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Bhikam Singh Vs. State of M.P. and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberMisc. Petn. No. 226 of 1984
Judge
Reported inAIR1985MP100; 1985MPLJ136
ActsMadhya Pradesh Panchayat Act, 1981 - Sections 38
AppellantBhikam Singh
RespondentState of M.P. and ors.
Appellant AdvocateS.B. Mishra, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateR.A. Roman, Dy. Govt. Adv. and ;N.P. Mittal, Adv.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredDunbar v. Fant
Excerpt:
.....from amongst the 16 present out of the total strength of 19 members, voting in favour of the resolution (annexure r/10). though the petition is verbose inasmuch as various contentions havebeen raised, challenging the validity of the resolution (annexure r/10), the learned counsel for the petitioner has confined and planned his argument only to one contention that a fresh resolution on the subject of no confidence against the petitioner could not be moved within six months from 3rd of dec. ' 4.01. the learned counsel for the petitioner has laid a great stress on the terminology :prastava par vichar karne hetu anumati di jati hain' employed in annexure r/3 and contended that, in his submission, it clearly means the permission and not a command; any effort to assimilate its meaning in..........it discloses that a move was made by ten members of the panchayat on the subject of no confidence resolution vide annexure r/1. it was routed through the concerned officer within a noting for its reconsideration on the ground that reconsideration is sought on the ground that there are different grounds for the resolution on the subject and when it reached the concerned prescribed authority, he passed the order (annexure r/3). this order is intituled as' adesh'. merely because the word 'anumati': has been used, in the facts and circumstances of this case, it cannot be said that it is not a command. by this, in pith and substance, the prescribed authority has ordered the calling of the meeting for the consideration of the resolution. he has said to the effect that in public.....
Judgment:

U.N. Bhachawat, J.

1. This is a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, filed by one Bhikam Singh who was elected as the Sarpanch of the Gram Panchayat, Meghpura, District Bhind, for quashing the resolution (Annexure R/10), dated the 12th May, 1984, resolving a vote of no confidence against him.

2. The short facts leading to the present petition and essential for its decision, are these : On an earlier occasion, that is, on the 3rd Dec., 1983, a resolution for vote of no confidence against the petitioner was moved in the manner prescribed under the Madhya Pradesh Panchayat Act, 1981 (for short, hereinafter referred to as the Act), and that it failed, A resolution on the subject was again moved within a period of six months and has been passed by 12 members from amongst the 16 present out of the total strength of 19 members, voting in favour of the resolution (Annexure R/10). Though the petition is verbose inasmuch as various contentions havebeen raised, challenging the validity of the resolution (Annexure R/10), the learned Counsel for the petitioner has confined and planned his argument only to one contention that a fresh resolution on the subject of no confidence against the petitioner could not be moved within six months from 3rd of Dec.,1983 inasmuch as neither three-fourths of the members of the said Panchayat had recorded their consent for the reconsideration of the resolution for vote of no confidence against the petitioner, nor there was any direction of the prescribed authority for its reconsideration. The order (Annexure R/3) dated 30th April,1984 of the prescribed authority, on the strength of which, it is claimed by the respondents that reconsideration of the resolution, in question, was justified is not a direction, falling within the scope of Section 38 of the Act.

3. The learned counsel for the respondents have, in their argument, with the difference of 'eloquence, made a submission to counter the argument of the learned counsel for the petitioner that on the totality of consideration of the documents. Annexures R/1, and R/2, R/3 and the language employed in Annexure R/3, particularly with its rubric, in substance, is a direction for reconsideration of the resolution on the subject of vote of no confidence against the petitioner, warranted under Section 38 of the Act.

4. In the light of the rival arguments advanced by the learned counsel for the parties, what is required to decide the point in controversy is the construction of the order (Annexure R/3) as to whether it falls within the ken of Section 38 of the Act. To quote :

'.....unless the prescribed authority has directed its reconsideration.'

4.01. The learned counsel for the petitioner has laid a great stress on the terminology : 'Prastava Par Vichar Karne Hetu Anumati Di Jati Hain' employed in Annexure R/3 and contended that, in his submission, it clearly means the permission and not a command; whereas, according to him, the word 'direct' employed in Section 38 of the Act means 'command' and that not being there, there could be no reconsideration on the subject of no confidence against the petitioner and, thus, the resolution (Annexure R/10) is invalid.

5. To appreciate the rival arguments of the learned counsel, it is necessary to consider all the documents leading to the issue of order (Annexure R/3). ,

5.01. Matter of reconsideration commenced with the handing over of the draft resolution signed by ten members of the said Panchayat, dated 9th April, 1984, of no confidence against the petitioner to the Secretary of the Panchayat, who, with the following endorsement:

'.... Atah 3-12-83 Ko Parit Nahin Ho Paya Tha Punha Aaj Dinanka 9-4-84 Ko Nahar Singh Panch Dwara Avishwas Prastav Ki Suchana Mujhe 5 Baje Prastut Ko. Shriman Agrim Karyavahi Hetu Preshit Hain'.

handed it over on 12th April, 1984 along with his covering letter dated 11th April, 1984 (Annexure R/2), addressed to the Chief Executive Officer, Janpad Panchayat, Mehgaon in the Office of the Block Development Officer, Janpad Panchayat, Mehgaon. The relevant excerpts of this covering letter are set out hereinbelow :

'Shri Nahar Singh Panch Dwara Gram Panchayat Meghpura Men Avishwas Prastav Ki Duvhsns Mu Hr Dinank 9-4-84 Ko Prastut Ki Hain Jisme Par 10 Panchon Ke Hastakshar Hain. Madhya Pradesh Panchayat Adhiniyam 1981 Men Yeh Spashta Kiya Gaya Hain. Yadi Kisi Panchayat Ke Padadhikari Ke Virudha Laya Gaya Avishwas Prastav Punha Bhinna Adharon Par 6 Man Ke Bhitar Laya Gaya Hain Tab Woh Aisi Kalavadhi Bhitar Bhi aya Ja Sakta Hain. Us Par Dhara 38 Ke Pravadhan Lagu Na Hogee.

