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Whether a Village Panchayat established under Section 3 of the Goa Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 (for short, ‘the Act’) or any other statutory dispensation existing prior to the enactment of the Act has the locus to file a petition under Article 226 and/or 227 of the Constitution for setting aside an order passed by the designated officer exercising the power of an appellate authority qua the action/decision/resolution of the Village Panchayat is the question which arises for consideration in these appeals filed against order dated 18.08.2010 passed by the learned Single Judge of the Bombay High Court, Goa Bench in Writ Petition Nos. 16 and 312 of 2010. “ordinarily” the petitioner who seeks to file an application under Art. 226 of the Constitution should be one who has a personal or individual right in the subject-matter of the petition. A personal right need not be in respect of a proprietary interest : it can also relate to an interest of a trustee. That apart, in exceptional cases, as the expression “ordinarily” indicates, a person who has been prejudicially affected by an act or omission of an authority can file a writ even though he has no proprietary or even fiduciary interest in the subject matter thereof. The appellant has certainly been prejudiced by the said order. The petition under Art. 226 of the Constitution at his instance is, therefore, maintainable.” 26. By applying the ratio of the aforesaid judgments to the facts of these cases, we hold that the writ petitions filed by the appellant were maintainable and the learned Single Judge of the High Court committed grave error by summarily dismissing the same. We also declare that the contrary view expressed by the High Court in other judgments does not represent the correct legal position. 27. In the result, the appeals are allowed, the impugned order is set aside and the writ petitions filed by appellant are restored to their original numbers. The High Court shall now issue notice to the respondents and decide the writ petitions on merits. 28. It will be open to the appellant to apply for interim relief. If any such application is filed, then the High Court shall decide the same on its own merits.

REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.4832 OF 2012 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 1758 of 2011) Village Panchayat, Calangute … Appellant Versus The Additional Director of Panchayat-II and Others … Respondents with CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4833 OF 2012 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 10569 of 2011) … Continue reading

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