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Syed Mohd. MohsIn Rizvi and ors. Vs. State of U.P. and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. Appln. No. 806 of 1978
Judge
Reported inAIR1979All234
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Sections 115 - Order 39, Rule 1; Uttar Pradesh Muslim Waqfs Act, 1960 - Sections 12
AppellantSyed Mohd. MohsIn Rizvi and ors.
RespondentState of U.P. and ors.
Appellant AdvocateL.P. Misra, Chief Standing Counsel and ;S.D. Misra, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateAbid Ali, ;Z. Zilani and ;S.K. Shukla, Advs.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
.....illegal. - - 3 as well. 8. section 13, in the essence, provides that if the board of trustees of shia college, lucknow does not exist or is unable or fails to return the requisite number of members within such time as may be specified by the state government in that behalf, the deficiency shall be made good by nomination of a shia muslim by the state government. 10. the scheme of the act, the policy behind the legislation and the language of the relevant provisions clearly show that the constitution of the shia central board should be in accordance with section 12 of the act and the term of the members of the board shall be five years from the date of the notification of its constitution. 12. the rules governing the grant of interim injunction are well known. the court must be..........alleged that syed ali zaheer defendant no. 3 was illegally elected by the board of trustees of shia college, lucknow under section 12 (1) (iii) of the act as one of the members of the board. according to the plaintiffs syed ali zaheer could not be elected by the board of trustees of shia college because in regular suit no. 2 of 1972 fida husain v. honorary secretary of board of trustees of shia college, an interim order had been passed restraining the board of trustees of shia college from holding any election for the constitution of board on 29th july, 1972. despite the said order the board of trustees of shia college, luck-now, however, elected syed ali zaheer as one of the members of the board. the writ petition no. 758 of 1974 was dismissed in 1975 and an application for special.....
Judgment:
ORDER

T.S. Misra, J.

1. The present applicants have filed a suit No. 191 of 1978 in the Court of the Civil Judge, Lucknow alleging that they are the legally appointed Mutawallis of various public and charitable waqfs. Their waqfs function under the general superintendence and guidance of Shia Central Board of Waqfs, U. P. Lucknow (herinafter referred to as 'the Board') duly constituted under the provisions of U. P. Muslim Waqfs Act (hereinafter called 'the Act'). They alleged that on 'the expiration of the term of the Board in the year 1969, necessaryarrangements were made according to Section 12 of the then Act, for holding election, co-option and nomination for constituting a new Board and after complying with the necessary formalities prescribed in the Act, a new Board was constituted in the year 1970, but its term could not commence as the publication of the notification by the Government was stayed by this Court in writ petition No. 784 of 1969 filed by Sri Agha Zaidi and others against the Board. That writ petition was dismissed on 31st Aug., 1973.

In the meantime the Governor of Uttar Pradesh issued the U. P. Muslim Waqfs (Amendment) Ordinance 1974 which was published in the U. P. Gazette Extraordinary dated 15-4-1974. That ordinance was later on replaced by the U. P. Amendment Act, 1974 which was published on 26-6-1974. In Section 3 (2) of the Amendment Act, inter alia, it was provided that the election and co-option under Sub-section (1) of Section 12 shall be held and made within such time and in such manner as the State Government may by order prescribe. In view of the Amendment Act, the defendants 1 and 2 made necessary arrangements for the constitution of the Board and held elections and nominations under the provisions of Section 12 of the Act and according to the plaintiffs the following persons became the members of the Board in 1974:

1. Sarvasri Murtaza Ali Khan,2. ' Ambar Rizvi,3. ' Agha Zaidi,4. ' Syed Mohammad Jafar,and5. ' Syed Mohammad Ali Zaheer.

The State Government nominated Sri Hashim Raza Abdi (defendant No. 4), who refused to accept the nomination on the ground that the Board as constituted in the year 1970 still existed and only its notification was to be done. Sri Imtiaz Husain and defendant No. 4 in the meantime filed writ petition No. 758 of 1974 in this Court and obtained a stay order against the notification of the Board. The plaintiffs (Applicants) have further alleged that Syed Ali Zaheer defendant No. 3 was illegally elected by the Board of Trustees of Shia College, Lucknow under Section 12 (1) (iii) of the Act as one of the members of the Board. According to the plaintiffs Syed Ali Zaheer could not be elected by the Board of Trustees of Shia College because in Regular Suit No. 2 of 1972 Fida Husain v. Honorary Secretary of Board of Trustees of Shia College, an interim order had been passed restraining the Board of Trustees of Shia College from holding any election for the constitution of Board on 29th July, 1972. Despite the said order the Board of Trustees of Shia College, Luck-now, however, elected Syed Ali Zaheer as one of the members of the Board. The writ petition No. 758 of 1974 was dismissed in 1975 and an application for special appeal No. 31 of 1975 was filed.

