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Dulal Chandra Bhuyan and ors. Vs. Secretary to the Government of Assam, Panchayat and C.D. Department and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
Subject;Constitution
CourtGuwahati High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Rule No. 381 of 1984
Judge
ActsAssam Panchayati Raj Act, 1973 - Sections 22, 22(1), 135, 136 and 137; Assam General Clauses Act, 1915 - Sections 18 and 23; Constitution of India - Article 226
AppellantDulal Chandra Bhuyan and ors.
RespondentSecretary to the Government of Assam, Panchayat and C.D. Department and ors.
Appellant AdvocateP.G. Barua, K.C. Das and D. Goswami, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateD.N. Choudhury, Addl. Adv. General, C.K. Talukdar, A.K. Phukan and A.K. Bardoloi, Advs.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
- - is it for doing better social service than his adversary? is it the fight for power that goes with the office or is it for providing better service to the people? we wonder why social workers, instead of litigating do not conserve their energy to serve the people in the best possible manner. on dissolution of the ad hoc committee, respondent 5, aggrieved by the order, moved an application questioning the validity of the dissolution as well as against the appointment of a new ad hoc committee. the impugned order whereby the term of the ad hoc committee was extended beyond 9 months was bad, illegal and void. as such the impugned order is not bad on the ground alleged. in that event, the petition must fail. does it stand to scrutiny that even after the failure of the ad hoc committee..... lahiri, actg. c.j. 1. the true construction of the provisions contained in the 3rd proviso to section 22(1) and sections 135, 136 and 138 of the assam panchayati raj act, 1972, for short 'the act' falls for determination in this writ application. 2. petitioner no. 1 claims that he is a social worker, 'a recognised labour leader' and he has devoted himself to 'self-less service' to the community. however, he is fighting for the office of the chief administrator of the mahkuma parishad, to be precise, just for the office of the chief administrator of an ad hoc committee of the mahkuma parishad. what is the fight for? is it for doing better social service than his adversary? the field of sooial service is large, wide and extensive. should social workers spend their time, money and energy.....
Judgment:

Lahiri, Actg. C.J.

1. The true construction of the provisions contained in the 3rd Proviso to Section 22(1) and Sections 135, 136 and 138 of the Assam Panchayati Raj Act, 1972, for short 'the Act' falls for determination in this writ application.

2. Petitioner No. 1 claims that he is a social worker, 'a recognised labour leader' and he has devoted himself to 'self-less service' to the community. However, he is fighting for the office of the Chief Administrator of the Mahkuma Parishad, to be precise, just for the office of the Chief Administrator of an ad hoc committee of the Mahkuma Parishad. What is the fight for? Is it for doing better social service than his adversary? The field of sooial service is large, wide and extensive. Should social workers spend their time, money and energy in fighting out litigations. In the litigation the Tezpur Mahkuma Parishad has also been added as a party. Mr. G. K. Talukdar, learned counsel for the Mahkuma Parishad, respondent 6, has stated that the Parishad has to spend time, money and energy in this litigation. That apart, Mr. Talukdar submits that during the continuance of the writ

proceedings the Mahkuma Parishad was unsure and uncertain as to who was the Chief Administrator. The functioning of the Mahkuma Parishad was surely affected. Further, those connected with the Mahkuma Parishad had a doubtful feeling as to whether the Administrator appointed by the Government had jurisdiction. In such a situation, neither the Administrator nor the Mahkuma Parishad could function properly. It certainly affected the people who are the beneficiaries of getting appropriate care and attention from the Mahkuma Parishad. The fight is for an office the life of which is as unstable as water. Is it the fight for power that goes with the office or is it for providing better service to the people? We wonder why social workers, instead of litigating do not conserve their energy to serve the people in the best possible manner. We also find, with regret that in the instant case, no effective efforts were made by those who are in charge of the affairs of the State to resolve the dispute amicably. However, in the instant case, there is no allegation of breach of fundamental rights of the petitioners. The grievance of the petitioners is that their legal rights have been affected by the impugned orders.

