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Smt. Rama Vidyarthi and anr. Vs. State of U.P. and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Writ Petn. No. 777 of 1965
Judge
Reported inAIR1971All442
ActsCharitable Endowments Rules - Rule 6(1); Charitable Endowments Act, 1890 - Sections 3A, 4 and 5; Constitution of India - Article 73(1)
AppellantSmt. Rama Vidyarthi and anr.
RespondentState of U.P. and ors.
Appellant AdvocateS.C. Khare, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateStanding Counsel
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
trusts & societies - property - sub-rule(1) of rule (6) of charitable endowment rules and sections 4 and 5 of charitable endowment act, 1890 - previous notice before the final notification is issued - subjective satisfaction of the government - rule is not mandatory. - - 4. next, it is contended that the impugned notifications are bad becausethey were issued without any prior notice being given to petitioner no. i am satisfied, however, that the real object of the trust is merely to run a press situated at kanpur and to publish a newspaper at that place;.....advanced by mr. s. c. khare. learned counsel for the petitioners, is that the action taken by the state government under sections 4 and 5 of the act was illegal because such action can only be taken on an application made in accordance with section 6 'by the person acting in the administration of the trust, or where there are more persons than one so acting, than by those persons or a majority of them', whereas the action has been taken on the application of only two trustees (jawahar lal rohtagi and nawal kishore bhartiya), who did not constitute a majority. this argument, however, is based on the assumption that there were four trustees in existence at the time, including ashok vidyarthi (petitioner no. 2); but as already pointed out, the appointment of ashok vidyarthi has been denied.....
Judgment:
ORDER

W. Broome, J.

1. This writ petition, filed in March 1965, challenges notifications issued by the State Government on 17-2-1965 under Sections 4 and 5 of the Charitable Endowments Act in respect of a trust called the 'Pratap Trust' created in the year 1919 for running the Pratap Press at Kanpur and publishing a newspaper called the 'Pratap'. By the notification issued under Section 4 of the Act the Property held by the trust has been vested In the Treasurer of charitable endowments; while by the notification under Section 5 a Scheme for the administration of the trust has been settled and a number of new trustees have been appointed.

2. At the relevant time three persons were undoubtedly serving as trustees of the trust viz. Srimati Rama Vidyarthi (Petitioner No. 1), Dr. Jawahar Lal Rohtagi (O. P. 4) and Sri Nawal Kishore Bhartiya (O. P. 5). The petitioners assert that there was in addition a fourth trustee Ashok Vidyarthi (petitioner No. 2); but in the counter-affidavit filed on behalf of the State the alleged resolution of the trust dated 2-5-1961, whereby he was appointed,, has been stated to be forged and fabricated.

3. The first argument advanced by Mr. S. C. Khare. learned counsel for the petitioners, is that the action taken by the State Government under Sections 4 and 5 of the Act was illegal because such action can only be taken on an application made in accordance with Section 6 'by the person acting in the administration of the trust, or where there are more persons than one so acting, than by those persons or a majority of them', whereas the action has been taken on the application of only two trustees (Jawahar Lal Rohtagi and Nawal Kishore Bhartiya), who did not constitute a majority. This argument, however, is based on the assumption that there were four trustees in existence at the time, including Ashok Vidyarthi (petitioner No. 2); but as already pointed out, the appointment of Ashok Vidyarthi has been denied in the counter-affidavit. Here, therefore, we are faced with a disputed question of fact, which cannot be resolved in a petition of this nature. In view of the conflicting averments of the parties, I am unable to come to any firm conclusion as to whether there were actually four legally appointed trustees at the relevant time; and consequently this first argument advanced on behalf of the petitioner cannot succeed.

4. Next, it is contended that the impugned notifications are bad becausethey were issued without any prior notice being given to petitioner No. 1, who was undoubtedly a trustee and interested in the management of the trust. The rules on this subject, however, which have been reproduced in Annexures L-1 and L-2 to the petition, show that no previous information to trustees or other interested parties was necessary before the vesting order and the scheme were' promulgated. Rule 6 merely lays down that:--

'6 (1). When the Government is of opinion that a proposed vesting order or a proposed scheme or modification of scheme should not be made or settled without previous publication, it shall publish a draft of the proposed order scheme or modification, or a proper abstract thereof signed by one of its secretaries for the information of persons likely to be affected thereby.'

This shows that the question whetherthere should be any previous notice before the final notifications are issued hasbeen left entirely to the subjective satisfaction of the Government. There is nomandatory requirement for publicationand the notifications impugned in the present case cannot be held to be defectivemerely because no prior intimation wasgiven to the petitioner No. 1 or other persons likely to be interested.

5. Finally it has been urged that the State Government had no jurisdiction to issue the impugned notifications under Sections 4 and 5, because such notifications could only be issued by the 'appropriate Government', which in context of the present case meant the Central Government. 'Appropriate Government' has been defined in Section 3A of the Charitable Endowments Act, which runs as follows:--

'3-A. In the subsequent provisions of this Act the appropriate Government' means, as respects a charitable endowment, the objects of which do not extend beyond a single State and are not objects to which the executive authority of the Central Government extends, the Government of the State and as respects any other charitable endowment the Central Government'.

Mr. Khare argues that the 'appropriate Government' in the present case must be the Central Government, firstly because the object of the Pratap Trust was to publish a newspaper supporting the aims and objects of the Indian National Congress, which could not be treated as confined to the single State of U.P., and secondly because the executive authority of the Central Government extends to newspapers by virtue of Item 39 in the Concurrent List given in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution, read with Article 73 of the Constitution. I am satisfied, however, that the real object of the Trust is merely to run a press situated at Kanpur and to publish a newspaper at that place; and it seems to me that such an object is confined to this State and cannot be said to extend beyond it. An attempt has been made to suggest that the Pratap newspaper maintains branch offices in Bombay, Madras, W. Bengal and Delhi, but the addresses given in Annexure K to the petition do not support this plea, for they are not addresses of branch offices but only private residential addresses of persons who perhaps are acting as distributing agents for the newspaper. The mere fact that the policy of the Pratap newspaper is to support the policies of the Indian National Congress is not sufficient in my opinion to make the publication of that newspaper an all-India matter. The first argument advanced by Mr. Khare on this aspect of the case must therefore be repelled. And as regards the second argument, I find that it is answered by the proviso to Clause (1) of Article 73. Clause (1) itself states that 'the executive power of the Union shall extend (a) to the matters with respect to which the Parliament has power to make laws' (which would cover matters mentioned in the Concurrent List); but this is followed by a proviso, which states :--

'Provided that the executive power referred to in Sub-clause (a) shall not save as expressly provided in this Constitution or in any law made by Parliament extend in any State to matters with respect to which the Legislature of the State has also power to make laws'.

Thus though the Central Legislature has the jurisdiction to make laws about newspapers and printing presses by virtue of Item 39 in the Concurrent List, the executive power of the Union cannot extend to such matters in the absence of some express provision under the Constitution or some specific law made by Parliament on the subject.

6. The result is that I see no force in any of the contentions advanced on behalf of the petitioners. The petition accordingly fails and is dismissed with costs.


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