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Narahari Mallick and Madhab Pradhan Vs. Collector - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtOrissa High Court
Decided On
Case NumberO.J.C. Nos. 1543 and 1544 of 1985
Judge
Reported in60(1985)CLT435; 1985(II)OLR403
ActsOrissa Gram Panchayat Act, 1960 - Sections 25(1)(1) and 25(2); Orissa Co-operative Societies Act, 1963 - Sections 68; ; Administrative Law
AppellantNarahari Mallick and Madhab Pradhan
RespondentCollector
Appellant AdvocateS. Misra-1, S.K. Nayak, S.N. Misra, G.P. Mohanty, J.K. Mohanty, R. Saha and N. Rath
Respondent AdvocateN.C. Panigrahi, Addl. Govt. Adv.
DispositionApplication allowed
Cases Referred(Suman Gupta and Ors. v. State of J.
Excerpt:
.....a reasonable opportunity to the petitioners of being heard,-passed the impugned order. wherein the words 'accrued due by him' occurring in section 25(1)(1) of the act a kin to the provision made in section 25(2)(d) of the act have been interpreted to mean that there must have been an adjudicated arrear determined by the appropriate authority as provided in section 63 of the orissa co operative societies act, 1963 and in order to incur the disqualification, the 'accrued due' must have remained unsatisfied during the stipulated period in spite of the demand made for it. 5. section 25(2)(d)of the act, in so far as is relevant for these two writ applications, provides :25. disqualification for membership of grama panchayct :xx xx xx(2) a sarpanch or any other member of a grama panchayat..........the view taken in the four earlier decisions of this court, therefore, is correct. '9. the words'accrued due', when used in legislation, must have to be interpreted in connection with the context of the statute so as to effectuate the legislative purpose. the interpretation of the full bench of this court with regard to the expression 'accrued due' has been quoted above.10. in the cases before us, although notices had been issued to both the petitioners by the grama panchayat to pay up some defaulted dues and notices had been issued to them to show cause as to way they should not be removed having incurred the disqualification contained in section 25(2)cd) of the act, there had been no 'accrued due' in that there had been no determination or the dues by any authority under the.....
Judgment:

B.K. Behera, J.

1. These two writ applications arise oat of the same impugned order (Annexure-9 in O. J. C. No. 1543 of 1985 and Annexure-7 in O. J. C. No. 1544 of 1985) passed by the Collector, Dhenkanal, (opposite party) removing the two petitioners under Section. 26(2) of the Orissa Grama Panchayat Act, 1964 ('the Act', for short ) as Ward Members of the Nihalprasad Grama Panchayat on the ground that they had incurred disqualification to continue as such under Section. 25 (2) (d) of the Act. The writ applications have been heard together and will be governed by this common order.

2. According to the petitioner, they had not incurred the alleged disqualification as they were not in arrears of any accrued due payable by them to the Nihalprasad Co-operative Seciety (to be described hereinafter as the 'Society') within six months from the date or issue of a notice by that Society and Annexure-4 in O. J. C. No. 1543 of 1985 and Annexure-1 in O. J. C. No. 1544 of 1985, two certificates issued by the Secretary of the Co-operative Society on May 2, 1985, would clearly show that the petitioners were not in arrears of payment of the instalments due but the opposite party issued notices to them as to why they would not be removed from being Ward Members of the Grama Panchayat having incurred the above-mentioned disqualification and without giving a reasonable opportunity to the petitioners of being heard,- passed the impugned order. It has been stated in the counter affidavit put in on behalf of the opposite party that after due enquiry in to the allegations made against the petitioners that they had been in arrears and after opportunity was given to them to show cause and of being heard, the impugned order had been passed under the authority of law.

3. The learned counsel appearing for both the sides have reiterated the stands taken by the parties to these proceedings. For the petitioners, Mr. Misra has invited our attention to a Full Bench decision of this Court reported in AIR 1976 Ori. 1 : XLI (1975) C. L. T. 1017 : Mohendar Prasad Rout v. Election Officer and Ors. wherein the words 'accrued due by him' occurring in Section 25(1)(1) of the Act a kin to the provision made in Section 25(2)(d) of the Act have been interpreted to mean that there must have been an adjudicated arrear determined by the appropriate authority as provided in Section 63 of the Orissa Co operative Societies Act, 1963 and in order to incur the disqualification, the ''accrued due' must have remained unsatisfied during the stipulated period in spite of the demand made for it. He has contended that as there has been no adjudication of the dues to be paid by the petitioners as required by law, there had been no 'accrued due' against any of the petitioners and consequently, the impugned order is illegal and invalid. The learned Additional Government Advocate has submitted that he has not noticed any decision of the Supreme Court on the question involved and these cases are covered by the Full Bench decision of this Court which holds the field.

4. We do not feel ourselves called upon to go into the other questions raised on behalf of the petitioners as the impugned order must be rendered invalid in view of the law laid down by the Full Bench of this Court.

