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Andhra High Court
Aare Village Gram Panchayat vs President, Aare Village Water … on 31 August, 2000
Equivalent citations: 2001 (2) ALT 174
Author: I Venkatanarayana
Bench: I Venkatanarayana


I. Venkatanarayana, J.

1. The Writ Petition has been filed by the petitioner-Gram Panchayat seeking a Writ of Mandamus or any other appropriate writ or direction declaring the action of the respondents in auctioning the trees lying on bund of Pathacheruvu tank, Aare village, NBK Puram Mandal, Chittoor District as illegal and arbitrary

2. The case of the Gram Panchayat is setout as hereunder:

According to the Writ Petitioner, under Section 80 of A.P. Panchayat Raj Act the Gram Panchayat shall have the right to use the adjacent land appurtenant thereto for planting trees and enjoying the usufruct thereof. There are certain trees adjacent to the land in Patha Cheruvu of Aare village which are vested in the Panchayat and the first respondent herein who was elected as President of the Water Users Association, Aare village along with the assistance of the 3rd respondent have issued a Notification proposing to hold auction of the trees lying on the bund of the tanks. The case of Gram Panchayat is that the 1st and 3rd respondents have no manner of right over these trees and hence the petitioner invoked Article 226 of the Constitution of India for an appropriate relief.

3. The 1st and 2nd respondents filed counters. The first respondent in his counter has contended that Section 80(2) of A.P. Panchayat Raj Act is not applicable to the case of the respondent. The tank in question is public property and for the benefit of the public and they are under the control of Irrigation Department. The Irrigation Department is supervising from time to time in respect of the tanks and assisting the Aare Village Water Users Association which was formed under G.O.Ms.No. 541, dt. 27-12-1997. It is further stated that there are 12 mango trees and they are sought to be auctioned by the first respondent under the supervision of 2nd and 3rd respondents for the purpose of irrigational developmental works. During that process, the trees and grass gets damaged and will not be used for any progressive purpose as there will not be proper check upon unlawful cutting of the trees and grass by strangers. In order to have revenue out of the trees, the 1st respondent has issued the auction notification after completing the required formalities and in consultation with the forest officials.

4. A counter was filed on behalf of the 2nd and 3rd respondents supporting the case of the first respondent. It is submitted that the A.P. Farmers (Management of Irrigation Systems) Act has been framed during 1997 under G.O.Ms.No. 541, dated 27-12-1997. It is further submitted that even prior to formation of the Water Users Association the tank was under the control of the Irrigation Department and the Panchayat has no right over the tanks and it had no control over the Irrigation Department at any point of time. It is also stated that the A.P. Farmers Management of Irrigation Systems Act, 1997 not only deals with the distribution of water but also giving rights over the properties of the tanks such as tree and grass etc., and the 2nd respondent specifically denied that the Gram Panchayat has to auction the trees on the bund.

5. In view of the categorical stand taken by the 2nd respondent that the tank vests with the Irrigation Department and the Gram Panchayat has nothing to do with the tank in question, I do not find any merit in this Writ Petition. The Writ Petition is devoid of merits and it is accordingly dismissed. No costs.

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