Kerala HC restrains Muslim league ruled panchayat from passing anti-CAA resolution
The High Court of Kerala has passed an Interim Order restraining the District Panchayat of Kasaragod, Kerala, from passing resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019. The Panchayat is ruled by the Muslim League. IUML's AGC Basheer is the President of the Panchayat.
The BJP Kasaragod District President K. Shreekanth and a standing committee member of the Panchayat had moved the Writ Petition contending that Panchayats were constituted by the enabling provisions in the Part IX of the Constitution and that their powers and duties are clearly defined by the Constitution itself. The petition moved through Adv. V. Sajith Kumar, was honored by the Kerala HC which passed the restraining order yesterday.
The Panchayat Raj Act (Procedure for Panchayat Meeting) Rules, 1995 permit Panchayat Governing Councils to move resolutions only on administrative matters of the Panchayath and there is express prohibition in bringing resolution on matters pending before the Court. A District Panchayat exercising jurisdiction in excess of powers conferred is a ground to dissolve its Governing Body as per Section 193 of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act 1994.
Petitioner and panchayat member K Sreekanth
Speaking to ANI, Shreekanth said that "In several panchayats and municipalities, LDF and UDF have started to pass a resolution against CAA. It is purely illegal. So, being a member of Kasargod district panchayat, I had received a notice from the district panchayat stating an agenda about passing a resolution against CAA. So I questioned it in the High Court and the court granted a stay."
Shreekanth further said that, "My grievance in the writ petition is that the move to pass resolution is against law and it is totally illegal. District panchayat has no jurisdiction to discuss the matter since the CAA was passed by the Parliament. It is a very big blow to the UDF and LDF for playing politics in passing such a resolution," he added.
The Kerala High Court also appreciated the contentions of the Petitioner relying on the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act and Rules and restrained the Muslim League ruled Panchayat from passing the anti-CAA resolution through the Interim Order. The order will be in effect for three weeks says the order.