3. The term of office of the Chairman, Chief Executive Councilor and other councillors of the Tezpur Mahkuma Parishad came to an end. However, the State Government came to the conclusion that there was no possibility to hold a fresh election for constituting a new Mahkuma Parishad immediately, extended the term of the elected body for the maximum period of 9 months. After the expiry of the said period, the State Government had no other alternative but to make an alternative arrangement of constituting an ad hoc committee for the purpose of carrying out the functions of the Mahkuma Parishad till the constitution of the new Mahkuma Parishad.

4. On the expiry of the extended period, as alluded, the State Government in exercise of the power under proviso 3 to Section 22(1) of 'the Act', constituted an ad hoc committee on 13-4-1985 for the purpose of carrying out the functions of the Mahkuma Parishad consisting of Shri Prasanna Barua, respondent 5 and others. Apart from the ad hoc committee, it is stated, several other sub-committees were

constituted with the members to deal with the matters connected with public health, education, minor irrigation, veterinary etc. As averred in para 6 of the writ petition, in view of the serious allegations made by petitioner 1 against respondent 5 relating to alleged misappropriation, the Government by a notification dt. 5-6-84 (vide Annexure 2 to the writ petition) dissolved the ad hoc committee. After the dissolution, the State Government, in exercise of the power conferred under 3rd proviso to Section 22(1) of 'the Act' by a notification dated 6-6-84 (Annexure 3 to the writ petition) constituted a new ad hoc committee consisting of 42 members. However, it is necessary to state that in the petition only six of such members of the new ad hoc committee are petitioners before us. On dissolution of the ad hoc committee, respondent 5, aggrieved by the order, moved an application questioning the validity of the dissolution as well as against the appointment of a new ad hoc committee. On consideration of the representation or appeal preferred by respondent 5, the Government directed that pending disposal of the representation the order of dissolution should be treated as suspended and the executive committee, including the sub-committees headed by respondent 5. would continue to hold the office. It was an interim order. Against the said interim order, the petitioners came up to this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution.

5. Upon hearing learned counsel for both the parties, this Court declined to stay the operation of the order. So, respondent No. 5 and other members of the first ad hoc committee continued to hold their offices. However, the Government was permitted to pass order on the representation during the pendency of this writ petition. The State Government accepted the representation of respondent 5 and by a reasoned order upheld the order of cancellation of the constitution of the subsequent ad hoc committee headed by petitioner No. 1. The petitioners have also impugned the order dt. Nov. 2, 1984.

6. The admitted position is that the State Government constituted the first ad hoc committee with respondent 5 and 35 others. By the impugned order, the State Government restored the legal rights of respondent 5 and 35 others. As such, the impugned order

conferred certain right to respondent 5 and 35 others but, in this writ application those 35 persons have not been arrayed as party-respondents. Is it possible to set aside the impugned order and thereby take away the rights of those 35 persons without giving them any hearing? The petitioners assert that this Court should quash the orders dt. 11-6-84 and 2-11-84 whereby apart from respondents 5, 35 others acquired rights. The petitioners have not impleaded those 35 persons as party-respondents. Mr. P. G. Barua, learned counsel for the petitioners submits that the petitioners have come up before this Court for restoring their legal rights. If such a legal right had been conferred on the petitioners, respondent 5 and 35 others also acquired the right by virtue of the impugned orders. Notwithstanding chances given to the petitioners they did not implead those 35 others as party-respondents and on that ground alone the petition is liable to be dismissed. However, passing over the question, let us proceed to dispose of the application on merit.

7. The first contention of Mr. P. G. Barua, learned counsel for the petitioners is that once the State government constituted an ad hoc committee consisting of the petitioners and others, vide notification dated 6-6-84, acting under Section 22(1) of 'the Act', the Government could not rescind, modify, amend or alter the said order. Learned counsel submits that no such power is envisaged in the Act.

