The Kerala High Court on Monday ruled that a disputed claim for money would not come under the purview of maladministration, as defined under section 271-F of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act. It also held that the Ombudsman for local self government institutions had no jurisdiction to accept complaints regarding payment claims.
Justice C K Abdul Rahim pointed out that the Ombudsman has been appointed for making investigations and inquiries, with respect to charges of corruption or maladministration or irregularities in the discharge of administrative functions. The court made the observation while quashing an order of the Ombudsman directing the Kulukkalloor panchayat in Palakkad to make payments to Raidco Kerala Ltd for the supply of certain materials to the panchayat.
The court said that in the current case, the claim for money do not come under the purview of alleged corruption or maladministration.
The Ombudsman has no jurisdiction to adjudicate the claims for the payment of money. The terms defined in the Act do not include claims for money by agencies.