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Abdul Aziz Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSpecial Appeal No. 22 of 1957
Judge
Reported inAIR1958All109
ActsUttar Pradesh Municipalities Act, 1916 - Sections 47A, 49, 87A and 87A(2); Uttar Pradesh Town Areas Act, 1914 - Sections 5 and 38; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908
AppellantAbdul Aziz
RespondentState of Uttar Pradesh and ors.
Appellant AdvocateS.C. Khare, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateStanding Counsel
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
.....not a member of the committee within the meaning of such expression in s, 87-a as extended to the town areas in the state were that 'chairman' and 'members' had been mentioned in separate clauses of section 5 of the town areas act showing that the word 'member' included only the persons elected as members, that the rights and liabilities of a president or chairman and the members had been separately dealt with in the municipalities act as well as the town areas act, and that section 49 of the u. so far as me later act is concerned, we see no good reason to limit such a simple expression to those persons only who have been elected as membersof the town area committee. 10. apart from this consideration the various provisions of the town areas act and section 8/-a as applied to the town..........the town area committee against the appellant who was the chairman of that committee.2. the u. p. town areas act, 1914, does not contain any provision for the passing of such a resolution by the committee, and for the consequences which are to follow if such a resolution is passed. the governor of uttar pradesh issued a notification, in the exercise of powers conferred by sub-section (i) of section 38 of the u. p. town areas act, extending the provisions of sections 87-a and 47-a of the u. p. municipalities act, 1916, to all the town areas in uttar pradesh. these sections deal with the procedure to be followed for the passing of such a non-confidence motion against the chairman and the consequences of the passing of such a resolution by the committee 3. the learned counsel for the.....
Judgment:

Raghubar Dayal, Ag. C.J.

1. This is an appeal by Abdul Aziz against the rejection of his writ petition praying the issue of a writ of mandums or an order or direction in the nature of mandamus directing the District Magistrate of Etawah, opposite party No. 2, not to, in any manner, interfere with the applicant's functioning as Chairman of the Town Area Committee, Jaswantnagar, on the basis of the resolution passed on the 2nd August 1956. This resolution was a non-confidence resolution passed by the Town Area Committee against the appellant who was the Chairman of that Committee.

2. The U. P. Town Areas Act, 1914, does not contain any provision for the passing of such a resolution by the Committee, and for the consequences which are to follow if such a resolution is passed. The Governor of Uttar Pradesh issued a notification, in the exercise of powers conferred by Sub-section (i) of Section 38 of the U. P. Town Areas Act, extending the provisions of Sections 87-A and 47-A of the U. P. Municipalities Act, 1916, to all the Town Areas in Uttar Pradesh. These sections deal with the procedure to be followed for the passing of such a non-confidence motion against the Chairman and the consequences of the passing of such a resolution by the Committee

3. The learned counsel for the appellant has urged in support of the appeal two of the three points he had urged before the learned single Judge. They are that Section 38 of the Town Areas Act did not authorise the Governor to extend the provisions oi the U. P. Municipalities Act to the Town Areas, and that the power exercised by the Governor in extending the provisions of the aforesaid section to the Town Areas exceeded the power he possessed under Section 38 (i) of the Town Areas Act.

4. We do not agree with either of these two contentions.

5. In support of the first contention two submissions have been made. One is that the U. P, Municipalities Act extended to the State by virtue of Section 1, Sub-section (2) of the Municipalities Act, and that what is already extended to the Town Areas could not be extended a second time in the exercise of powers conferred by Section 38. Sub-section (i) of the Town Areas Act. The extension of the Municipalities Act to the whole of Uttar Pradesh does not mean, specially in view of the provisions of that Act itself, that all its provisions got actually enforced in the entire Uttar Pradesh merely on the coming into force of the Act on the 1st day of July 1916.

The Act came into force and enabled the Governor to take certain actions. The first object was to declare certain areas as Municipalities. On that being done certain provisions of the Act were to come into force in the areas so declared. It is, therefore, possible that the Act may be extended to the Town Areas in the sense that its provisions are made enforcible in those areas. Further, it is not the U. P. Municipalities Act or any other Act as such which alone comes within the purview of sec- Section 38 (i) of the Town Areas Act. Under it certain 'enactments' can be extended to the Town Areas.