The second contention of learned counsel for the petitioners is that even if the State Government had power to rescind, modify or alter the order constituting the ad hoc committee, it could not act arbitrarily while rescinding, modifying or altering the order. In support thereof, learned counsel relies on Bapjan Ali v. State of Assam, (1985) 1 Gauhati LR 58 : (AIR 1985 Gauhati 99), Learned counsel submits that the impugned orders cancelling the ad hoc committee consisting of the petitioners and others are arbitrary and capricious.

The third contention of the learned counsel for the petitioners is that the ad hoc committee headed by respondent 5 was constituted on 13-4-1983 and the life of the said ad hoc committee expired after 9 months. Learned counsel submits that Section 22(1) of the Act empowers the Government to constitute an ad hoc body only for a period of nine months.

The fourth contention of learned counsel for the petitioners is that the Government had no power to review the impugned orders dt 5-6-84 and 6-6-84. In the instant case, the State Government by the impugned order has reviewed its order dt. 5-6-84 and 6-6-84 which is invalid and incompetent. Learned counsel for the petitioners submits that the Government had no jurisdiction to review the impugned order.

The fifth contention of the learned counsel for the petitioners is that the Government have in fact acted under Sections 135, 136 and 137 of the Act so it could dissolve the ad hoc committee headed by petitioner 1 only on fulfilment of the conditions set out therein and on no other ground; however none of the elements necessary for the dissolution, were present, and, as such, the impugned orders are invalid in law.

The last submission of the petitioners is that the Government purporting to act under Section 138 has rendered the impugned order, but it had no jurisdiction to make the order under Section 138(2) of the 'the Act'.

8. Let us turn to the third contention of learned counsel for the petitioners. In short, the contention is that the Government could constitute an ad hoc committee under the third proviso to Section 22(1) only for a period not exceeding three months at a time subject to a maximum period of 9 months. The ad hoc committee headed by Respondent 5 was constituted on 13-4-83 and the maximum term of the committee was for a period of 9 months, which was over on 13-1-84 or thereabout. As such, on the expiry of the period of 9 months the State Government had no power to further extend the period of the said ad hoc committee headed by the petitioner. The impugned order whereby the term of the ad hoc committee was extended beyond 9 months was bad, illegal and void. We extract the third proviso to Section 22(1).

'22(1) The term of the office of the Mahkuma Parishad -

XXX XXX

XXX XXX

XXX XXX

Provided further that the State Government may, when it is not possible to hold election for the constitution of new Mahkuma Parishad immediately after the expiry of the term, extend the said term for a period not exceeding three months at a time subject to a maximum period

of nine months or make any alternative arrangement for constitution of an ad hoc committee for the purpose of carrying out the functions of the Mahkuma Parishad till the constitution of a new Mahkuma Parishad.'

Under Section 22(1) of 'the Act' the term of Office of the elected body of the Mahukma Parishad is for four years from the date of the first meeting of the Mahkuma Parishad convened. However, where it is not possible to hold election for the constitution of a new Mahkuma Parishad immediately after the expiry of the term, the State Government may extend the term for a period not exceeding three months at a time subject to a maximum period of 9 months. This provision applies only to the elected Mahkuma Parishad and not to the ad hoc committee. Instead of extending the term of elected body or on the expiry of the extended period of the term of the elected body the State Government may make alternative arrangements to constitute an ad hoc committee only for the purpose of carrying out the functions of the Mahkuma Parishad till the constitution of new Mahkuma Parishad.

This is the admitted position.

9. It is thus clear that State Government has power to make any alternative arrangements for constituting an ad hoc committee to carry out the functions of the Mahkuma Parishad till the new members of the Mahkuma Parishad are elected. As such, the life of an ad hoc committee is not limited for a period of 9 months. Ordinarily, such ad hoc committees function till the constitution of new Mahkuma Parishad. It is, therefore, clear that the life of the ad hoc committee headed by respondent No. 5, constituted on 13-4-1983 did not expire on the expiry of nine months. As such the impugned order is not bad on the ground alleged. The contention fails.

