Chapter XIII. Property, Contracts and Establishment

Property

207. Vesting of Public Streets and appurtenance in Municipality.—( 1 )Notwithstanding anything contained in the Kerala Land Conservancy Act, 1957 (8 of 1958) or in any other law for the time being in force all public roads, streets, lanes and paths, the bridges, ditches, dykes and fences on or beside the same, and all adjacent land not being private property appertaining thereto in anymunicipal area other than 32[National Highway or State Highway or major district road or roadsclassified by Government as such] shall stand transferred to, and vest absolutely in the Municipality together with all pavements, stones and other materials and other things provided therein, all sewers,drains, drainage works, tunnels and culverts, whether made at the cost of the Municipal fund or  otherwise in, alongside or under such roads and all works, materials and things appertaining thereto.33[(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) the Government may, by notification in the Gazette, at any time, withdraw such public roads and or streets, sewer drain, drainage work tunnel or culvert adjacent to it from the control of the Municipality for the purpose of classifying, it as any public road, street National Highway, State Highway or Major District road under the control of Municipality and thereupon it shall revest in the Government on issuing such a notification: Provided that before issuing such a notification, the Government shall consult the Municipality concerned and give due regard to the objections, if any.]

208. Duty of Municipality in respect of public streets withdrawn from its control.—Where any public street has been withdrawn from the control of a Municipality under subsection(2) of section 207 and placed under the control of the Government or under the control of any other authority by the Government, it shall be the duty of the Municipality to provide at the cost of the municipal fund,to such extend as the Government may, by general or special order, direct-

(a) for the lighting, watering, scavenging and drainage of such street;

(b) for the provision, maintenance and repair of the water-supply mains, drains and sewers in, alongside, or under such street; 

(c) for the provision, maintenance and repair of footways attached to such street: Provided that where in the discharge of such duties, it is necessary for the Municipality to open and break up the soil or pavement of any such street, the Municipality shall obtain the previous consent of such officer as the Government may by general or special order, specify Provided further that in cases of emergency, the Municipality may, without such consent, open and break up soil or pavement of any such street, but shall, as far as practicable, restore such soil or pavement to the condition in which it was immediately before it was opened and broken up; and a  report of the action so taken and the reasons therefor shall be sent forthwith to the officer specified under the foregoing proviso.

33A[208A. Transfer of water courses, springs, reservoirs, etc, to Municipalities.—

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Kerala Land Conservancy Act, 1957 (8 of 1958) or in any other law for the time being in force, all public watercourses including those which the public have been using so as to give them easement rights over them, (other than rivers flowing through the municipal areas and other areas as may be specified by Government, by notification in the Gazette) whether existing at the commencement of this Act or were made; set up or constructed, thereafter whether made or constructed at the cost of the Municipality or not, along with their river beds, banks, springs,

32. Substituted for the words by Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999

33. Sub-section (2) substituted by Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999

channels for irrigation and drainage, canals, lakes, backwaters, water courses all water whether standing, or flowing streams, reservoirs, ponds, water beds, fountains, wells, 'Kappus' channels stand pipes, and other water reservoirs and any land appertaining there to other than private property shall stand transferred to and shall absolutely vest in the Municipality: Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall apply to an irrigation project or any work connected therewith or any land appertaining thereto.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act, all rights and liabilities of the Government in respect of the water-courses, springs, resevoirs, ponds, water beds, fountains, wells, channels, standpipes and other works connected with water shall be vested on the Municipality under sub-section (1) and shall be the rights and liabilities of the municipality from the date of such vesting.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) and sub-section (2), the Government may, after consultation with the Municipality and after giving due consideration to its objections, if any, take over the administration of any public water source and the public land appertaining thereto.

(4) It shall be unlawful for any person to reserve or take for himself from any land whether poramboke or otherwise transferred or vested in the Municipality under this Act, any tree, earth, sand, metal, laterite, limeshell or other valuable articles which may be notified by the Municipality, without a permit issued by the Municipality in this behalf and in accordance with the terms and conditions thereof and on payment of fee or compensation at such rates as may be fixed by the Municipality.]

209. 34[x xxx]

210. Management of public institution.— (1 ) The management, control and administration of every public institution maintained exclusively out of the Municipal fund shall vest in the Municipality.

(2) When any public institution has been placed under the direction, management and control of the Municipality, all property, endowments and funds belonging thereto shall be held by the Municipality in trust for the purposes to which such property, endowments and funds were lawfully applicable at the time when the institution was so placed: Provided that the extent of the independent authority of the Municipality in respect of any such institution may, from time to time, be prescribed by the Government:

Provided also that nothing in this section shall be held to prevent the vesting of any trust property in the Treasurer of Charitable Endowments under the law relating to charitable endowments for the time being in force.