The expression 'enactment' applies not only to a complete Act but also to the various provisions in an Act. Section 38, Sub-section (i) therefore contemplates the extension to the Town Areas of some of the provisions of certain Acts instead of the entire Acts if the Governor so desires. It is the provisions of two such enactments, that is Sections 87-A and 47-A of the Municipalities Act, which have been extended to the Town Areas by the Governor in 1956. 'We think that he could extend these provisions to the Town Areas in the above sense.

6. The other submission in this connection was that Section 38 (i) may have been utilised for extending to Town Areas certain provisions of Acts not in force in the municipalities but under it the provisions of the Municipalities Act itself could not be extended to the Town Areas as that Act itself created the municipalities.

The Municipalities Act itself has not been exempted from the scope of Section 38, Sub-section (i) of the Town Areas Act. There seems to be no reason why the language of Section 38, Sub-section (i), Town Areas Act, should be so narrowly interpreted as to exclude the Municipalities Act itself from the Acts or enactments which can be extended to the Town Areas under that provision.

7. The second contention about the Governor exceeding the powers given by Section 38 (i) of the Town Areas Act is put thus. In Raj-narain Singh v. Chairman, Patna Administration Committee, AIR 1954 SC 569 (A), a provision similar to Section 38 (i) of the Town Areas Act was interpreted by the Supreme Court as empowering the Government to modify or restrict an enactment it was extending only if the alteration made did not affect the general policy behind that enactment in the main Act. It is contended that the Governor has not extended the provisions of Section 49 of the U. P. Municipalities Act to the Town Areas and has therefore brought about a change in the policy underlying the operation of Sections 87-A and 47-A of the U. P. Municipalities Act.

The contention really is that by Section 49 of the Municipalities Act the President of a Municipality is to be deemed an ex-officio member of the Municipal Board. In the absence of a corresponding provision either in the Town Areas Act or in the provisions extended to the Town Areas, the Chairman of the Town Area Committee is not a member of that Committee. He cannot therefore partake in the proceedings of the Committee in which the resolution of non-confidence is moved and adopted in accordance with the provisions at Section 87-A as extended to the Town Areas.

The Chairman, therefore, is unable to explain his position. It was an essential part of the provisions of the Municipalities Act thai the President of a Municipal Board should have such an occasion. He can have such an occasion only if he is a member of the Board and can in that capacity take part in the meeting in which the resolution of no-confidence is adopted.

8. Reliance for the submission that a Chairman is not a member of the Town Area Committee is placed on the case of Ramji Lal v. State of U. P., 1957 All LJ 114 (B). Of course, the same view has been taken by the same learned Judge in disposing of the writ petition under appeal. We regret we are unable to share this view. We are of opinion that the Chairman of a Committee is a member of the Committee as contemplated by that expression in Section 87-A as extended.

The considerations which weighed with the learned Judge in Ramji Lal's case (B) in holding that the Chairman of the Town Area was not a member of the Committee within the meaning of such expression in S, 87-A as extended to the Town Areas in the State were that 'Chairman' and 'members' had been mentioned in separate clauses of Section 5 of the Town Areas Act showing that the word 'member' included only the persons elected as members, that the rights and liabilities of a President or Chairman and the members had been separately dealt with in the Municipalities Act as well as the Town Areas Act, and that Section 49 of the U. P. Municipalities Act specifically mentioned that the President would be an ex-officio member of the Board if he was not already a member indicating thereby that but for that provision, the President, if not elected as a member to the Municipal Board, could not have been a member of the Municipal Board.

It can certainly be argued that Section 49 of the Municipalities Act will become redundant if the other provisions make it clear that the President is a member of the Board. Section 49 may, however have been enacted only as a matter of abundant caution. In any case, it does not necessarily follow from the provisions of Section 49 of the Municipalities Act that the President would not have been a member of the Board but for that provision if in view of other provisions of the Act he should be so considered.

9. The simple word 'member', when used with reference to a body, would mean each person constituting that particular body. Some of such persons may have other capacities also. One may be a President or Chairman, another may be a Secretary and a third may be a convenor. Among the members there may be members who have been elected, there may be members who have been nominated, there may be members who are co-opted to represent particular interests, but all such persons would be members of that particular body. The word 'member' is not defined either in the Munici-palities Act or in the Town Areas Act. So far as me later Act is concerned, we see no good reason to limit such a simple expression to those persons only who have been elected as membersof the Town Area Committee.

