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Vuchi Bhuvaneswari Prasad v/s State of Andhra Pradesh rep. by its Principal Secretary, Department of Municipal Administration & Urban Development & Others


Company & Directors' Information:- PRASAD CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U32301TN1994PTC028160

Company & Directors' Information:- URBAN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400MH2011PTC300616

Company & Directors' Information:- URBAN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400WB2011PTC166069

Company & Directors' Information:- PRASAD AND CO. PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U67120DL1995PTC068088

Company & Directors' Information:- M. PRASAD AND CO LIMITED [Active] CIN = U67120WB1999PLC090325

Company & Directors' Information:- BHUVANESWARI CORPORATION LIMITED [Dissolved] CIN = U29309TN1995PLC030776

Company & Directors' Information:- R K URBAN DEVELOPMENT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45400MH2011PTC223591

Company & Directors' Information:- AMP URBAN INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400WB2011PTC164960

Company & Directors' Information:- A. B. URBAN DEVELOPMENT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U70100MH2015PTC267677

Company & Directors' Information:- H PRASAD & CO PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U51109WB1944PTC011797

    Writ Petition No. 3219 of 2020

    Decided On, 24 February 2020

    At, High Court of Andhra Pradesh

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE M. SATYANARAYANA MURTHY

    For the Petitioner: Ginjupalli Subba Rao, Advocate. For the Respondents: G.P. for Municipal Admin. Urban Dev.



Judgment Text


This writ petition is filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, to issue Writ of Mandamus, declaring the action of the 3rd respondent in issuing the Notification in Form-VI vide Rc.No.066/2020/G1 dated 29.01.2020 published in the Andhra Pradesh Gazette dated 05.02.2020 for the delimitation of wards in Nellore Municipal Corporation without following the procedure prescribed under the Andhra Pradesh Municipal Corporations Delimitation of Wards Rules, 1996, as arbitrary illegal in violation of Article 14 of the constitution of India and contrary to the Andhra Pradesh Municipal Corporations Delimitation of Wards Rules, 1996 and consequently quash the final notification dated 29.01.2020 published in the Andhra Pradesh Gazette dated 05.02.2020 and direct the respondents to fix the boundaries for delimitation of all the wards in Nellore Municipal Corporation by strictly adhering to the procedure prescribed under the Andhra Pradesh Municipal Corporations Delimitation of Wards Rules 1996 (for short ‘The Rules’).

The petitioner is a resident of Nellore Municipal Corporation, filed this petition, aggrieved by the action of the third respondent in issuing final notification in Rc.No.066/2020/G1 dated 29.01.2020, published in Andhra Pradesh Gazette by Delimiting the Nellore Municipal Corporation into 54 wards, as mentioned in the notification, on the ground of violation of Rules. The petitioner is enrolled as a voter in the 14th ward of the Nellore Municipal Corporation which falls under Nellore City Assembly Constituency with Voter ID No.ZAF1202456 and he was elected as the Corporator of 14th Division in the 4th Ordinary Elections held to the Nellore Municipal Corporation on 30.03.2014.

Earlier Pottepalem Grampanchayat was merged with Nellore Municipal Corporation in the year 2012. Aggrieved by the same, W.P. (PIL) No.246 of 2013 was filed and this Court by order dated 26.03.2019 struck down G.O.Ms.No.145 PR&RD (Pts.IV) Department dated 25.03.2013 and consequential order issued in G.O.Ms.No.113 MA&UD (Elec.II) Department dated 25.03.2013 by declaring that the State has failed to follow the procedure for the merger.

Further, the third respondent issued Preliminary Notification for delimitation of wards in Nellore Municipal Corporation without notifying the Pottepalem Grampanchayat in Roc No.329567/2019/GSUPDT dated 23.12.2019 by dividing the Nellore Municipal Corporation into 54 wards as per the boundary description and the same was published in the Andhra Pradesh Gazette on 09.01.2020 and final notification was also issued vide Rc.No.066/2020/G1 dated 29.01.2020 and the same was published in Andhra Pradesh Gazette dated 05.02.2020. This notification is contrary to the order of this Court, delimitation without de-notifying the area covered by erstwhile Pottepalem area or excluding the village Pottepalem.

