recommended internal roads in 151 villages of Osmanabad District to the Hon'ble Minister for Rural Development, Mantralaya, Mumbai by letter dated 28.02.2020. The State Government has accorded sanction in the budget of Rs.400 lakhs (Four crore) for construction of internal roads and accordingly, issued Government resolution dated 17.03.2020 along-with list of villages with works. The Government has accorded administrative approval to 127 works and sanctioned the internal road works. In the said Government Resolution, it is stated that the work sanctioned should be implemented till 31.03.2021. However, Zilla Parishad Osmanabad shall not issue work orders till they receive orders from the State regarding work sanctioned.32. Mr. Salunke, the learned counsel for the petitioners invited our attention to the corrigendum dated 29.04.2020 issued by the State Government thereby taking away the work from Zilla Parishad Osmanabad and handing over the same to the Public Works Department, Osmanabad. According to Mr. Salunke, the said corrigendum is issued in view of change in ruling party and under the influence of the Guardian Minister. He submitted that the said scheme is implemented in Beed District through Zilla Parishad, Beed but different criteria is adopted for the Zilla Parishad, Osmanabad and it amounts to discrimination and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. Mr. Salunke, the learned counsel for the petitioner has placed reliance on the decision in the case of Gram Panchayat, Waghbet Vs. State of Maharashtra & others, reported in 2018 (6) Mh.L.J. 407 and argued that this Court has struck down the corrigendum impugned therein and directed to utilize the amount and ensure completion of work sanctioned under the Government resolution dated 28.12.2016, expeditiously.33. We have carefully gone through the citation in the case of Gram Gram Panchayat, Waghbet(supra). The facts of the case at hand are distinguishable. In the cited case, in the midst of the process and after lapse of more than one year of sanction of works, implementing agency was changed without assigning any reason, in that background, the Division Bench of this Court held that the decision in handing over part of the work to State level agency under the impugned corrigendum is not sustainable in the touchstone of reasonableness and transparency. In the case at hand, the facts are different. The process of issuance of tender and completing formalities are commenced. The works have started in some villages. The Government resolution about sanction of work and funds with list of work was issued by the Rural Development Department on 20.03.2020. Practically, after one month and twelve 12 days, corrigendum dated 29.04.2020 came to be issued by the Rural Development Department thereby changing the implementing agency. Now the work amounting to Rs. four crores is entrusted to the Public Works Department, Osmanabad. The State has placed on record one letter written by local M.L.A. Mr. Kalas Balasaheb Ghatge-Patil addressed to the Hon’ble Minister for Rural Development, Mantralaya, Mumbai dated 28.02.2020 along with list of works. The local M.L.A. has made a request to the Hon’ble Minister of Rural Development Department to change the implementing agency and the work may be entrusted to the Public Works Department, Osmanabad with a further request to sanction funds under the head 2515.34. Now coming to another decision relied by Mr. V. D. Salunke, learned Advocate for the petitioners in P.I.L. No.86/2016 (Devendra Sureshrao Wankhede Vs. The State of Maharashtra & others) and P.I.L. No.102/2016 (Nivrutti Dinkar Ingle Vs. The State of Maharashtra & others) dated 26.08.2016, we have gone through the common decision rendered by the Division bench at Nagpur Bench. In the said common judgment, it is held by the Division Bench at Nagpur that the impugned communications are highly arbitrary and not sustainable in law and therefore quashed and set aside. The facts of the case at hand and the facts of the the above said P.I.L. are distinguishable. In the case at hand, there is no material to arrive at conclusion that the impugned corrigendum dated 29.04.2020 issued by the State is arbitrary and under political influence. It is found that the corrigendum has been issued as per the policy decision taken earlier vide Government resolution dated 27.03.2015.35. As per Government Resolution dated 27.03.2015, it is for the peoples representative to suggest work of basic amenities at village level. The Government Resolution dated 27.03.2015 makes it very clear that final decision vests with the Government to decide about the implementing agency, whether the work is to be implemented through Zilla Parishad or through other department of the Government of Maharashtra. Therefore, it is clear that local MLA has requested to the Hon'ble Minister for road development work, to sanction funds and handing over the work to Public Works Department, Osmanabad vide letter dated 28.02.2020. The Rural Development Department, while issuing Government resolution dated 17.03.2015, mentioned implementing agency as Zilla Parishad Osmanabad for the works under the Head 2515. By way of corrigendum dated 29.04.2020, the Government has changed the implementing agency and the works are withdrawn from Zilla Parishad and handed over to Public Works Department, Osmanabad. Before issuance of Government resolution dated 17.03.2020, the local M.L.A. Shri Kailas Ghadge Patil, by letter dated 28.02.2020, has specifically requested to appoint public works department Osmanabad as implementing agency and according to the request made by the local M.L.A., implementing seems to have been changed by the Government when the work of tender process was commenced. In a span of 42 days the implementing agency has been changed and not midst of the work.36. No prejudices is caused to the petitioners even though