10. Apart from this consideration the various provisions of the Town Areas Act and Section 8/-A as applied to the Town Areas Act lead to the conclusion that the expression 'members of the Committee' includes the Chairman of the Committee as well.

11. Section 5 Sub-section (2) of the Town Areas Act is :

'The Committee shall consist of -

(a) the Chairman; and

(b) the elected members who shall not be less than nine and be not more than fifteen, as the State Government may by notification in the Official Gazette, specify.'

It is clear and it is not disputed for the appellant that the Chairman, though mentioned in Clause (a) and not in Clause (b), is an integral part of the Committee. It is not alleged that the Committee consists of the elected members only. Section 2, Sub-section (1) is :

'An act shall be deemed to be the act of a Committee when it is done with the previous consent of, or of a majority of, all such members for the time being serving on the Committee as are not incapacitated by illness or absence from the Town area from signifying their consent thereto.'

It appears to be obvious that the expression 'all such members for the time being servingon the Committee' must include the Chairman. The Chairman is not deprived of the power of voting at the meetings of the Committee. That is his normal function as Chairman of the Committee. If we interpret the expression ''members of the Committee' to mean only elected members, it would follow that the Chairman's vote is not to be counted in determining an act of the Committee. In actual practice, we should suppose, the Chairman's view may have a more persuasive effect on the other members of the Committee than the view expressed by any other member.

12. Section 7-B of the Town Areas Act, is :

'Every member of a Committee shall be liable for the loss, waste or misapplication of any money or other property belonging to the Committee if such loss, waste or mis-application is a direct consequence of his neglect or misconduct while a member of the Committee and a suit for compensation may be instituted against him by the Committee with the previous sanction of the District Magistrate or by the State Government.'

Unless the Chairman is to be included in the expression 'members of the Committee', he would not be liable for the loss, waste or misapplication of the Committee's money or property contemplated by the section, as there is no other provision with respect to the liabilityof the Chairman in the Town Areas Act. Itcannot be contemplated that the Legislature took care to lay down the liability or a mere member and not the liability or a Chairman who may be more responsible for the application of money or the property of the Committee and consequently had more occasions ior misapplying them.

13. Section 36, Sub-section (2) of the Town Areas Act speaks of the consequences which shall ensue in case a Town Area Committee is superseded by the State Government in the exercise of power given under Sub-section (1) of tnat section. Sub-section (2) is :

'When a Committee is so superseded, thefollowing consequences shall ensue :

(a) all members of the Committee shall as from the date of the order vacate their offices as such members :

(b) all powers and duties of the Committee may, during the period of supersession be exercised and perfomed by the prescribed authority or if none is appointed by the District Magistrate :

(c) on the expiration of the period of supersession specified in the order the Committee shall be reconstituted as though the term fixed under Section 6 had expired and the persons who vacated their offices under Clause (a) of Sub-section (2) shall not be deemed disqualified for being members.'

The entire Committee is found to be at fault by the State Government before it orders its supersession. It does not stand to reason that only the elected members of the Committee are to vacate their offices and not the Chairman of the Committee also. If the expression 'members of a Committee' does not include a Chairman as such, that would be the result in view of the expression used in Clause (a) of this sub-section. Clause (c) speaks of the reconstitution of the Committee and contemplates a fresh election of the Chairman of the Committee as he is an integral part of the Committee in view of Sub-section (2) of Section 5.

If the Chairman had not vacated his office on the supersession of the Committee there would be no occasion for a fresh election and therefore the Committee which should mean the entire Committee could not be reconstituted in compliance of the provisions of Clause (c) Sub-section (2). Section 8-A, Sub-section (3) does not speak of vacancy for the office of the Chairman on the supersession of the Committee and therefore it should follow that his office is vacated by virtue of the terms of Clause (a) Sub-section (2) of Section 36.

14. Lastly, we may refer to the provisions of Section 87-A of the U. P. Municipalities Act as applied to the Town Areas Act. Sub-section (2) of Section 87-A provides about the written notice of intention to make a motion of non-confidence in its Chairman by a certain number of members of the Committee.

Sub-section (3) provides for the convening of a meeting by the District Magistrate and enjoins upon him to send by registered post anotice of sueh a meeting to every member of the Committee. It does not speak of the sending of the notice of the meeting to the Chairman. It should follow, therefore, that if the expression 'member of the Committee' be given the restricted meaning as suggested by the appellant, the Chairman of the Committee would receive no notice of the meeting.