211. Inventory of municipal property.— (1) The Secretary shall maintain an inventory of all immovable property owned by the Municipality or to which the Municipality has a reversionary right.

(2) A copy of the said inventory shall be deposited with the Government and all changes shall be forthwith communicated to them.

212. Limitation of power to accept property in trust.— A Municipality may accept trusts relating exclusively to the furtherance of any purpose to which the Municipal fund may be applied.

33A. Section 208A inserted by by Act 8 of 1995, w.e.f. 5-8-1995.

34, Section 209 omitted by Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999.

213. Objects not provided for by this Act.— The Government may, in consultation with a Municipality, transfer to the Municipality the management of any institution or the execution of any work not provided for by this Act, and it shall thereupon be lawful for the Municipality to undertake such management or execution: Provided that in very such case, the funds required for such management or execution shall be placed at the disposal of the Municipality by the Government. 

214. Procedure for acquisition of immovable property under the Land Acquisition Act.— 35[(1)] Any immovable property which a Municipality is authorised by this Act to acquire may be acquired in accordance with the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act for the time being in force, and on payment of the compensation awarded under this said Act in respect of such property and of any other changes incurred in acquiring it, the said property shall vest in the Municipality:Provided that nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to prevent any Municipality from acquiring immovable property either through private purchase or any free surrender.35[(2) The Municipality shall implead in all Court proceedings relating to the acquisition of land for the Municipality.]35. Section 214 renumbered as sub-section (1) of that section and added sub-section (2) by Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999.

215. Power of Municipality to acquire and dispose of property.—

36[(l) A Municipality may in the manner prescribed, acquire any property such as land or building within or outside its Municipal area or dispose of any of its properties with the prior approval of the Government for providing any arrangement or facility for a public purpose, j

(2)(a) A Municipality may construct commercial or other buildings and let them out to the public who need them on licence and may charge such fees as it may fix for the use and occupation of the same, 37[in the manner prescribed]; (b) 37A [XXX] Provided that after the said period, a licence may be renewed subject to such terms and conditions as may be fixed at that time;

(c) In all cases except renewal of licence or rehabilitation of a licensee, licence shall be granted only by public auction or tender.

(3) Every licence under sub-section (2) shall contain terms and conditions governing the use and occupation of the building or room or space therein and the rate and time of payment of fees and such terms and conditions shall be reduced in writing in the form of an agreement in stamp paper of the appropriate value.

(4) No building or room or space let out under sub-section(2) shall be sub-let by the licensee to any person nor the nature of use changed without the prior approval of the Municipality: Provided that the Municipality may at the instance of a licensee transfer the licence to any other person subject to such terms and conditions as it may deem fit to impose and upon such transfer, it shall be deemed to be a fresh licence for all purposes.

(5) Where at any time it appears to the Secretary that any building, room or space let out to any person under sub-section(2) has been sub-let, he shall by order, immediately cancel the licence issued to such person and direct the person or persons in use and occupation of the building, room or space, as the case may be, to vacate within such time as may be specified in the order;

Provided that the Secretary shall, before issuing an order cancelling the licence and evicting the user or occupier give notice to such person requiring him to show cause within a reasonable time to be specified in the notice, why such an order should not be made. 

(6) Where an order issued under sub-section (5) is not complied with within the time specified therein, the Secretary shall cause such person or persons to be removed from the building, room or space with the assistance of police and close down the building, room or space as the case may be, and thereupon all properties found in such premises shall, belong to the Municipality and shall be disposed of and the proceeds credited to the municipal fund.

(7) Every person to whom a licence has been issued under sub-section (2) shall pay without demand the licence fee and other charges at the rate specified in the agreement within such time as may be specified therein.

(8) Where any licensee defaults payment of licence fee for a period exceeding the period covered by the deposit made in terms of the licence, the Secretary shall, by notice, in writing, require the defaulter to remit the dues together with such penalty or interest as provided in the agreement within seven days of service of such notice and in case of failure, he shall immediately cause the premises to be closed down temporarily and the person or persons in occupation shall be got removed with the assistance of police or otherwise.

(9) Notwithstanding the closure of the premises under sub-section (8) the licensee shall continue to be the user and occupier of the premises and shall be responsible for the safe custody of the belongings therein, but he shall not break open the premises and re-enter therein and if he does so, he shall be deemed to have committed an offence under section 380 of the Indian Penal Code (Central Act 45 of 1860).