implementing agency is changed. The petitioners/Gram Panchayats are concerned about the development works in their respective villages. They cannot insist that works should be implemented through Zilla Parishad and not from another agency like Public Works Department. It is for the State Government to take final decision about the implementing agency. The Government resolution dated 27.03.2015 is very much clear and accordingly the Government has taken policy decision to withdraw the works from Zilla Parishad Osmanabad and handover it to P.W.D. Osmanabad. There is nothing on record to show that Government has transferred funds of Rs. 400 lakhs in the Account of Zilla Parishad Osmanabad while issuing Government Resolution dated 17.03.2020. The affidavit filed on behalf of respondent No.3/Zilla Parishad, Osmanabad, nowhere speaks that the Government has transferred the funds of Rs.4 crores and the same is credited to the account of the Zilla Parishad, Osmanabad. The reply affidavit sworn on behalf of respondent No.3 nowhere throws light on the important aspect regarding actual transfer of funds of Rs.4 crores to Zilla Parishad, Osmanabad.37. Article 162 of the Constitution of the India speaks about extent of executive powers of the State. Issuance of Government resolution by the concern department is in exercise of the powers vested under Article 162 of the Constitution. The Government has taken decision to change implementing agency and accordingly has withdrawn the works from Zilla Parishad and handed over it to the Public Works Department, Osmanabad when work is at initial stage in some cases and in some cases tender process is just commenced. It is not going to disturb the development work of roads in villages at any cost even if implementing agency is changed at initial stage. It is difficult to accept the case of the petitioners that Government has issued corrigendum on 29.04.2020 in an arbitrary manner and by way of colourable exercise. It is a State fund and obviously the State has every right to decide the implementing agency to carry out works at village level. It may not be out of place to mention here that only four Gram Panchayats seem to have raised concern about change of implementing agency. Remaining Gram Panchayats in large number seem to have no grievance about change of implementing agency.38. Clause-D of the Government Government Resolution dated 27.03.2015

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, in unambiguous words, make it clear that power is vested with the State Government to appoint implementing agency as per the suggestion of peoples representative like M.L.A./M.Ps. In such cases, the power vests with the Government to appoint implementing agency of its choice for implementing the scheme, it cannot be said to be arbitrary and under political influence. The State Government is empowered to change the implementing agency to get execute good quality work through Government agency like Public Works Department.39. The Division Bench of this Court, in the case of Amalner Municipal Council, Amalner Vs. The State of Maharashtra in Writ Petition No. 3682/2019, under judgment and order dated 15.05.2020, to which both of us were party (S.V. Gangapurwala & Shrikant D. Kulkarni, JJ), held as under:"Framing a policy is within the competence of State in its executive authority. The policy decision is in the domain of the executive authority of the State. The efficacy or otherwise may not be questioned so long the same does not offend any provision of the Statute or the Constitution of India. It is not for the Courts to consider the relative merit of the different policies. The Court can not sit in judgment of the policy of the Legislature or the Executive. The Court can not strike down a policy decision taken by the Government, merely, because it feels that another decision would have been more logical or wiser. It is not the domain of the Courts to embark upon an inquiry as to whether a particular policy is acceptable or whether a better policy could be evolved. The Court can only interfere if the policy framed is irrational, arbitrary, unreasonable and thereby offend Article 14 of the Constitution of India."40. If the policy framed is found irrational, arbitrary, unreasonable and violative of Article 14 of the constitution of India, then only the court may invoke Article 226 of the Constitution of India by way of judicial review.41. Basic amenities are essential foundation for a decent living and it enhances economic growth and quality of life. The scope of basic amenities include safe drinking water, sanitation, housing, all weather road to village, electrification, fuel, connectivity, healthcare centre, school, playground and recreational facilities and many more. The poor and marginalised sections living in rural interior parts are denied basic amenities in spite of dedicated schemes and budgetary allocations. Still there are many villages and hamlets where basic amenities are a day dream. The politics should not come in the way of development of villages.CONCLUSION42. Having regard to the above factual scenario, we do not find any merit in the writ petition. It is not a case of violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India or a case of political interference in changing the implementing agency. The petitioners have no legal right to insist upon a particular implementing agency when there are no Rules or the statute and the field is governed by the powers of executive provided under Article 162 of the Constitution of India.43. Having regard to the above reasons and discussion, we arrive at conclusion that it is not a fit case to interfere with the policy decision by way of judicial review. Writ petition, as such, deserves to be dismissed and accordingly stands dismissed. No order as to costs. Rule discharged.
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