Though Syed Ali Zaheer was illegally elected by the Board of the Trustees of Shia College, according to the plaintiffs, he along with other members held a meeting at the instance of defendants 1 and 2 for co-option of other members of the Board. The members of the Board also wanted to elect the President but they could not hold the election of the President of Board on account of the said stay order. The said stay order was however, no longer operating and it was, therefore, alleged by the plaintiffs in para 16 of the plaint that defendants 1 and 2 were taking steps to constitute another Board under the amended provisions of Section 12 of the Act and in that connection defendant No. 1 had issued a G. O No. 2980, dated 9th July, 1978 requiring the defendant No. 2 to co-opt three members according to the provisions of Sub-section (4) of Section 12 of the Act.

In the said G. O. the Government informed the defendant No. 2 that there were already four members of the Board according to the provisions of Sub-clauses (i) (ii) and (iii) of Sub-section (1) of Section 12 of the Amendment Act. In this connection the plaintiffs have alleged in para 20 of the plaint that no election of the Board of Trustees of Shia College, Luck-now, as mentioned in Section 12 (1) (iii) of the Act, has been held, yet the defendant No. 1 has stated in the said G. O., that compliance of Section 12 (1) (ii) of the Act had been made. The defendant No. 2 also sought clarification on the point from the Government through letter dated 22/24-6-1978 and a reply was sent by the State Government on 29th July, 1978 wherein it was stated that the name of Syed Ali Zahir defendant No. 3 had been sent under Section 12 (1) (iii) of the Act on the basis of the alleged election of the Board of Trustees of Shia College, Luck-now for constituting the new second Board,

2. In paragraph 23 of the plaint, the plaintiffs have alleged as under:

'23. That it is clear that no election of the Board of Trustees of Shia College, Lucknow, has been held under Section 12 (1) (iii) of the Act, and, as such, the defendant No. 3 cannot become the member of the Board, nor he has right to participate in any meeting for co-option as provided under Section 12 (1) (iv) of the Act.'

The Secretary of the defendant No. 2 issued notices to defendants Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6 on 22-7-1978 for holding a meeting on 30-7-1978 under Section 12 (1) (iv) of the Act. A meeting was accordingly held on 30-7-1978 but no final decision for co-option could be made as defendant No. 4 raised a preliminary objection to the effect that the meeting so-called was illegal. This meeting for co-option was postponed for the next day. The defendants No. 3 to 6 again held a meeting on 31-7-1978 in the office of the Board and co-opted defendants Nos. 7, 8 and 9 as the members of the Board. It also appears that the defendant No. 3 was elected as the President but no notification in that behalf was made till the date of the institution of the suit.

3. An application for an interim injunction was moved by the plaintiffs before the trial court praying that the defendants 2 to 10 be restrained from holding any election of the President of opposite party No. 2 and the opposite party No. 1 be restrained from issuing any notification for the formation of the Board under Section 12 (1) (iv) of the Act and that the opposite party No. 3 may be restrained from participating in any meeting of the Board during the pendency of the suit.

This application was contested and a counter-affidavit was filed on behalf of the defendant No. 3 as well. Rejoinder affidavit was also filed. The application for grant of interim injunction was finally disposed of by the learned Civil Judge, Lucknow on 4th Sep., 1978 who dismissed the said application and vacated the interim injunction order passed earlier by him. Against that order an appeal was filed by the present plaintiff-applicants in the court of the District Judge, Lucknow. He granted an interim injunction on 14-9-1978. That appeal was, however, dismissed by the learned District Judge on 19th Sep., 1978. He also vacated his interim order dated 14th Sep.f 1978. The plaintiffs have now come up to this Court in revision under Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure against the said order of the learned District Judge.