36. Sub-section (1) substituted by Act J4of 1999. w.e.f. 24-3-1999

37. Substituted for "subject to such restrictions or limitations if any, as may be imposed by the Government in that behalf" by Act 14 of 1999. w.e.f. 24-3-1999,

37A.CIause (b) omitted by Act 8 of 1995, w.e.f. 5-8-1995. 

(10) Where the Secretary closed down a premises under sub-section (8), he shall, by notice, direct the licensee to clear off the dues within such time as may be specified in the notice.

(11) Where the licensee remits the dues as required in the notice under sub-section(10), the Secretary shall immediately put him in physical possession of the premises and if he fails to clear of the dues the Secretary shall cancel the licence forthwith and the order cancelling the licence shall be communicated to him and if, for any reason, the order cannot be communicated to him in person it shall be published in the premises closed down under sub-section (8) which shall be deemed to be a sufficient notice.

(12) Where the Secretary has cancelled a licence under sub-section (11) he shall, with previous notice to the licensee and after public notice, dispose of by auction or otherwise the belongings found in the premises closed down on the day notified, and the proceeds thereof shall be adjusted towards the amount due from the licensee together with other charges and expenses in connection with the sale and the balance, if any, shall be returned to him. If the sale proceeds are not sufficient to defray the dues together with other charges or expenses in connection with the sale, the balance shall be recoverable from the licensee as if it were an arrear of property tax.

 

contracts

 

216. Power of Municipality to execute works on contract or otherwise.— 38[(l) The Council may determine, either generally in the case of any class of works or specially in the case of any specific work, as to whether the works shall be executed through a Contractor or directly or through any beneficiary committee: Provided that if any work is done by a benami contractor, in the guise of a beneficiary committee or of direct execution the amount expended on such work shall be deemed to be misappropriation of funds and the amount shall be recovered from those who are responsible for such expenditure.]

(2) Every Municipality, may, if it is found necessary in the interests of administration, enter into contracts with any person or agency for the performance of any work which the Council is under a

duty to discharge under this Act, for such period and subject to such conditions as it may deem fit. 

39[(3) The preparation of estimates of works, its execution, the supervision thereof and incurring the expenditure thereto shall be done in the manner as prescribed.]

217. Power of the different authorities to sanction estimates.— 40[(l) Subject to the availability of resources and the provision in the budget estimate, the Authority competent to accord administrative sanction to the estimates of any works or schemes and the limit up to which such sanction may be accorded shall be as shown below, namely:— 

(a) Town Panchayat 

(i) Standing Committee  Upto twenty-five thousand rupees Exceeding twenty-five thousand rupees

(ii) Council

(b) Municipal Council 

(i) Standing Committee Upto fifty thousand rupees Exceeding fifty thousand rupees

(ii) Council 

 

(c) Municipal Corporation 

 

(i) Standing Committee                        Upto one lakh rupees

(ii) Council                                      Exceeding one lakh rupees.]

 

 

38. Sub-section (1) substituted by Act 14 of 1999. w.e.f. 24-3-1999

(2) Subject to availability of resources, the powers vested in the authorities to sanction estimates shall,

in cases in which consultation with the District Planning Committee concerned is necessary, be subject to such rates as may be made by the Government relating to technical scrutiny and sanction of the

estimates by competent technical officers .

218. General provisions regarding contracts.— (1) A Municipality may enter into and perform all such contracts as it may consider necessary or expedient carrying into effect the provisions of this Act,

(2) The making of contracts under or for any purpose of this Act shall be subject to the following provisions, namely:-

(a) every contract shall be made on behalf of the Municipality by the Secretary;

(b) no contract for any purpose, which, in accordance with any provision of this Act, the Secretary may not carry out without the sanction of one of the other municipal authorities, shall be made by him unless such sanction has been obtained;

(c) Where tender is necessary no contract shall be made by the Secretary unless the tender therefore has been accepted by the competent authority; Explanation.— The term 'tender' in this clause shall include any bid at an auction. (d)4l[x x x x)

(3)42[x xxx]

219. Mode of making contracts.— (1) Every contract entered into by the Secretary on behalf of a Municipality shall be entered into in such manner and form as to bind him if it were made on his own behalf, and may in like manner and form be varied or discharged: Provided that- (a) the common seal of the Municipality shall be affixed to every contract; and in the case of contracts for the execution of any work or the supply of any materials or services the cost of which exceeds one thousand rupees, and in the case of all other contracts whatever be their value, the contract shall be in writing and shall be sealed with the common seal of the Municipality and shall specify-

(i) in the case of contracts for execution of works, supplies or service, the quantity of the work or the materials or services to be supplied, the cost to be paid for them and the time within which the work, supply or service should be completed; and 

(ii) in the case of all other contracts, the relevant particulars, 

(2) The common seal of the Municipality shall remain in the custody of the Secretary and shall not be affixed to any contract or other instrument except in his presence.