10. Let us now deal with the first contention of the petitioners to the effect that once an ad hoc committee is constituted by an order under Section 22(1) of 'the Act', the Government is incompetent to rescind, modify, amend or alter the order. Learned counsel has submitted that no such power is envisaged in 'the Act'. In our opinion, this is a self-destructive contention. If it is held that once an ad hoc committee is constituted, the State Government is incompetent to rescind or alter the order, the case of respondent 5 gains full support. The ad hoc committee consisting of respondent 5 and other was constituted on 13-

4-83 by an order Under Section 22(1). If the contention of the petitioners is accepted then the Government could not rescind the order constituting any other ad hoc committee, including the ad hoc committee headed by petitioner 1 and others. In that event, the petition must fail. However, in our opinion, the contention is not sound. On perusal of the third proviso to Section 22(1), it is manifestly clear that the Government can make alternative arrangements constituting an ad hoc committee for the purpose of carrying out the functions of the Mahkuma Parishad. It is not a Mahkuma Parishad duly elected nor termed as such. It is just an ad hoc committee for a limited purpose, just to carry out the functions of the Mahkuma Parishad and that too till the constitution of a duly elected Mahkuma Parishad. Suppose an ad hoc committee constituted under Section 22(1) fails to carry out the functions of the Mahkuma Parishad. Suppose the Chief Administrator of the ad hoc committee dies or (is) imprisoned or becomes unable to act. Is it rational to think that the Government could not amend, alter or modify the order constituting the ad hoc committee and re-constitute another in its place? Does it stand to scrutiny that even after the failure of the ad hoc committee to perform its duties the State Government would be a silent spectator and permit non-functioning of the Panchayati Raj Institution? We are of the firm view that generally an ad hoc committee is constituted for the purpose of carrying out the functions of the Mahkuma Parishad until a new Mahkuma Parishad is constituted after due election. We are also of

the opinion that the Government has power to dissolve the ad hoc committee and constitute a new committee. If the very object and purpose of the Act are looked into, one cannot but reach the said conclusion. There is no restriction or prohibition provided in 'the Act' forbidding the Government to dissolve the body and to re-constitute a new ad hoc committee for the purpose of carrying out the functions of the Mahkuma Parishad. When there is no prohibition, the implied power and authority of the Government must be presumed, to sustain the smooth functioning of a Panchayati Raj Institution. We are of the opinion that if for just and proper reason, the Government considers to reconstitute the ad hoc commitee it may exercise such power. The constitution of ad hoc committee or re-

constitution thereof is a legal obligation of the State. However, the choice of persons to be appointed in the committee is absolutely within the discretionary power of the Government. The said discretion need be used in the best interest of the Mahkuma Parishad. The term 'ad hoc' implies 'for this', 'for the special purpose'. The ad hoc committee is constituted for the special purpose of carrying out the functions of the Mahkuma Parishad for a short period. If the body itself fails to function and achieve the very object for its constitution it must go. The life of an ad hoc committtee exists so long as it is in position to carry out its avowed functions. If it fails to function, it has no right to exist. It must come to an end. The Government must dissolve the committee and constitute another committee. In short, an ad hoc committee is constituted for the purpose of carrying out the functions of the Mahkuma Parishad until the constitution of a new Mahkuma Parishad with elected members. Its life may be terminated on just and sufficient ground and a new body may be constituted by the Government. It may so happen that the members constituting an ad hoc committee may themselves surrender their rights and ask for dissolution stating their inability to carry out the functions of the Mahkuma Parishad. It does not stand to scrutiny that even under such circumstances the Government must ask those unwilling persons to continue to work. The implied power of the Government to reconstitute the body is very much there. The construction which we have given serves the very object and purpose of 'the Act'.