4. Before I proceed to examine the contention raised on behalf of the parties, it may be stated that the learned counsel for the applicants conceded that the election of the President of the defendant No. 2 has taken place after the vacation of the injunction order and that Sri Syed Ali Zaheer was elected as President on 7th Aug., 1978 but the result of the election was not announced in view of the injunction order. When that injunction order was vacated the result of the said election was also announced. It has also been conceded that the notification constituting Waqf Board has also now been issued by the State Government. Further it was stated by the learned counsel for both the parties that an interim order has been passed by this Court in Special Appeal No. 31 of 1975 in the following terms:

'The Standing Counsel states that the notification has already been published and the Committee has been duly constituted, but as the parties are agreed that the case itself be heard and disposed of on 5th Dec., 1978, the Controller shall function till that date instead of the elected committee.'

The plaintiffs had prayed for an interim injunction to restrain the defendants 2 to 10 from holding any election of the President of opposite party No. 2 and to restrain the defendant No. 1 from issuing any notification for the formation of the Board under Section 14 of the Act. These two reliefs sought for in the application moved under Order XXXIX. Rules 1 and 2 read with Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure obviously have become infructuous inasmuch as the election for the office of the President of the opposite party No. 2 has taken place. The result of the said election has also been announced and a notification with respect to the formation of the Waqf Board has also been issued as is admitted by the learned counsel for the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs had, however, also asked by way of interim relief that defendant No. 3 be restrained from participating in any meeting of the opposite party No. 2 during the pendency of the suit. The ground on which this relief is sought for is that the Waqf Board was sought to be reconstituted as would appear from the letter of the State Government to the defendant No. 2 dated 19th July. 1978 and as no election by the Board of Trustees of the Shia College, Lucknow took place after May, 1974 and prior to or after 19th July, 1978 the defendant No. 3 should not be held to have been elected as a member of the Board in accordance with clause (iii) of Sub-section (1) of Section 12 of the Act. In order to appreciate the contentions made on behalf of the applicants it would, therefore, be appropriate to refer to the relevant provisions of the U. P. Muslim Waqfs Act, 1960:

5. Section 10 of the Act requires that there shall be established in Uttar Pradesh two separate Boards to be called the 'Sunni Central Board' and the 'Shia Central Board' of Waqfs. Each Board shall be a body corporate and shall have perpetual succession and a common seal and shall by its said name sue or be sued.

6. We are concerned in this case with the constitution of 'Shia Central Board'. Section 12 (1) of the Act provides that the 'Shia Central Board' shall consist of the following Shia Muslims elected or co-opted or nominated or ex-omcio as hereinafter indicated:

(i) All Shia members of the State Legislature;

(ii) One member to be nominated by the State Government;

(iii) One member to be elected by the Board of Trustees of the Shia College, Lucknow from amongst its members;

(iv) Three members, one of whom shall be a Mutawalli of a Waqf to which this Act applies having an annual income of not less than (rupees three thousand), one shall have knowledge or practical experience in respect of finance and administration, and the third shall be an Alim, to be co-opted by the members referred to in the foregoing clauses;

(v) The President, if he is not one of the members referred to in the foregoing clauses;

7. Sub-sec. (2) of Section 12 of the Act provides that the election and co-option under Sub-section (i) shall be held and made within such time and in such manner as the State Government may, by general or special order direct, and any question or dispute relating to any such election or co-option shall be referred to the State Government whose decision shall be final.

8. Section 13, in the essence, provides that if the Board of Trustees of Shia College, Lucknow does not exist or is unable or fails to return the requisite number of members within such time as may be specified by the State Government in that behalf, the deficiency shall be made good by nomination of a Shia Muslim by the State Government.

9. Second Proviso to Section 14 of the Act lays down that except as provided in Sub-section (2) of Section 15 the outgoing members of the Board including its President shall notwithstanding the expiration of their term, continue to hold office as members and President respectively until the due constitution of the new Board is notified by the State Government in the official gazette. The term of the members of the Board subject to the provisions of Section 23, is five years from the date of the notification of its constitution. Section 21 of the Act points out the circumstances in which a person, would be disqualified from being appointed or for continuing a President or a members of the Board. Under Section 22A, of the Act, a person who is a member of the Board in his capacity as a member of the State Legislature or as an Advocate or as a Mutwalli or as a representative of any other body shall cease to be member of the Board on his ceasing to hold that capacity. Section 23 of the Act stipulates that on the seat of a member becoming vacant by his removal, resignation, death or otherwise, a new member shall be elected, co-opted or nominated, as the case may be, in his place, in the manner provided in the Act, and such member shall hold office so long as the member whose place he fills would have been entitled to hold office, if such vacancy had not occurred.

10. The scheme of the Act, the policy behind the legislation and the language of the relevant provisions clearly show that the constitution of the Shia Central Board should be in accordance with Section 12 of the Act and the term of the members of the Board shall be five years from the date of the notification of its constitution. Sub-sec. (2) of Section 12 refers to the election and co-option under Sub-section (1) of Section 12 of the Act. The said expression 'election' obviously relates to the election of a member by the Board of Trustees of the Shia College, Lucknow from amongst its members and the expression 'co-option' under Sub-section (2) relates to the co-option of three members in accordance with the provisions of Sub-clause (iv) of Sub-section (1) of Section 12 of the Act. Sub-section (2) further requires that the election of a member by the Board of Trustees of Shia College, Lucknow shall be held and made within such time and in such manner as the State Govt. may by general or special order direct and it further requires that any question or dispute relating to any such election shall be referred to the State Government whose decision shall be final.

11. I shall now proceed to examine the relevant facts of the case in the light of these provisions. It has already been indicated hereinabove that the suit with regard to reliefs (a), (b) and (bb) as mentioned in para. 37 of the plaint has become infructuous in view of the subsequent facts which are not in dispute. The election of the President of the Board has already taken place and the defendant No. 3 has been elected as the President. The notification has also been issued constituting the Board mentioning the names of the members of the Board and the name of the President of the Board. The only relief which now survives for consideration is relief (c) mentioned in para. 37 of the plaint. The plaintiffs want a decree of permanent injunction against the defendant No. 3 restraining him from participating in any meeting of the Board. They also seek the same relief by way of interim injunction.

12. The rules governing the grant of interim injunction are well known. The Court must be satisfied before granting an interim injunction that the claim is not frivolous or vexatious but is well founded. The plaintiffs must, therefore, show that there is a serious question to be tried and there are fair chances of the suit being decided in their favour. If in a suit for permanent injunction the court finds that the material available at the hearing of the application for an interlocutory relief fails to disclose any real prospect of succeeding at the final trial the interim injunction may be refused.

13. The plaintiff's need for protection must be weighed against the corresponding need of the defendant to be protected against injury resulting from his being prevented from exercising his own legal right for which he may not be adequately compensated. The Court must weigh one need against another and determine where the balance of convenience lies. The Court has to see whether the plaintiff will be put to irreparable injury if the injunction prayed for is not granted.

14. I have gone through the judgment of the trial court and the appellate court below. Both the courts below have reached the conclusion that the plaintiffs have no prima facie case for the grant of the interim relief prayed for by them. The learned Civil Judge took note of the fact that Syed AH Zaheer was elected by the Board of Trustees of Shia College, Lucknow in the year 1974 but the formation of the Board was stayed by this Court by an interim order passed in writ petition No. 758 of 1974 and the Board which was sought to be constituted in the year 1974 could not, therefore, be completely formed. The said writ petition was subsequently dismissed in 1976. In the meantime most of the members who were the members of the State Legislature did not remain either as members of the Legislative Assembly or members of the Legislative Council, Only Mohd. Anis remained as member of the Legislative Assembly and Sri Hasan Raza Abadi remained as member of the Legislative Council. Similarly, Sri Akhtar Abbas was made member under Section 12 (2) of the Act and Sri Syed Ali Zaheer was elected by the Board of Trustees of Shia College, Lucknow. The process of the constitution of the Board thus continued. As the defendant No. 4 became member of the Legislative Council the State Government nominated another person under Section 12 (1) (ii) of the Act. The position of Syed Ali Zaheer did not, however, change. He did not cease to be a representative of the Board of Trustees of the Shia College, Lucknow. He was duly elected by the said Board of Trustees of Shia College, Lucknow in May, 1974. It is not the case that Syed Ali Zaheer had ceased to be a member of the Board of Trustees of the Shia College, Lucknow. There was, therefore, no reason or occasion for the State Government to direct the Board of Trustees of the Shia College, Lucknow to elect afresh a member from amongst its members in accordance with Clause (iii) of Sub-section (1) of Section 12 of the Act. Changes had, however, taken place amongst Shia members of the State Legislature and as the earlier nominee of the State Government had in the meantime became a member of the State Legislature, another person was to be nominated as a member by the State Government, and this had further necessitated the action of making co-option of three members but at no stage it had become necessary for the State Government to ask the Board of Trustees of Shia College, Lucknow to elect a person from amongst its members under Clause (iii) of Sub-section (1) of Section 12 of the Act. Syed Ali Zaheer had already been elected by the Board of Trustees in the year 1974. The Board of Trustees of the Shia College, Lucknow has not raised any controversy about it and obviously is not the aggrieved party. In para. 12 of the plaint the plaintiffs have stated that while the formation of Board was in process Sri Imtiaz Husain and Hashim Raza Abdi filed a writ petition No. 758 of 1974 in this Court and obtained the stay order against the formation of the Board. So even according to the plaintiff, the process of formation of the Board was continuing and now the Board has been constituted and its President has been elected and the names of the members of the Board and its President have also been notified. Prima facie, there is, therefore, no reason to meanwhile restrain the defendant No. 3 from participating in the meetings of the Board during the pendency of the suit.

