Loutolim sarpanch disqualified for rental of panchayat stores | Goa News

Panaji: The Bombay High Court in Goa has disqualified the current Loutolim panchayat sarpanch, Inacio Fernandes, after former sarpanch Franky Monteiro filed a petition seeking his disqualification under Goa Panchayat Raj law.
Monteiro argued that the sarpanch had rented two stores from the panchayat of Loutolim where there was a contract between it and the panchayat, and therefore had a direct monetary interest in the contract, thus prompting disqualification under section 10 (f) of the law.
“A correct reading of the said provision would show that disqualification would be incurred if the person concerned has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any contract entered into by or on behalf of the panchayat. In this case, it is not disputed that there are lease contracts signed between the Panchayat and Respondent No. 1 under which Respondent No. 1 is required to pay rent. This clearly indicates the monetary interest on the basis of the leases made between the panchayat and Respondent No. 1, ”Judge Manish Pitale said.
The allegation against the sarpanch was that he did not pay rent for the number 1 store in the old panchayat building from April 2009 and for the number 5 store in the building from April 2012 and was in arrears with rent, thereby incurring disqualification under section 10 (d) of the Act.
“There is no doubt that an elected and sarpanch member of the panchayat would be able to influence the action to be taken by the panchayat in a dispute with him in his personal capacity and such a conflict of interest and duties. is the very mischief that we seek to address by Article 10 (f) of the said law, ”says the ordinance.
“As soon as there was a dispute between the two concerning the said stores, there would certainly be a conflict between the interest and the duty of Respondent No. 1. In the facts of the present case, such a dispute has already arisen and the two parties are in conflict and contest the dispute. This is such a situation, which one seeks to avoid by Article 10 (f) of the aforementioned law, so that the purity of accountability with which an elected member in a representative democracy is supposed to work, is not compromised and that the whole process remains pure, ”he added.
It is not that a dispute must necessarily exist, but the likelihood of a conflict which might arise between the duty and interest of the elected member is sufficient to incur disqualification under Article 10 (f) of said law, specifies the ordinance.

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