1. One H. R. Keshavamurthy was elected as President of the Town Municipal Council, Chickmagalur. His term of office was one year. Before the expiry of the period, he resigned. In the vacancy caused thereby, the petitioner was elected as President. The Election Officer wants to hold the fresh election stating that the petitioner has no right to remain in the office beyond the term of Keshavamurthy. But the petitioner says 'No'. He says that his term is fully one year from the date he had entered the office. So he challenges the validity of the Proposed election in this writ petition.
2. I think, the question resolves itself if one peruses closely the provisions, of sub-sections (11) and (12) of Section 42 of the Karnataka Municipalities Act. They read as follows:
'42 (11). The term of office of every President and of every Vice-President shall, save as provided in this Act, cease on the expiry of the term of office as councilor; provided that the Government may, with the consent of the municipal council concerned, direct that their term be limited to one year and that elections therefor be held every year.'
'42 (12). In the event of the non-acceptance of office, death, resignation or removal from office of a president or vice-president or of his election being held void, or his becoming incapable of acting in such office or having ceased to be a councillor, previous to the expiry of his term of office as president or vice-president, the vacancy shall be filled up by appointment or election, as the case may be in accordance with the provisions of the foregoing sub-sections. When any vacancy not otherwise provided for occurs the Government may appoint any person to perform all the duties and exercise all the powers of a president or vice-president during such vacancy.'
Sub-section (11) of Section 42 concerns with the term of office of the President and Vice-President. Ordinarily, the term is conterminous with the term of office as councillor. But the Government, with the consent of the Municipal Council concerned could limit the said term to one year. In exercise of this Power, the Government had made an order dated 16th March, 1967 limiting the term of President and Vice-President of the Town Municipal Council, Chickmagalur for one year, a fact of which is not disputed. The said order reads: