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HC stays Phek DC’s orders for removal of Yoruba Village Council Chairman

Gauhati High Corut Kohima Bench

DIMAPUR, DECEMBER 17: The Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court has stayed two orders issued by the Deputy Commissioner of Phek directing the removal of Yoruba Village Council, after finding that said orders did not “reflect, in any manner whatsoever, that there exist any reasons” for his dismissal.
The petition was filed by Vethisa Lohe, challenging the orders passed by Phek DC on September 30 and October 19 respectively.
“It is admitted fact that the petitioner is a Village Council Member of the respondent No. 6 Village Council. Vide an order dated September 30, 2023, the Deputy Commissioner, Phek removed the petitioner from Village Council Membership as per Section 9(1)(f) and from the post of the Village Council Chairman as per Section 9(3)(c) of the Nagaland Village Council Act, 1978 with immediate effect.
“Thereupon vide Corrigendum dated October 19, 2023, the earlier order dated September 30, 2023 was clarified by stating that the petitioner herein was removed from the Village Council Member as per Section 9(1)(f) of the Nagaland Village Councils Act, 1978 with immediate effect”, stated an order issued by Justice Devashis Baruah on December 15.
Joshua Sheqi, the Counsel for the petitioner, submitted that his client had been duly elected as Village Council Member and any order passed affecting his rights had to be based upon reasons.
Drawing the attention to the two orders issued by the DC, the Counsel submitted that they were devoid of reasons.
He further submitted that for exercise of powers under Section 9(1)(f) of the Nagaland Village Councils Act, 1978, there has to be a subjective satisfaction of the authority concerned objectively applying the law ~ which was clearly absent in the DC’s orders.
“The learned Counsel has referred to the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Commissioner of Police, Bombay-Versus-Gordhandas Bhanji, reported in AIR 1952 SC 16 and submitted that public orders publicly made has to be tested on the basis of reasons assigned in the order and cannot be supplemented by way of an affidavit.
“This Court, upon hearing the Counsels, is of the opinion that perusal of the orders impugned do not reflect in any manner whatsoever that there exist any reasons. Under such circumstance, this Court stays the Removal Order dated September 30, 2023 as well as the Corrigendum dated October 19, 2023 till the next date”, the order stated.
Notice was issued to the State respondents, returnable on February 1, 2024.
(Page News Service)