1. The parties appear to be more busy in fighting in Courts of Law than playing in Courts of Football. There were as many as 3 suits besides the petition under appeal not to speak of the numerous interlocutory applications and the appeals therefrom. It is not necessary to trace the entire litigation except to refer to one or two at the appropriate place.
2. The respondent is the Kurnool District Football Association, a Society registered under the Societies Registration Act. It is affiliated to the Andhra Pradesh Football Association, Hyderabad, the first appellant herein. The appellant is a Society registered under the Andhra Pradesh (Telangana Area) Public societies Registration Act, 1350 Fasli, for short, the Act. Appellants 2 to 9 are the members of the Managing Committee of the State Football Association, elected in the year 1976 for a term of two years. Their term expired in 1978. No elections were conducted thereafter.
3. The present petition O. P. No. 5 of 1981 was filed by the Kurnool District Football Association under S. 11 of the Act for a permanent injunction restraining the appellants 1 to 9 from acting for and on behalf of the State Football Association and to appoint a Commissioner to hold elections for the managing committee and office-bearers of the Association. Its main grievance was that the members of the managing committee are continuing beyond their term and neglecting to hold the elections. The District Association also alleged several irregularities in the management particularly in the matter of selection of teams to represent at State and National level.
4. The appellants resisted the application denying all the allegations. Among other things, they stated in the counter that elections were not held after 1978 as there was an injunction by the Court, they were willing to conduct the elections but they could not do so because of the injunction.
5. By order dated 30-4-1981 the learned Chief Judge, City Civil Court while declining to grant the injunction, appointed a Commissioner to conduct elections observing that both sides were in favour of elections and that the earlier order of the Court granting injunction does not stand in the way of the Commissioner conducting the elections. The lower Court further observed that it is not desirable to have the administration in the hands of the same body for a long period. It is this order that is now challenged before us.
6. Mr. Y. Sivarama Sastry, the learned counsel for the appellants has raised three contentions:-
1. The petition filed under S 11 of the Act is not maintainable as the dispute is not one falling under any of the categories mentioned in the said section.
2. The Court has no jurisdiction to appoint a Commissioner for holding elections; and
3. There is no dispute within the meaning of S. 11 of the Act.
To decide these questions, it is necessary to refer to S. 11 of the Act. Section 11 reads:-
'11. Dispute regarding management:- In the event of any dispute arising among the Managing Committee or the members of the Society, in respect of any management or dissolution of the society, any member of the society may file an application in the District Court concerned, and the said Court shall after necessary inquiry pass such order as it shall deem fit.'
Mr. Y. Sivarama Sastry contends that S. 11 contemplates a dispute among the members of the managing committee i.e., between the members of the managing committee themselves for among the members of the Society and not a dispute between the members of the managing committee and the members of the Society. In other words any dispute between the members of the Society and the members of the managing committee is outside the scope of S. 11 of the Act. He submits that the dispute in the present case is between the members of the Society on the one hand and the members of the managing committee on the other and therefore S. 11 is not attracted. We are unable to see any force in that contention. This argument loses sight of the fact that the members of the managing committee are also members of the Society. If the learned counsel's argument were to be accepted, we have to add the words 'other' before the expression 'members of the Society' occurring in S. 11 of the Act. We cannot add words to a statute. That apart it will lead to an anomalous position that no member of a managing committee can file a petition under S. 11 as the latter part of the section says that it is only a member of the Society that can file an application in the District Court concerned. The dispute may be among the members of the Managing Committee themselves or between the members of the managing committee and the members of the Society. In our view the words 'dispute arising among the members of the society' will also take in a 'dispute between the members of the managing committee and the member s of the Society' The members of the managing committee are also members of the Society. There is no warrant for construing the expression 'members of the Society' as to exclude members of the managing committee. We do not think that the Legislature intended to take away the disputes between the managing committee and members of the Society from the purview of S. 11 of the Act. It is common case that the appellants and the respondent are the members of the State Football Association. Mr. Sivarama Sastry, however, submitted that the respondents were not sued in their individual capacity that as representing the Society. This is factually incorrect. The first appellant is the Football Association, represented by its Honorary Secretary Shujat ali Khan and appellants 2 to 9 are individual members of the managing committee and the relief asked for in the petition was to restrain the appellants from acting on behalf of the association for the reason that they have no right to continue in office after the expiry of their term. We, therefore, see no substance in this contention.
7. It is next submitted that the Court exercising jurisdiction under S. 11 of the Act has no power to appoint a Commissioner to hold the elections. We are unable to agree. The section empowers the Court to pass such order as it deems fit. The Court is vested with the discretion to pass suitable and appropriate orders. In the instant case, the main grievance of the respondent was that the elections were not conducted for a long time. The appellants stated that they were willing to conduct the elections, but they could not do so in view of the injunction granted by the Civil Court in I. A. No. 475 of 1978. As both sides were in favour of holding elections and the appellants were under a disability to conduct the elections by virtue of the injunction orders, the Court appointed a Commissioner. In the circumstances of the case, we find the action of the lower Court was fully justifies.
8. Lastly there remains the submission that there is no dispute within the meaning of S. 11 of the Act. This contention is equally unacceptable. The expression' any dispute arising in respect of the management' covers disputes relating to elections also. It is the duty of the management of the Society to conduct elections in accordance with the provisions of the Act and the bye-laws. The complaint is that the managing Committee has failed to conduct the elections. The answer of the appellants is that they were not responsible for not holding the elections as they were injuncted by an order of the Court. To that extent there is a dispute and the dispute related to holding of elections and in our view it is covered by S. 11 of the Act. Thus we see no merit in any of the contentions of the appellants.
9. In the result, the Civil Miscellaneous Appeal is dismissed, but in the circumstances without costs.
10. During the pendency of this appeal, the Commissioner filed C. M. P. No. 6394 of 1981 for interim directions in the matter of holding elections. Now that we have disposed of the main appeal, the commissioner may move the lower Court for appropriate directions.
11. Appeal dismissed.