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Kanaiyalal Nanalal Desai Vs. the Secretary of State for India - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case Number Appeal from Order No. 64 of 1924
Judge
Reported inAIR1925Bom255; (1925)27BOMLR368; 87Ind.Cas.475
AppellantKanaiyalal Nanalal Desai
RespondentThe Secretary of State for India
Excerpt:
specific relief act (1 of 1877), sections 42, 45 - writ of mandamus-district court -suit to restrain election to district local board-declaration that lists of voters art illegal.;a suit to obtain a declaration that the preparation and publication of the lists for voters for a district local board was illegal and ultra virus and that no valid election could take place under the lists, and for an injunction restraining the collector from holding elections of members of the district iocal board, falls within the purview of section 45 of the specific relief act, 1877. - - 4. this is a perfectly correct exposition of the substance of the plaintiff's claim and the judge was clearly right in holding the suit was of the nature contemplated by section 45 of the specific relief act......and publication of the lists for voters for all general and mahomedan constituencies of the district local hoard of surat was illegal, void, ultra vires, and no valid election of the members of the district local board of surat for the term commencing on and from the 1st day of january 1825 could take place under the said lists;(2) for an injunction restraining the collector of surat from himself or by his subordinates holding elections of members of the district local board of surat for the term commencing on and from the 1st january 1923 under the alleged illegal lists.2. he then applied to the district judge for an interim injunction.3. after hearing arguments the judge, while holding that he had no jurisdiction to grant the injunction, said:-now the only effective relief which.....
Judgment:

Norman Macleod, Kt., C.J.

1. The plaintiff filed this suit against the Secretary of State for India in Council and the Collector of Surat asking for the following reliefs :-

(1) That It may be declared that the preparation and publication of the lists for voters for all general and Mahomedan constituencies of the District Local Hoard of Surat was illegal, void, ultra vires, and no valid election of the members of the District Local Board of Surat for the term commencing on and from the 1st day of January 1825 could take place under the said lists;

(2) For an injunction restraining the Collector of Surat from himself or by his subordinates holding elections of members of the District Local Board of Surat for the term commencing on and from the 1st January 1923 under the alleged illegal lists.

2. He then applied to the District Judge for an interim injunction.

3. After hearing arguments the Judge, while holding that he had no jurisdiction to grant the injunction, said:-

Now the only effective relief which the plaintiff has prayed for is the injunction restraining the Collector from himself or through his subordinates holding elections of members of the District Local Board, What the plaintiff seeks is in Substance a writ of mandamus or a writ in the nature of quo warranty. It. is a high prerogative writ of a very extensive Remedial nature. If this Court has power to grant the writ, then undoubtedly it would be proper to make this rule absolute by granting the plaintiff a temporary injunction in the terms prayed for. The writ such as is claimed by the plaintiff is principally used for public purposes and to compel the performance of public duties. This is not a suit under any specific provisions of any specific Act; nor is it a suit for the declaration of the plaintiff's right to vote and stand as a candidate for election which would be a suit of a civil nature I.L.R. 24 Cal. 107; nor is it a suit to establish any legal character to which the plaintiff is entitled under the provision of Section 42 of the Specific Relief Act. The present suit is in my opinion a suit of the nature contemplated by the provisions of Section 45 of the Specific Relief Act.

4. This is a perfectly correct exposition of the substance of the plaintiff's claim and the Judge was clearly right in holding the suit was of the nature contemplated by Section 45 of the Specific Relief Act. The plaintiff's pleader, however, in arguing that that decision was wrong seeks to lead the Court away from the real issues in the case by asking us to consider not the relief claimed by the plaintiff but the statement in his plaint with regard to his own personal right to be put on the list of voters, although no relief is claimed in respect of such right. We are not concerned in this case with the question whether the plaintiff is entitled to vote, whether his name has been placed on the wrong list of voters, or whether his name has been omitted from the list in which he says his name ought to be. He sues as a member of the public for a declaration that the Collector in the performance of his duties with regard to the District Local Board elections has not performed his duties in the proper way, has done that which he ought not to have done, or has left undone that which he ought to have done, and that in consequence of such illegal action the defendant should be restrained from holding the elections Section 42 of the Specific Relief Act, therefore, has no application whatever to this case. The only section which can possibly apply is Section 45. There can be no doubt that the District Judge has no jurisdiction to make any order which would be in the nature of a mandamus in a suit under Section 45 of the Specific Relief Act. That jurisdiction has been given only to the High Courts mentioned in the section, and it can only be exercised within the local limits of their ordinary original civil jurisdiction. The appeal, therefore, must be dismissed with costs.


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