Final notification is also issued and the same was published in Andhra Pradesh Gazette, but in contravention of Rule 8 and Rule 11 i.e. failure to publish Form I and Form VI in Telugu, Urdu and English languages and the third respondent failed to display the notification on the notice board of all important Government Offices situated within the limits of the Corporation, duly calling for suggestions and objections from the public within seven days from the date of publication. On this ground alone, the petitioner sought to et-aside the preliminary and final notification in Form I and Form VI.

It is also contended that, as per Rule 8, the Commissioner shall place the notification under Rule 8 i.e. in Form I before the General Body of the Corporation for its suggestions and objections and the same has not been complied. On this ground also, the petitioner questioned the notification and requested to set-aside the same.

Though several allegations about contravention are raised, they are not necessary for deciding the real controversy between the parties, in view of limited contentions raised during arguments.

During argument, learned counsel for the petitioner pointed out the specific violation of Rule 8, mostly on the failure of publication of notifications in Form-I & Form-VI under Rules 8 & 11, in Telugu, English and Urdu, while highlighting failure to place the notification published in Form-I under Rule 8 before the Governing Body of the Corporation for its suggestions and objections. On the basis of those two violations, learned counsel for the petitioner requested to set-aside the notifications, both preliminary and final, in Form-I and Form-VI issued under Rules 8 & 11 of the Rules.

Fairly, Sri Suresh Kumar Reddy Kalava, learned Standing Counsel appearing for third respondent/Nellore Municipal Corporation submitted that, publication of notification in Telugu daily newspaper was made, but not in English daily newspaper. However, publication of notification in Urdu is dispensed with by G.O.Ms.No.58 MA&UD Department dated 12.01.2020 and thereby, obligation is cast upon the third respondent/Commissioner to publish the notification either under Rule 8 or Rule 11 of the Rules only in Telugu and English. Learned Standing Counsel also contended that, question of placing the notification published in Form-I under Rule 8 before the General Body of the Corporation for its suggestions and objections does not arise and placed on record, certain material to show that the notification was placed before the General Body of the Corporation for its suggestions and objections.

In view of the submissions, the only points that arise for consideration are as follows:

1. Whether notification in Form-I under Rule 8 and Form-VI under Rule 11 is published strictly in compliance of Rules 8 & 11 of the Rules. If, not whether, failure to publish notification in any one of the languages vitiates the entire proceedings?

2. Whether failure to place the notification issued in Form-I under Rule 8 of the Rules before the General Body of the Corporation is an irregularity. If so, does it vitiate the entire notification issued in Form-VI under Rule 11 of the Rules?

POINT No.1

Rule 8 mandates the Commissioner to cause publication of the preliminary notification regarding delimitation of wards in Form-I in the Andhra Pradesh Gazette in Telugu, Urdu and English newspapers, besides displaying the notification on the notice board of all important Government Offices situated within the limits of the Corporation, duly calling for suggestions and objections from the public within seven days from the date of publication. Commissioner shall also place the said notification before the General Body of the Corporation for its suggestions and objections.

In the present facts of the case, admittedly, the notification in English newspaper was not published, and publication of notification in Urdu is dispensed with, in view of G.O.Ms.No.58 MA&UD Department dated 12.01.2020. Therefore, the third respondent failed to comply with Rule 8 of the Rules, strictly in letter and spirit, displaying the notification on the notice board of all Government Offices duly calling for suggestions and objections from the public within seven days from the date of publication on the preliminary notification in Form-I issued under Rule 8 of the Rules. Telugu knowing persons might have submitted their suggestions or objections in pursuance of the notification published in Telugu language, but failure to publish the notification in English newspaper is a serious illegality, since it did not afford any opportunity to the public who knew only English language. Therefore, on this ground alone, the notification in Form-I is liable to be set-aside.