Shri Nihar Singh Dwara Prastut Prastav Purva Prapta Avishwas Ke Adharon Se Bhinna Adharon Ka Hain Atah Kripaya Sandharbhit Patra Ki Or Akarshit Kar Nivedan Hain Ki Sarpanch Gram Pranchayat Ke Viruddha Aviswas Prastav Par Vichar Hetu Sammelan Bulane Hetu 7 Divas Ke Bhitar Dinanka Nishchit Kar Mujhe Suchit Karne Ki Kripa Karen.'

5.02. A copy of the aforesaid covering letter was also sent by the Secretary to the District Panchayat and Welfare Officer, District Bhind, whereupon, the District Panchayat and Welfare Officer, District Bhind, passed the order (Annexure R/3), which reads as under :

Gram Panchayat Meghpura Ke Kuchh Panchon Ne Sarpanch Gram Panchayat Meghpura Ke Viruddha Unke Dwara Prastut Avishwas Ke Prastava Dinanka 9-4-84 Par Vichar Karne Hetu Avedan Diya Main.

Avedan Ken Uliikhit Bindyon Ki Or Ishtagat Rakhte Janhit Men Huye Madhya Pradesh Panchayat Adhiniyam 1981 Ki Dhayra 38 Ke Antargat Ukta Prastut Avishwas Ke Prastav Par Karyawahi Karne Ki Anumati Di Jati Hain.'

6. Ere we dwell upon the construciton of the aforesaid order, it would be advisable to set out hereinbelow Section 38 of the Act:

'38. Reconsideration of subjects finally disposed of by Panchayat-- No subject once finally disposed of by panchayat shall within six months be reconsidered by it unless the recorded consent of not less than three-fourths of its members for the tune being has been obtained thereto or unless the prescribedauthority has directed its reconsideration.'

7. It is an admitted position that neither there is form prescribed for the direction referred to in the fore-referred Section; nor the word 'direction' is defined in the Act. It cannot be gainsaid that no strait-jacket meaning can be given to the word 'direction'. Its meaning depends on the context in which it has been used. We may quote here with advantage in this respect the following excerpts from Corpus Juris Secundum, Volume 26A, regarding the meaning of the word direction :

'The word may be said to be of large use in the language, and has been adopted into the law in many relations.........

Dunbar v. Fant, 170 SE 460, 465, 170 SC 114, 90 ALR 1412.

'We have direct descent, direct taxes, direct interest, direct route, and so on, until we have come now to direct payment. Any effort to assimilate its meaning in all the places and connections in which it may be placed must fail for obvious reasons.'..it is generally recognised that depending on the context, it may be either mandatory or advisory in its signification.....to point out a course of proceedingswith authority; to point out with authority of direct as a superior..... to command; to order.........

'Direct' ... 'Command' ... 'require' ...

Here, it would be relevant to point out that the Legislature has, in its wisdom, in Section 38 of the Act, not used the word 'order'. Had that been used, it would have had the only meaning 'command'. In the context in which, word 'direction' has been used in Section 38 of the Act, it may mean either 'authorisation' or 'command' by a person in authority. Taking either of the meanings, we are satisfied that there is no ground for allowing this petition. It is the substance and not the form of the order (Annexure R/3) that has to be looked into. The re'aime' of the correspondence culminating in the order (Annexure R/3) has already been given hereinabove. It discloses that a move was made by ten members of the Panchayat on the subject of no confidence resolution vide Annexure R/1. It was routed through the concerned officer within a noting for its reconsideration on the ground that reconsideration is sought on the ground that there are different grounds for the resolution on the subject and when it reached the concerned prescribed authority, he passed the order (Annexure R/3). This order is intituled as' Adesh'. Merely because the word 'Anumati': has been used, in the facts and circumstances of this case, it cannot be said that it is not a command. By this, in pith and substance, the prescribed authority has ordered the calling of the meeting for the consideration of the resolution. He has said to the effect that in public interest, in exercise of his powers under Section 38 of the Act, he gives the authorisation for calling a meeting for the consideration of the resolution on the subject of vote of no confidence against the petitioner. This, in substance is a command. Even on taking the literal meaning of the word 'Anumati' as permission, on the facts and circumstances, it has an element of an authorisation/a command, as but for his permission, in question, no meeting for reconsideration of the subject could be called and it is only because of the order (Annexure R/3) that the concerned official -- the Secretary of the Panchayat was required to call the meeting for the consideration of the resolution in question. Had he not called the meeting, it would have amounted to an act of disobedienceon his part. To iterate, without attaching importance to the form, in substance it is a direction. Since no form for direction is provided, naturally, the method of writing direction would differ from person to person with the difference of wisdom of drafting of the concerned individual -- a careful draftsman might have coined the direction in a more crisp and specific manner. But, all the same, it is the substance that matters and not the form. To iterate, the rubric of the order (Annexure R/3), namely 'Adesh' unlocks unequivocally the intention of the prescribed authority, namely, that he was ordering-commandir.g the calling of meeting for the reconsideration of the subject of vote of no confidence against the petitioner.

8. In the above view of the matter, the order (Annexure-R/3) was a valid direction, which fell within the scope of Section 38 of the Act (latter part) given by a competent authority.

9. In the result, we, therefore are satisfied that there is no ground for allowing the petition. We accordingly dismiss it. In the facts and circumstances of the case, we make no order as to costs. Outstanding amount of security be refunded to the petitioner.


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