HC directs election to Sancoale sarpanch


In a judgement which is expected to break the two-month stalemate in Sancoale Panchayat, the High Court on Tuesday directed the government to hold the election of the sarpanch within three weeks.
The opposition panchas in the Sancoale Panchayat had challenged the holding of Gram Sabha and the panchayat meeting by Sarpanch Narayan G Naik on grounds that he had no powers since he had been already ousted in the no-trust motion.
It may be recalled that in the no-trust motion against Sarpanch Naik on January 1, the panchayat secretary and the BDO observer remained absent. Interestingly, on the previous day (December 31), Mormugao BDO Amir Parab was transferred to Quepem.
However, the opposition panchas went ahead with the no-trust motion moved by the deputy sarpanch and the motion was passed 8-0.
However, since than functioning of the panchayat came to a standstill and no fresh no-trust was moved nor election for a new sarpanch was called.
Expressing satisfaction, Panch Ramakant Borkar told Herald that with this important judgement, things will start moving after the elections of new sarpanch is held.
“However, I will ensure that the expenditure incurred during this period is recovered from the sarpanch and the secretary since they were not empowered to make any withdrawals from the panchayat fund,” claimed Borkar.
Another panch said that the judgement will keep check on political interference in the panchayat functioning. “What has happened in Sancoale Panchayat is a replay of what used to happen during Congress government,” the panch told Herald.
When contacted, Director of Panchayats Narayan Sawant said he would comment only after he gets a certified copy. “I was present in the Court today, but first I will have to go through the certified copy of the order before I can comment,” said Sawant. [H]