11. The construction that we have given is also in consonance with the provisions of

Section 18 of the Assam General Clauses Act, 1915. The authority which has power to appoint or constitute has also the power to dismiss and re-constitute it. As such, when the State Government has power to constitute an ad hoc committee it can suspend or dismiss or reconstitute it. A few members may be replaced, if need be, by new members. Similarly, the whole body may be dismissed and a new committee may be re-constituted. In fact, in the instant case, the ad hoc committee remained but new persons were appointed consisting of petitioners and 39 others in place of respondents 5 and 35 others. As such, in this case what was done was merely the substitution of the members constituting the committee. In our opinion, the said power is

very much there in Section 22(1) of 'the Act'. If we turn to Section 23 of the Assam General Clauses Act, we find that an authority which makes an order has power to amend, vary or rescind the same. In the absence of any restriction imposed by 'the Act', the State Government has undoubted power to cancel, amend or alter the notification. In our opinion, Sections 135, 136 and 1,37 of 'the Act', are, directly applicable to the case of dissolution of duly elected Mahkuma Parishad However, on the grounds set out in those sections an ad hoc committee may also be dissolved or superseded. An ad hoc committee may also be dissolved on grounds other than those contained in those Sections. Independently of the Sections or the grounds contained therein, the State Government may supersede or dissolve an ad hoc committee. Under these circumstances, we hold that on just and appropriate grounds, the State Government, in exercise of its discretionary power can supersede or dissolve an ad hoc committee.

12. The next contention of Mr. Barua is that once a committee is constituted it cannot be dissolved without any rhyme or reason. Although constitution of ad hoc committee may be a statutory obligation of the State but the appointment of the members constituting a committee is entirely a matter of discretion. Mr. Barua, submits that the order dt. 5-6-84 dissolving the old body was a just order but the impugned orders dt. 11-6-84 and 2-11-84 are bad and illegal and relies on Bapjan Ali v. State of Assam (1985) 1 Gauhati LR 58 : (AIR 1985 Gauhati 99). Mr. Barua, submits that the dissolution of the committee headed by respondent No. 5 was a valid exercise of discretionary power. However, according to learned counsel the impugned orders dt. 11-6-84 and 2-11-84 are unreasonable and arbitrary. What we find is that by an order dt. 5-6-84 the old body was dissolved. The petitioners admit that it was dissolved on certain grave allegations brought against respondent 5 by petitioner 1 vide, paragraph 6 of the writ petition. We are of the opinion that when an order of dismissal, removal or dissolution of a committee is made on the ground of moral turpitude or on the grounds which stigmatise the committee or its members they are entitled to a hearing. Indeed, if the order of dissolution stigmatises a person, he must get a prior opportunity of being heard before any adverse order is made. In the instant

case, on perusal of the records, we find that the reason behind the dissolution of the committae headed by respondent 5 was brought about on certain grave allegations made by the petitioners to the Government. The Government acted on these allegations without affording any opportunity to respondent 5 and dissolved the ad hoc committee. As such, the act of dissolution was based on allegations brought against respondent 5 and others and they were condemned unheard. If accidentally or otherwise predecisional hearing could not be given, we are of the view that at least post-decisional hearing was a must. In the instant case exactly the same thing happened. When respondent 5 came to know that the petitioners and others had made certain grave allegations against him and others and on that basis the Government passed the order dt. 5-6-1984 dissolving the ad hoc committee and reconstituted the ad hoc committee, he made a representation to the Government. The Government rightly entertained the representation or appeal, enquired into the matter, at first stayed the operation of the orders dt. 5-6-84 and 6-6-84 and thereafter heard respondent 5 as well as the petitioners and rendered the impugned order restoring the first ad hoc committee headed by respondent 5. On perusal of the order dt. 2-11-84, we find that the Government realised their own mistake and corrected the same by cancelling its earlier orders dt. 5-6-84 and 6-6-84 dissolving the old committee and reconstituting the ad hoc committee headed by petitioner No. 1 and others. The impugned order dt 2-11-84 is a speaking order. It contains strong and valid grounds. Both the parties were heard. We do not find any flaw in the impugned order. On perusal of the materials, the Government found that the allegations made by petitioner No. 1 were incorrect and without foundation. All the allegations made by petitioner 1 were considered and they were held to be unfounded. The conclusive finding reached by the Government was that petitioner 1 had failed to substantiate the allegations against respondent 5. The Government also reached the conclusion that the orders dt. 5-6-84 and 6-6-84 were rendered without affording reasonable opportunity to respondent No. 5 which was violative of the principles of natural justice and, accordingly, the order dt. 5-6-84 was recalled, and the order dt. 11-6-84