(3) No contract executed otherwise than as provided in this section shall be binding on the Municipality.

220. 43[x x \ x]

221. Security for performance of contracts. — The Secretary shall take sufficient security for the due performance of every contracts into which he enters after a tender has been accepted, and may take security for the due performance of any other contract into which he enters under this Act.

39. Sub-section (3) added by Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999.

40.Sub-section (1) substituted by Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999.

41. Clause (d) omitted by Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999.

42. Sub-section (,3) omitted by Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999.

Establishment

222. Constitution of a common municipal service.

(1) The Government may, subject to such rules as may be prescribed, constitute a common municipal service for the employees under the service of the Municipalities in the State and regulate the recruitment and conditions of service of the employees of the Municipalities.

(2) Subject to such rules as may be made the power to sanction leave to the officers and employees of the Municipality shall be vested in the Secretary.

(3) The Municipal Council shall subject to such rules as may be made in this behalf, have the power to impose minor penalties on any officer or employee of the Municipality.

(4) An appeal may be preferred against an order of the Council imposing a minor penalty to the authority empowered (hereinafter referred to as "authority") in this behalf.

(5) An appeal under sub-section (4) shall be in such form and shall be filed within such time and manner as may be prescribed.

(6) The Authority shall, on receipt of an appeal under sub-section (4) give the appellant an opportunity of being heard and may either confirm, cancel or modify the order appealed against or may pass such other order as it deems fit.

(7) The Government may, either suo motu or on application call for the records relating  to any order passed under sub-section (6) review such order and may pass such order in respect of the same as they deem fit:

44[(8) in the case where disciplinary proceedings, which may result in the imposition of a major penalty, have to be initiated, against officers or employees of the Municipality, the Chairperson shall have the power to report to the authority competent to impose major penalty on such officer or employee. Under the rules applicable to such officer or employee, and the authority shall consider the report and inform the Chairperson the final decision taken thereon.

(9) Every Municipality shall, make available the services, of its officers and employees, for the performance of the functions, entrusted by the Government, which involved the implementation of any scheme, project or plan.] Provided that no application for review shall be entertained after the expiry of thirty days from the date the order sought to be reviewed was received by the applicant: Provided further that an order affecting any party shall be passed only after giving that party an opportunity of submitting a representation:Provided also that no review shall be done by the Government suo motu after the expiry of one year from the date of the order sought to be reviewed.

223. Creation of posts under Municipality.— (1) No post in the service of a Municipality shall be created except with the previous sanction of the Government.

(2) While according sanction under sub-section (1) the Government shall give due regard to the necessity and financial soundness of the Municipality.

44A[224. Appointing Authorities.— (1) The Council shall be the appointing authority in respect of the contingent posts in the Municipal Service and appointment orders in respect of them shall be issued

by the Secretary, with the approval of the Council.

43. Section 220 omitted by Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999.

44. Sub-section (8) & (9) added by Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999.

(2) The Government or the officer authorised by them in this behalf shall be the appointing authority in respect of all other posts whether they are included in the Municipal Common Service or not].

225. The Health Officer, the Engineer, the Electrical Engineer etc.— (1) The Government may, after consulting a Municipality, sanction a post of Health Officer and a post of Municipal Engineer for that Municipality.

(2) The Government may, after consulting a Municipality, which has undertaken the generation, transmission or supply of electrical energy, sanction a post of Municipal Electrical Engineer for that Municipality.

(3) The Government may sanction the post of ^[Deputy Secretary,] Finance Manager, Accounts Officer, Revenue Officer and such other posts in a Municipal Corporation and giving due regard to the necessity and financial soundness of a Municipality may also sanction similar posts in a Town Panchayat and a Municipal Council.

(4) The Finance Manager shall, in addition to his duty as such, function as the advisor and Secretary to the Standing Committee for Taxation, Finance and Accounts of the Municipality concerned.

