STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: A Division Bench of the State High Court comprising Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur and Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta on Saturday dismissed the appeal filed by Raj Kumar Bhagat Ex-Sarpanch Panchayat Halqa Sahar (Kathua) and Parkash Chand Ex-Naib Sarpanch of same Panchayat and others thereby upholding the judgment passed by the Single Judge on November 29, 2017 whereby the writ court had dismissed the writ petition holding that the Secretary Panchayat who happened to be a Government Servant is competent to execute and complete the construction of common facility centre in Village Sahar, Tehsil and District Kathua for which work came to be allotted to the Secretary of the aforesaid Panchayat by the Block Development Officer, Kathua.
After hearing Advocate Jagpal Singh appearing for the appellants and Deputy Advocate General Arshad Majid Malik appearing for the Rural Development Department, the Division Bench observed that Deputy AG A.M. Malik invited the attention of the Court to the objections filed on May 21, 2018 wherein it was stated that it was incorrect to suggest that the BDO Kathua has allotted the contract to the Panchayat Secretary and it was stated that the work in question was executed departmentally.
Deputy AG A.M. Malik further submitted that key materials like cement, steel was issued by BDO as and when required as per the indent provided by the JE concerned who was supervising the building. The procurement of the building material also stated to be made through the BDO through the Government Agencies like SICOP/JAKFED whereas local materials like sand, stones etc were being procured by the Panchayat Secretary through local vendors.
Deputy Advocate General A.M. Malik also invited the attention of the Division Bench to a judgment of the Division Bench passed in case titled Residents of Village Begerni, Doda versus State of J&K wherein the Division Bench has held that NIT for construction of Community Facility Centre is not required where work is being carried out departmentally.
The Division Bench did not find favour with the arguments of Advocate Jagpal Singh who submitted that BDO had authority to allot the contract only upto maximum of Rs. 50,000 and in the present case the contract was for an amount of Rs. 48 lakh.
After considering the submissions of both the sides the Division Bench while dismissing the appeal observed that Court is unable to find any merit in the present Letters Patent Appeal and the same is accordingly dismissed along with connected interim application.
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