PANCHAWADI BACHAO SAMITI
c/o Christev D'Costa (Ex-Sarpanch),
Ponda Taluka, Goa
Date: 7th February 2010
The BDO Ponda Taluka,
SUB: UNLAWFUL CONDUCT OF PROCEEDINGS AT PANCHAWADI GRAM SABHA ON 7/2/2010
Further to our conversation with you at around 5 PM on 7/2/2010 in the aftermath of the Gram Sabha fiasco, we hope that you shall deliver quick justice in our case.
The events of the Gram Sabha of V.P. Panchawadi held on 7/2/2010 are correctly recorded as follows:
- The Gram Sabha commenced at 10.40 AM on 7/2/2010. It was chaired by the Dy. Sarpanch in the absence of the Sarpanch.
- The attendance register was taken around to record the names of the attendees from 10.40 AM to 1.10 PM.
- Gram Sabha proceedings commenced immediately thereafter.
- The first item on the agenda, confirmation of the minutes of the previous Gram Sabha Meeting held on 22/11/2009, was taken up first.
a. In item no. 3, name of Mr. Manuel D'Costa as proposer was deleted and Mr. Dilip Gaonkar the Panch was added in his place, since the letter from Sesa Goa was an internal correspondence of the Panchayat. However, the Secretary did not enter the same in the minutes register, in spite of requests.
b. In item no. 4, the person recorded to have proposed the said resolution, clarified that there was no separate issue and that his submissions were with regard to item no. 3 only, and not recorded correctly. Hence it was decided that the said item no. 4 is canceled. However, the Secretary did not enter the same in the minutes register, in spite of requests.
c. The last two lines of the unnumbered resolution were pointed out to be incorrect by the majority of the Gram Sabha members present. It was pointed out that when the mike had been snatched during discussions over the said proposal, the Sarpanch had fainted and the Gram Sabha Meeting of 22/11/2009 ended amidst chaos. The Dy. Sarpanch had then declared that the meeting was adjourned and that the further date would be announced after the next monthly meeting of the Panchayat body. The Dy. Sarpanch and Secretary were questioned on how the records were blatantly falsified, but they had no answers and yet refused to correct the same. This refusal of the Secretary under the instructions of the Dy. Sarpanch amounts to usurping the powers of the Gram Sabha in a most blatant manner. The meeting was thereafter held up in discussion on the same issue for almost half an hour.
- At this point, the Dy. Sarpanch abruptly took up the fifth item on the agenda without concluding the first, or even considering the second, third and fourth items. This act itself shows the Dy. Sarpanch's bias and intentions, which are confirmed by the pre-determined course of action that was to follow.
- Without any deliberations on the issue contained in the fifth item, the Dy. Sarpanch asked the persons supporting the proposal for mining roads to raise their hands. Only about 40 persons raised their hands in support of the project and the rest of the attendees forming an overwhelming majority opposed the same. Thereupon, the Sarpanch stated that since the Gram Sabha members are not co-operating, he is entitled to decide the issue and said “resolution passed”. This is gross misuse of power by the Dy. Sarpanch in concert with the Secretary and is also unlawful under the Goa Panchayat Raj Act, 1994.
- After stating “resolution passed”, the Dy. Sarpanch accompanied by the other two Panchas, the BDO observer and the Secretary (carrying the minutes register) fled from the venue before the people could respond.
We therefore demand as follows:
- The resolutions taken on the issue of mining roads during the Gram Sabhas of 22/11/2009 and 7/2/2010 to be declared null and void.
- The Secretary of V.P. Panchawadi to be suspended with immediate effect for his involvement in the conspiracy to defraud the Panchayat Raj institutions and misuse of powers.
- The Dy. Sarpanch to be disqualified for gross misuse of power, fraud and misrepresentation.
Christev D'Costa and others
(signatures attached separately)