maintaining status quo was made absolute and the representation preferred by respondent 5 was accepted. The impugned order dt. 2-11-84 is full, fair and adequate. The findings reached by the State Government are preeminently findings of fact rendered on the basis of materials available before the State Government, We are afraid, we cannot hold the order as arbitrary as contended by the petitioners. In fact, the impugned order manifests that the Government exercised a judicial discretion in rendering the order.

13. In Bapjan Ali v. State of Assam, (1985) 1 Gauhati LR 58 : (AIR 1985 Gauhati 99). the ad hoc committee of the Mahkuma Parishad had been constituted. Later it was dissolved by the Governor in exercise of the power under Section 22 of 'the Act'. It was held by this Court that when the Governor had the power to constitute the ad hoc committee he had power to dissolve it as well. It was also held that the nomination of the petitioner as a member of the ad hoc committee was at the pleasure of the Governor. The Governor could also withdraw the nomination at his pleasure. Even removal of a member before the expiry of the full term of his office by the Governor was held to be competent. However, in that case the order of withdrawing the appointment was not on the ground of any serious allegation against the member nor did the order stigmatize the member. However, in our opinion, if the dissolution of a body or the termination of the appointment of a member is made on the allegation of corruption etc. in that event the committee and/or the members are entitled to a hearing. The principles of law enunciated in Surya Narain Choudhary v. Union of India, AIR 1982 Raj 1, was accepted by the Division Bench. Further, the decision was rendered on the authority of another Division Bench decision of this Court in Satyeswar Deolagupu v. Secy. to Govt. of Assam, AIR 1974 Gauhati 20. In our opinion the principles enunciated in Bapjan (supra), instead of supporting the case of the petitioners bolster the case of the respondents.

14. The next contention of learned counsel is that the impugned orders were rendered by the State Government in purported exercise of the power of review, which it had none. As such, the impugned orders are liable to be struck down. We have already held that the impugned orders were made in exercise of the implied power contained in Section 22 of 'the Act'. It is not an order of review. At first the State

Government constituted the ad hoc committee headed by respondent 5. It recalled the order and reconstituted the ad hoc committee headed by petitioner 1. Thereafter, the Government on just and sufficient grounds held that it had gone wrong in reconstituting the body headed by petitioner 1, and, upon setting aside the order of reconstitution upheld the order of the constitution of the original ad hoc committee headed by respondent 5. We have already held that the Government has had the power to render the impugned orders as there was no bar imposed by or under 'the Act'. Further, the said power could be

exercised under Sections 18 and 23 of the Assam General Clauses Act 1915. As such, the power being there the Government in exercise of the power and on sufficient reasons made the order. The action may be termed as reviewing the order or recalling the order or reconstitution of the ad hoc committee but the fact remains that the State Government had the power. In any view of the matter the State Government had the power to reconstitute a committee and that was precisely what has been done by the impugned orders. If the impugned orders can be ascribed as exercising the review power by the same analogy lie order of supersession of the ad hoc committee headed by respondent 5 and

reconstituting the new ad hoc committee headed by petitioner 1 must also be said to be exercise of review power. However, learned counsel for the petitioners submits that the order constituting the ad hoc committee headed by petitioner 1 was only an order reconstituting the body upon dissolution of the earlier ad hoc committee. As such, if the Government had the power to dissolve the earlier ad hoc committee headed by respondent 5, on review of the entire situation it had also the power to set aside the orders dated 5-6-84 and to restore the earlier order reconstituting the ad hoc committee headed by respondent 5. In our opinion, it was not a case of review but exercise of power under Section 22 of 'the Act' read with Sections 18 and 23 of the Assam General Clauses Act 1915. Mr. Baruah, learned counsel for the petitioners has relied on the, principles of law enunciated by the Supreme Court in Tikaram v. Mundikota Shikshan Prasarak Mandal, AIR 1984 SC 1621 in support of the contention that it was a review and the State Government had no jurisdiction to make the order. Since 1975 the appellant was working as the Headmaster of a

