Elections laws – politics – Whether the noconfidence motion is validly passed when only 5 voted when it requires 5.33 votes = 6 votes towards 2/3rd majorty as per sec.35[3] of the Grama Panchayat Act ?

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan (

respondents   moved   a   no­confidence motion   against   the   appellant-Tahsildar   issued   notice – convening   special   meeting   of   Gram Panchayat for consideration of no­confidence motion –   out   of   nine   members   of   the Gram Panchayat   only eight members were present in the meeting. Six members voted in favour of the motion and two members were opposed to it.- One of the members who voted   in   favour   of   no­confidence   motion   was   not qualified to vote, who had not filed  caste certificate after election as per second   proviso   to Section  9A  – so was disqualified automatically  to continue to be a member or to vote in any meeting.-  A Dispute Application under 35(3­B) of  the Maharashtra  Gram Panchayat Rules,  1958 challenging the no­confidence motion passed was filed. The   Addl.  Collector,   passed   an   order –   approving  and holding   that   no­confidence   motion   was validly passed.-   a writ petition was filed by the appellant which   has   been   dismissed   by   the   High   Court   by   the impugned   judgment.  –  Aggrieved   by   the   judgment   of   the High Court this appeal has been filed. – Apex court held that The   main   issue   is that what shall be two­third majority for holding the no­confidence motion to be passed in the Panchayat –  Admittedly   there   are

nine   members [ including appeallant ]  in   the   Village   Panchayat. –  Out  of  nine members ,  eight members were present. – Out of eight members present, one member   was   disqualified   to   sit   and   vote   by   virtue  of she   having   not   submitted   her   caste   certificate   after the election. – She was one out of six members who have voted   in   favour   of     no­confidence  motion. –  There   are five valid votes in favour of  no­confidence motion as two   against it. -Section 35(3) refers to majority as “a majority of not not less than twothird of the total number of the members who are for the time being entitled to sit and vote at any meeting of   the   Panchayat – Total   number   of   members   being   nine   and   one member   being   disqualified   to   sit   and   vote,   the computation   of   majority   has   to   be   on   the   basis   of number   eight,     two­third   of   the   number   eight   will  be 5.33. – When   majority comes to 5.33 votes “not less than 5.33 votes” have to be given meaning, hence, 5.33 can never be rounded off to 5, fraction has to be treated as one because votes cannot be treated as fraction. Hence, 5.33 votes to be read as 6 votes for passing of the motion as mandated by Section 35(3).-We are, thus, of the view that no­confidence motion was   not   validly   passed   and   the   order   of   the   Addl. Collector as well as of the High Court are erroneous.