In the nature of things, the Chairman, the person against whom a resolution of non-confidence is to be passed, is the most interested person in the proceedings of the meeting. The resolution affects his reputation and honour. It is reasonable that the Chairman of the Committee attends such a meeting and takes part in its deliberations.

15. Sub-section (7) of Section 87-A provides as to how the meeting should commence and lays down that the Judicial Officer who is to preside at the meeting shall read to the Committee the motion for the consideration of which it has been convened and declare it to be open for discussion. This is a clear indication of the fact that the meeting is of the Committee, which expression includes the Chairman and the elected members and not the elected members alone.

16. Sub-section (9) provides for the termination of the discussion on the motion and for the voting thereupon and lays down that upon the conclusion of the debate or upon the expiry of three hours, whichever the case may be, the motion shall be put to the vote of the 'committee'. Again, this is a clear indication that the Chairman of the Committee is free to vote on the motion as the expression 'committee' does include him.

17. It is contended for the appellant that in Sub-section (2) of Section 87-A the expression 'total number of members of the Committee' refers to the number of the elected members only. In view of the various other indications from the other provisions of this Section 87-A, we are unable to accept this contention and give such a limited meaning to this expression.

If this Legislature really wanted the votesof the elected members alone to be consideredin this connection, it would easily use theword 'elected' before the word 'members', spe-cially when it used the expression 'Committee'in such provisions of the section where thereference was to the nature of the meeting andthe persons who were to vote on the motion.

18. It is true that the Town Areas Act mentions only members in those sections dealing with matters concerning the members only, and also mentions both expressions 'members' and 'Chairman' in such sections where they relate to the matters concerning both the members and the Chairman. This does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that the Chairman is not to be included in the expression 'members of the Committee' in such other sections whose provisions clearly indicate that the Chairman is included in that Expression.

The same words in a statute generally have [ the same meaning whenever used in thatstatute, but they can also have different mean-ings in different provisions of the same statute as laid down in Shamrso Vishnu v. District Magistrate Thana, . (S) AIR 1957 SC 23 (C). We have considered the various provisions of the Town Areas Act and also of Section 87-A of the Municipalities Act as extended to the Town Areas and are of opinion that in the latter provision the expression 'members of the Committee' includes the Chairman of the Committee.

In view of this opinion of ours, Section 87-A as applied to the Town Areas Act does not make any departure from the policy behind the enactment of that section of the Municipalities Act, even though Section 49 of the Municipalities Act has not been extended to Town Areas along with Section 87-A.

19. Another submission in support of the contention that the policy underlying the Municipalities Act has been changed when extending Sections 87-A and 47-A of the Municipalities Act to the Town Areas is that the extended Section 47-A does not give the Chairman of the Town Area Committee against whom a resolution of non-confidence has been passed any option to represent to the State Government that the committee be dissolved, though such an option is possessed by the President of the Municipal Board under Section 47-A, Sub-section (1), Clause (a).

We do not think that such a provision in Section 47-A of the Municipalities Act is such a matter of policy behind the provisions of that section as to render its omission in Section 47-A as extended to the Town Areas Act a modification beyond the powers of the Governor. There was no practical effect of such a representation. The resolution of non-confidence passed by a Municipal Board had its full operation. The resident had to cease working after three days of the passing of the resolution. He oould, of course, represent to the State Government for the dissolution of the Board but the State Government could accept or reject that representation.

Any way, as already mentioned, such a representation in no way improves the position of the President or gives him any right of some substance. If such an opportunity is not given to the Chairman of the Town Area Committee, no substantial deviation can be said to have been made, in our opinion, from the underlying policy behind the provisions , of Section 47-A of the Municipalities Act,

20. We are, therefore, of opinion that the extension of Ss, 47-A and 87-A of the Municipalities Act with some modification by the Governor by his notification No. 743-A/IX-A-471-T-54 dated May 2, 1956 to the Town Areas was not beyond the powers given to him by Section 38 Sub-section (1) of the Town Areas Act.

21. Nothing has been said at the bar with respect to the merits of the matter.

22. We, therefore, agree with the orderpassed by the learned Single Judge and dismiss the appeal with costs.


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