High School run by respondent 1, which was a private body. On 7-7-75, the management instituted a disciplinary enquiry against the appellant. Thereafter, the management informed the appellant that it had imposed on the appellant the punishment of reversion to the post of Assistant Teacher, Aggrieved by the order of reversion the appellant filed an appeal before the Deputy Director of Education contending that the enquiry had been viticated on account of the violation of the principles of natural justice and took up other grounds as well. After hearing both the parties the Deputy Director set aside the impugned order on Oct. 3, 1975 and remanded the case to the management for fresh decision as the enquiry had been vitiated on account of violation of the principles of natural justice. The management, instead of preferring appeal against the order, filed a review petition before the Deputy Director. It was rejected by the Deputy Director on 11-11-1975 on the ground that no such review could be filed before hun. Against this order the management filed an appeal before the Director and that was dismissed on May 12, 1976 affirming the order of remand by the Deputy Director, The management again filed a petition before the Director of Education to reconsider the case. This petition for review was allowed by the Director on 26-11-76, who set aside the order of the Deputy Director remanding the case to the management for a fresh decision. Aggrieved by the order the appellant filed a writ petition before the High Court on the ground that the Director had no jurisdiction to review his earlier order of May 12, 1976. The High Court dismissed the petition holding that the appellant could not file a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution on the ground that the teacher working in private school could not enforce their (his?) right under Clauses 77 and the connected clauses of the School Code which were not statutor, rules. The appellant filed an appeal against the order to the Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Constitution. Their Lordships held that the Directors and Deputy Directors were officers of the Government and the nature of the functions discharged by them while hearing the appeals against the orders made in disciplinary proceedings was quasi-judicial in character. There was no power expressly given In the School Code empowering the appellate authority to review its order rendered in a quasi-judicial proceeding. Their Lordships held that the appellant did not ask for any effective relief against respondent 1 but he had sought relief against the orders rendered by the

Dir.ector, an officer oi' the Government exercising quasi-judicial function. Their Lordships held that the petitioner could enforce a right in respect of an order passed in the quasi-judicial proceeding by the Director. Since the Director had assumed the jurisdiction to review his own orders not conferred on him, the petitioner was entitled to a wirt under Article 226 of the Constitution. The appeal was accepted and the order of the Director was quashed. The main thrust of the appellant was that the Director was exercising a quasi-judicial function and in the absence of any power conferred by the School Code the Director could not review the order. Indeed, in a quasi-judicial proceedings the authority cannot review his order unless so empowered. In the instant case the impugned orders were out and out administrative orders. As such, the principles of law enunciated in Tikaram (supra) are not applicable in the present case. Be that as it may, we have already held that the power of reconstitution of the ad hoc committee was very much there and the impugned orders were nothing but reconstitution of the body upon setting aside the earlier orders in exercise of powers Under Section 22 of 'the Act'.

15. Learned counsel for the petitioners has also pressed into service the decision of the Supreme Court in Babaji Kondaji Garad v. Nasik Merchants Co-operative Bank Ltd., Nasik, (1984) 2 SCC 50 : (AIR 1984 SC 192). Suffice it to say that the principles of law enunciated therein are not applicable in the instant case. We do not desire to burden the judgment with the facts of the case and the law enunciated by their Lordships. Indeed when the statute lays down certain things to be done in a certain way, it must be done in that manner or not at all. In the instant case what was done was in accordance with the requirements of law and nothing has been shown to have been done which was violative of the law. The conditions precedent for constitution of an ad hoc committee is the expiry of the statutory term of office of the elected Mahkuma Parishad. The condition was fulfilled in the instant case. The State Government had allowed the elected body to continue for a maximum period of 9 months and thereafter constituted the ad hoc committee for carrying out the functions of the Mahkuma Parishad. As such, all the conditions precedent had been fulfilled before the ad hoc committee was constituted. Under these circumstances, the contention fails.