15. On the ground of balance of convenience it cannot be said that the plaintiffs should be allowed an interim relief to restrain the defendant No. 3 from participating in any meeting of the Board. The defendant No. 3 was elected by the Board of Trustees of the Shia College, Lucknow. He has also been elected as President. His rights as a member of the Board and as President of the Board will have, therefore, to be kept in view while weighing the plaintiff's need for protection with the corresponding need of the defendant No. 3. It appears that the balance of convenience lies not in favour of the plaintiffs but in favour of the defendant No. 3. Further the defendant No. 3 is not all in all in the Board. No doubt, he has been elected President of the Board but there are six other members of the Board. It cannot therefore, be accepted that the plaintiffs would be put to irreparable injury if the defendant No. 3 would participate in the meetings of the Board.

16. Further, this court in revision under Section 115, Code of Civil Procedure shall not interfere where there is no patent violation of law or any perversity manifested in the order. The scope of the revisional jurisdiction of this Court is by now well settled. In the case of Sher Singh v. Jt. Director of Consolidation : [1978]3SCR982 , the Supreme Court observed (at p. 1344):--

'It is well settled that the revisional jurisdiction of the High Court is confined to cases of illegal or irregular exercise or non-exercise or illegal assumption of the jurisdiction by the subordinate courts. If a subordinate court is found to possess the jurisdiction to decide a matter, it cannot be said to exercise it illegally or with material irregularity even if it decides the matter wrongly. In other words, it is not open to the High Court while exercising its jurisdiction under Section 115 of the Civil P. C. to correct errors of law unless the errors have relation to the jurisdiction of the Court to try the dispute itself.'

This Court cannot, therefore, in exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 115, Code of Civil Procedure, correct errors of fact or law, however gross they may be unless it has relation to the jurisdiction of the court whose order is impugned. It is not the case of the plaintiffs that the trial court had no jurisdiction to pass the order which it had passed. It is also not the case of the present applicants that the learned District Judge had no jurisdiction to entertain and decide the appeal. No question of jurisdiction or defect of procedure is thus involved in the case. It is not shown that the Courts below have ignored any relevant provision of law or even any relevant fact. The grant of interim injunction is a discretionary relief. True, it is that the discretion must be exercised reasonably and not arbitrarily or capriciously. Hence, if it is not made out that the Courts below have acted arbitrarily or with caprice in refusing to grant interim injunction, their discretion shall not be lightly interfered with under Section 115, Code of Civil Procedure. It was pointed out in (Wazir Sundar Singh v. Musammat Farida Khanam AIR 1920 PC 132) that the mere possibility of the appellate Court coming to a different conclusion on the same facts and evidence will not justify interference in revision. In the case in hand the applicants have failed to make out that the Courts below have acted illegally or with material irregularity in the exercise of jurisdiction. Having reached the conclusion that the plaintiffs' have not made out a prima-facie case and even on the ground of balance of convenience and irreparable injury, the plaintiff would not be entitled to the interim relief sought for by them, the trial court refused to exercise the discretion in their favour. On appeal the learned District Judge also declined to interfere with that discretion. In my view, the discretion has not been exercised arbitrarily, capriciously or illegally. I, therefore, see no reason to interfere with the impugned orders,

17. The revision petition, therefore, fails and is accordingly dismissed with costs.


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