Unopposed Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) Approves Formation of AREA SABHA during the MCC Council Meeting. Kudos to Nigel Albuquerque and Ajoy D’silva, the Founders of Ward Committee and Area Sabha Group and also of Mangaluru Civic Group, and Corporator and Opposition Leader in MCC Council Naveen D’souza for their efforts in getting this Area Sabha going forward. It should be noted the members of this group had filed a case in the High Court to form Ward Committee and Area Sabha in Mangaluru on 27 November 2018 , and on 8 August 2019, Hon’ble Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka of the High Court passed the order for the formation of the Ward Committee & Area Sabha. However, the formation of Area Sabha was delayed until now.
Mangaluru: During the Mangaluru City Corporation Council Meeting on Friday, 28 July 2023, it was decided to form the AREA SABHA, and was unopposed by the Councillors. The MCC Council decided to constitute a committee under the Chairmanship of the Mayor. The Committee is supposed to draft a bylaw for the working of Area Sabha and ward Committee under the section 13-J of Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act 1976. As per Section 13-H, Ward Committees were functioning at MCC limits.
As per Section 13B of the Act, 121 Area Sabha will be constituted.. MCC should constitute representatives in Area Sabha as per Section 13 D. The Council decided to postpone the agenda on appointing representatives to the Area Sabha. According to Nigel Albuquerque, as the issue is substantially covered by a decision of the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka dated 8th August 2019 passed in Writ Petition No. 53244 of 2018 (Annexure-A) in continuance, the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka dated 23rd June 2021 in Writ Petition No. 3506 of 2021 says:: 15. Section 13 J of the said Act of 1976 reads thus: “13 J. Bye-laws.- Every Corporation to which this Chapter is made applicable shall notify bye-laws for transaction of business and for finance and accounting procedures governing the working of Area Sabhas and Ward Committees, within six months from the date of coming into force of this Chapter in that Corporation.”
“Unless Bye-laws as aforesaid are made by the Corporation, Area Sabhas and Ward Committees will not be able to function effectively. In fact, in the absence of bye-laws, the provisions regarding Area Sabhas and Ward Committees cannot be implemented. Hence, a writ of mandamus will have to be issued to comply with the said obligation of notifying the bye-laws. As noted in the judgment at Annexure-A, very important functions and duties have been assigned to Area Sabhas which are laid down in Section 13 G of the said Act of 1976”.
L-R : Corporator & Opposition Leader in MCC Naveen D’souza, Nigel Albuquerque and Ajoy D’Silva, both of Mangaluru Civic Group
” For example, it is the duty and function of the Area Sabha to forward proposals for schemes and development programmes to be implemented in the area to the Ward Committee. It is the obligation of Area Sabha to support tax mapping and to remind and encourage Area Sabha members of their obligations to pay municipal taxes and user charges. Under sub-section (2) of Section 13C of the said Act of 1976, all persons who are registered as voters in the electoral rolls of the polling stations in the area are the members of that Area Sabha”
“There are several duties assigned to Area Sabha concerning deficiencies in the water supply, deficiencies in the sanitation arrangements, deficiencies in the street lighting arrangements, etc. Under sub-section (9) of Section 13 G of the said Act of 1976, it is the function of Area Sabha to assist the activities in public health centres in the area, especially in disease prevention and family welfare and to create awareness and to report outbreak of epidemics and natural calamities. It is unfortunate that no steps were taken to constitute Area Sabhas. However, the good news is that finally MCC has approved the formation of Area Sabha unopposed, and the Sabha will be in full action in the nearest future”.
All persons who are registered as voters in the electoral rolls of the polling stations in an area shall be members of that Area Sabha. The Area Sabha shall meet at least once in three months. The Area Sabha Representative shall preside over the meeting of the Area Sabha. An officer of appropriate rank shall be designated by the Commissioner of the Corporation to act as a nodal officer for each Area Sabha and who shall provide all administrative assistance to the Area Sabha
Representative in conducting meetings of the Area Sabha. The nodal officer shall be the convener of the Area Sabha meetings and shall convene the meeting in consultation with the Area Sabha Representative. All minutes of the proceedings of the meeting shall be recorded by the nodal officer and a copy of the same shall be forwarded by him to the Ward Committee. All decisions in the Area Sabha shall be as far as possible to be arrived at through a consensus of all the members present. Where consensus is not possible, the decision shall be taken by the majority of the members present.