Collector can transfer cheque-signing power, rules HC bench

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Madurai,Jan 12 (PTI): The Madras High Court bench has ruledthat the District Collector-cum-Inspector of Panchayats hasthe power to transfer the cheque-signing power from thePanchayat President to the Block Development Officer (BDO)after issuing show-cause notice and giving opportunity to thePresident to submit an explanation.

A Division Bench, comprising Justices N Paul Vasanthakumarand R Subbiah dismissed the appeal of P Suganthi, President ofKumaragiri Panchayat, which ruled that the Collector hadtransferred the cheque-signing power after affordingopportunity by issuing show-cause notice to the President, andhence no infirmity could be found in his action.

She contended that the Collector issued her a show-causenotice, seeking an explanation over alleged misappropriationof funds of Rs 31.61 lakh. Not satisfied with Suganthi''sexplanation, he transferred the cheque-signing power to theBDO, pending enquiry under Sec 205 of the TN Panchayats Actfor removing her from the Presidentship.

Suganthi said there was no provision to divest the functionof the cheque-signing power of a person pending proceedings.

The Collector had transferred the cheque-signing power to theBDO erroneously, the appellant argued.

The Collector contended that the cheque-signing power wastransferred since allegations of financial irregularities hadbeen made against the President.

Suganthi had filed the writ appeal, contesting the rulingof a single-judge bench that dismissed the writ petitionsaying the Collector had carried out his work properly. PTISSN ARP APR

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