Similarly, it is the obligation of the Commissioner to publish the notification in Form-VI in the Andhra Pradesh Gazette in Telugu, Urdu and English newspaper, similar to requirement under Rule 8. But, no publication in English newspaper was made, thereby, it is an illegality. Hence, failure to adhere to the mandatory requirement to publish the notification in Form-I under Rule 8 and Form-VI under Rule 11 of the Rules is sufficient to set-aside the notifications in both Form-I and Form-VI issued as per Rule 8 and Rule 11 of the Rules. Hence, I hold that the notifications are illegal, arbitrary and contrary to the procedure prescribed under Rule 8 and Rule 11.

POINT No.2:

The other contention raised before this Court by the learned counsel for the petitioner is that, the notification in Form-I was not placed before the General Body of the Corporation for its suggestions and objections, as mandated under Rule 8. This contention is refuted by the learned counsel for the respondent by placing material before this Court i.e. agenda and resolution passed thereon, to establish that the Commissioner complied with the mandatory requirement under Rule 8. The endorsement on the agenda and minutes shows that the notification was accepted on 04.01.2020 by the General Body of the Corporation. The material placed before the General Body of the Corporation for its suggestions and objections is only agenda and final recommendations for delimitation of wards. But, what is required as per Rule 8 is notification issued in Form-I published in Andhra Pradesh Gazette in Telugu, Urdu and English Newspapers. The same has to be placed before the General Body for suggestions and objections for issuing final notification under Rule 11 in Form-VI. But, the alleged compliance by placing the agenda of the General Body and its resolution before the General Body of the Corporation is not sufficient compliance. A bare reading of Rule 8 makes it clear that, only after publishing Form-I notification in Andhra Pradesh Gazette in Telugu, Urdu and English newspapers, the notification has to be placed before the General Body of the Corporation for its suggestions and objections, so as to enter those objections in Form-II, as mandated under Rule 9, take decision in terms of Rule 10 and issue final notification in Form-VI under Rule 11. Therefore, the third respondent/Commissioner failed to comply with the mandatory requirement under Rule 8 i.e. placing the notification in Form-I before the General Body of the Corporation for suggestions and objections. On this ground also, the notification in Form-VI under Rule 11 is vitiated and the same is liable to be set-aside. Accordingly, the point is answered against the respondent and in favour of this petitioner.

Learned counsel for the respondent further contended that, in view of the Bar under Article 243 Zg of the Constitution of India, Delimitation of Wards in Nellore Municipal Corporation is completed and issuing final notification itself is completion of Delimitation of Wards by publication of notification in Form-VI. But, when the notification itself is erroneous, in view of non-compliance of mandatory procedure pointed out in the earlier paragraphs, Bar under Article 2

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43 Zg of the Constitution of India will not come in the way, in view of the law declared by the Supreme Court in Association of Residents of Mhow (ROM) and another v. Delimitation Commission of India and others (2009) 5 Supreme Court Cases 404)and judgment of learned single Judge of this Court in Channala Ramachandra Rao v. State of Andhra Pradesh (2000 (2) APLJ 93 (H.C). Accordingly, the contention of the respondent is rejected. In view of my foregoing discussion, I find that the third respondent/Commissioner, Nellore Municipal Corporation failed to adhere strictly to the procedure prescribed under Rule 8 and Rule 11 of the rules and committed a serious illegality, depriving the people of Nellore Municipal Corporation who knew English alone to submit their objections and suggestions on the preliminary notification. Consequently, the notifications in Form I under Rule 8 and Form VI under Rule 11 of the Andhra Pradesh Municipal Corporations Delimitation of Wards Rules, 1996 are hereby set-aside, declaring the same as illegal and arbitrary. In the result, writ petition is allowed. No costs. Consequently, miscellaneous applications pending if any, shall stand closed.
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