Decision of Majority in Municipal Council Becomes Decision of House & Minority Cannot Challenge it Under Article 226

LI Network

Published on: November 15, 2023 at 00:10 IST

The Kerala High Court, in a recent observation, highlighted that individuals who do not succeed in a resolution passed by the Municipal Council, especially those from the minority or dissenting factions, are barred from seeking remedy through Article 226 of the Constitution of India to contest the said resolution.

In an order by the Single Judge Bench of Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas, it was stated, ‘It must be observed that if those persons who dissent against a decision taken by the Municipal Council are permitted to challenge the decisions of the Municipality, it will put spokes in the wheels of governance and administration. Every decision taken by the Municipal Council or local authority will be challenged by the minority, and the entire functioning of the local authority can come to a standstill.

Such a procedure cannot be permitted under law. The principle that a decision taken by the majority becomes the decision of the house, including that of the minority, cannot be diluted, lest it lead to chaos and confusion.’

The Court addressed three Writ Petitions filed under Article 226 of the Constitution, involving a dispute over the identification of Janeesh as a prospective licensee for a tourist home owned by Thrissur Corporation.

Councillors who contested the resolution claimed that both discussion and voting were absent on the specific agenda during the mentioned meeting, and the Mayor selected Janeesh arbitrarily. They argued that among the 54 Councillors, 30 had expressed dissent during the meeting.

The Court observed that the tender process had been initiated following the lack of success in five public auctions, as per the procedure outlined in Section 215(2)(c) of the Kerala Municipality Act, 1994.

The Court expressed strong disapproval of the disturbance caused by the 30 Councillors during the meeting and took a strict stance, stating that the decision of the majority of the Municipal Council is the decision of the dissenting minority as well.

The Court allowed the Corporation to proceed with handing over the building to Janeesh and permitted him to carry out repair and renovation works.

Case Title: Janeesh P.S. v. Thrissur Municipal Corporation & Ors.

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