16. The next contention of the petitioners is that the power to suspend or dissolve the Mahkuma Parishad can be done only in exercise of the powers under Sections 135 and 136 of 'the Act'. If we turn to Section 135, we find that the power to supersede or dissolve a duly elected Mahkuma Parishad can be exercised under Section 135 of the Act In our opinion, the provisions of Sections 135 and 136 are not applicable to the ad hoc committee constituted by the Government under Section 22 of 'the Act'. It is apparent that Sections 135 and 136 are power to, supersede or dissolve a Mahkuma Parishad and/or Gaon Panchayat or Mahkuma Parishad respectively. Section 137 speaks of deadlock, with which we are not concerned (with). However, Section 135 speaks of supersession or dissolution of a Mahkuma Parishad for failure to perform or persistently making default in performance of the duties imposed on the Mahkuma Parishad by or under 'the Act' or otherwise by law or exceeding or abusing its power or in the event of failure on the part of the Mahkuma Parishad to provide such services as the State Government may by notification declare as essential services. Such supersession or dissolution could be done after giving the Mahkuma Parishad sufficient opportunity to show cause and upon hearing the Mahkuma Parishad.

17. In the instant case no notice had been given to the Ad hoc committee, and, as such the order would have been absolutely void and illegal if the provisions of Section 135 were applicable in case of dissolution of the Ad hoc committee headed by Respondent 5. It is, therefore, seen that if Section 135 applies the impugned order superseding the Ad hoc committee headed by Respondent 5 and reconstituting the Ad hoc committee headed by petitioner 1 must be held to have been made in total breach of Section 135 of 'the Act'. However, in our opinion, the provisions of

Sections 135 and 136 are applicable in respect of duly elected Mahkuma Parishad arid these are not applicable in respect of the Ad hoc Committee. An Ad hoc committee is not a duly elected body but is a creature of the State Government. Under Section 22 an ad hoc committee is constituted only for the purpose of carrying out the functions of the Mahkuma Parishad till the constitution of a new Mahkuma Parishad. As such, the ad hoc

committee is not the Mahkuma Parishad referred to in Section 135. An ad hoc committee is constituted only for the purpose of carrying out the functions of the Mahkuma Parishad until the Mahkuma Parishad is constituted after due election. As such, an ad hoc committee cannot be termed as Mahkuma Parishad as contemplated under Sections 22, 135 and 136 of 'the Act'. In the result the contention of the petitioners fails.

18. Mr. P.G. Barua, learned counsel for the petitioner has faintly submitted that the impugned order was rendered under Section 138(2) of the Act', but no such appeal lay against orders rendered by the State Government. We have already indicated the source of power. We have held that the impugned orders were rendered under the third proviso to Section 22 of the Act'. As such, when the power was there reference to a wrong provision of law in the order did not affect the validity of the impugned orders. Mr. Barua submits that Respondent 5 had no jurisdiction to file any appeal. We have already held that it was a representation made by the petitioner placing before the Government his grievances pointing out the breach of the principles of Natural Justice which the State Government had committed in rendering the earlier orders affecting his rights. It was a post-decisional show cause which Respondent had the right to submit and the State Government had the right to entertain and dispose. On perusal of the order and upon hearing the parties the State Government has by a speaking order set aside the order dt. 5-6-86, thereby also set aside the order dated 6-6-84. When the Government had the power under Section 22(1) of 'the Act' misquoting of the section in the impugned order did not affect the validity of the impugned order. The contention fails.

19. For the foregoing reasons, we hold that there is no merit in the petition. Accordingly, it is dismissed. However, there will be no order as to costs.


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