45[226. Control of Chairperson over health Officer.— (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in Travancore-Cochin Public Health Act, 1955 (XIV of 1955) or Madras Public Health Act, 1939 (Madras

Act HI of 1939) the functions vested in the Secretary under this Act relating to public health matters and which are conferred upon the Health Officer by Section 14 of the Travancore-Cochin Public Health Act, 1955 (XIV of 1955), or Section 16 of the Madras Public Health Act, 1939 (Madras Act III of 1939), except the functions involving expenditure from the Municipal fund, shall be exercised by the health officer subject to the control and supervision of the Chairperson.

(2) Where there is no Health Officer in any Municipality the Senior Medical Officer of hospital, or public health centres or dispensaries under the control of thai Municipality, shall be the health officer ex-officio of the Municipality]

227. Special Provisions regarding Government servants lent to Municipality.

46[(1) Subject to the terms and conditions as prescribed, the Government may transfer their officers and

employees to the service of the Municipalities for the implementation of schemes, projects and plans entrusted or vested in the Municipality under this Act.

(1A) The Government officers and employees transferred to a Municipality under sub- section (1) shall perform, in addition to their normal functions, any other connected functions assigned to them by the Municipality as if they are officers and employees of the Municipality.

(1B) The officers and employees so transferred shall be under the control and supervision of the Municipality, and the terms and conditions in regard to their services including disciplinary actions, shall continue to be the same as that applicable to them under the Government subject to the other provisions of this Act.

(1C) The salary of the Government employees transferred to the Municipality shall be paid by the Government, until the Government decide that it shall be paid from the Municipal Fund.]

44A. Section 224 substituted by Act 8 of 1995,w.e.f 5-8-1999

44B.Substituted for the words by Act 8 of 1995,w.e.f 5-8-1999

45. Section 226 substituted by Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999.

46. Sub-section (1) substituted by sub-sections (1) to (Ic) by Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999.

(2) If such servant while employed in the Municipality or if any other servant of the Municipality does any work for the Government, the Government shall contribute to the municipal fund so much of the salary of such servant as the Government may consider to be an equivalent for such work.

(3) No Government servant employed by a Municipality shall, except in cases of emergency, be withdrawn from the service of the Municipality without its contest, unless and until the Government shall have given three months notice in writing to that effect to the Municipality or unless some other Government servant has been deputed to replace the one withdrawn.

(4) Government servants employed by a Municipality shall be entitled to leave and other privileges in accordance with the rules applicable to them while in Government service.

(5) Where disciplinary proceedings have to be initiated against any officer or employee referred to in sub-section (1), the Chairperson concerned shall have the right to conduct enquiry against such officer or employee and to submit report to Government. 

(6) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (5), the council shall have power, subject to such rules as may be made in this behalf, to impose minor penalties on any officer or employee referred to under sub-section (1).

47[228. Control of Secretary over establishment.— Subject to the provisions of this Act and bye-laws and regulations for the time being enforce, the Secretary shall specify the duties of the officers and employees of the municipal establishment and Secretary shall exercise supervision and control over them.]

48[229. Power of Chairperson over establishment.— The Chairperson shall exercise supervision and control over the work of all officers and staff under the Municipality, including the Government officers and employees who have been transferred to the Municipality by the Government under Section 30, or Section 52, or Section, 227; and may require the Secretary, to make available all necessary reports and informations relating to their work and shall have authority to issue all directions necessary for the speedy implementation of the decisions of the Council, or a Committee thereof.

229A. Relationship between the Elected Authorities and the Officers,—

(1) The Government shall prescribe a general code of conduct relating the relationship between the electedauthorities of the Municipality and its employees for the purpose of protection of the right of the officersand employees, under the control of the Municipality to tender advice on the matters dealt with by them,and their professional freedom and statutory rights.

(2) The views expressed by the officials shall be included in the minutes of discussions.

(3) There shall be a mutual respect in behaviour between the elected authorities, officials and employees of the Municipality, totally avoiding rude language, gesture or action.

(4) Any complaints on the infringement of the code of conduct by the elected authorities shall be considered by the Ombudsman for Local Self Government Institutions, constituted under section 271G of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 (13 of 1994) and the report thereon shall be forwarded to the Government for appropriate action.

(5) Oral instructions by the elected authorities to the officials shall be confirmed in writing before they are implemented.

229B. Exercise of statutory functions of the officials.—

Where any officer of the Municipality is vested with any statutory powers or functions to be independently and solely exercised by such officer, the Council, the Chairperson, the Chairman of standing committee or any Councillor, shall not interfere with or influence in the exercise of such powers or functions by such officer.]

47. Section 228 substitution by Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999.

48. Section 229 substituted by Sections 229, 229A & 229B by Act 14 of 1999, w.e.f. 24-3-1999.