5. Section 25(2)(d)of the Act, in so far as is relevant for these two writ applications, provides :

25. Disqualification for membership of Grama Panchayct :

XX XX XX(2) A Sarpanch or any other member of a Grama Panchayat shall be disqualified to continue and shall cease to by a member if he-

XX XX XX(d) Being a member of a Co-opeartive Society has failed to pay any arrears of any kind accrued due by him to such society within six months after a notice in this behalf has been served upon him by the society.

XX XX XXSection 26(2) of the Act reads.

'26. Procedure of giving effect to disqualifications :

XX XX XX(2) The Collector may suo motu or on receipt of an application underSub-Section (1), make such enquiry as he considers and after giving the person whose disqualification is in question an, opportunity of being heard, determine whether or not such person is or has become disqualified and make an order in that behalf which shall be final and conclusive.'

The provision contained in Section 25(2)(d) of the Act is on the lines of Section 25(1)(1) of the Act which provides :

'25. Disqualification for membership of Grama Panchayat :

(1) A person shall be disqualified for being elected or nominated as a Sarpanch or any other member of the Grama Panchayat constituted under this Act, if he-

XX XX XX(1) being a member of a Co-operative Society, has failed to pay any arreat of any kind accrued due by him to such society before filing of the nomination paper in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder :

Provided that in respect of such arrears a bill or a notice has been duly served upon him and 'the time if any, specified therein expired ;XX XX XX

The expression 'accrued due by him' to such society which is relevant for consideration in these two writ applications occurs in sections 25(1)(1)and25(2)(d)of the Act.

6. Unlike the provisions with regard to such disqualifications in the Acts of some other States, such as, the Bombay Village and Panchayats Act, 1958 in Section 14, the Bihar Panchayat Raj Act, 1947 in Section 79 and the Kerala Panchayats Act, 1960 in Section 19, which do not use the expression 'accrued due', the Legislature of this State has specifically provided that the 'accrued due' must have remained unpaid within the stipulated period after due notice.

7. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has indicated in AIR 1920 P. C 181 : Quebec Railway v. Vendry that the Legislature is deemed not to waste its words or to say anything in vain.

As pointed out by Patanjali Sastri, C. J. in AIR 1952 S. C. 369 : Aswini Kumar v. Arbiada Bose ;

'...It is not a sound principle of construction to brush aside words in a statute as being inapposite surplusage, if they can have appropriate application in circumstances conceivable within the contemplation of the statate.'

It is well-settled that the Legislature does not waste words or introduce useless or redundant provisions. The normal rule of interpretation is that the words used by the Legislature are generally a safe guide to its intention. No principle of interpretation of statutes is more firmly settled than the rule that the Court must deduce the intention of the Legislature from the words used in the Act, The proof of legislative intention can best be found in the language which the Legislature uses.

8. Interpreting as to what the expression 'accrued due by him' in Section 25(1)(1) of the Act would mean and taking into consideration the principles laid down in some decisions of the Privy Council and the Supreme Court and three decisions of this Court reported in AIR 1970 Ori. 15 : Govind Co. Panda v. Darsan Ch Rout and Ors., 1972 (2) C.W.R. 1506 : Radhakanta Dandasena v. Sub-divisional Officer, Parlakhemundi and 1972 (2) C. W.R. 2020: Narayan Swain v. Nereodra Komar Sahu besides an unreported decision of this Court dated June 16, 1975 in O. J. C. No. 1184 of 1975 : Basndev Bariba v. Election Officer, Dongnripalli and a decision of the Madras High Court reported in AIR 1959 Madras 126 : V. Bamaswami v. I. T. Commissioner, the Full Bench of this Court has observed and held in AIR 1976 Ori. 1: XLI (1975) C. L. T. 1017 (supra) :

'...In Section 25(l)(l), the disqualification was intended to arise only when there was an adjudicated arrear and in spite of demand it remained unsatisfied. The Legislature has used the words in that clause with a view to giving effect to such an intention.

This Court has consistently interpreted the provision to cover cases of only adjudged arrears and defaults following demands thereafter. In the absence of adjudicatory jurisdiction conferred on the Election Officer and in view of the fact that jurisdiction of the common law Courts has been excluded and disputes relating to arrears have been reserved for determination by the machinery prescribed under the Orissa Co-operative Societies Act, the Legislature must be taken to have intended, the position as his been interpreted by this Court to be the true meaning of the provision.

Disqualification under Section. 25(1)(1), therefore, arises when the dispute relating to arrears had been adjudicated and quantified arrears remain unpaid in spite of notice duly served upon the debtor candidate. The view taken in the four earlier decisions of this Court, therefore, is correct. '

9. The words'accrued due', when used in legislation, must have to be interpreted in connection with the context of the statute so as to effectuate the legislative purpose. The interpretation of the Full Bench of this Court with regard to the expression 'accrued due' has been quoted above.

10. In the cases before us, although notices had been issued to both the petitioners by the Grama Panchayat to pay up some defaulted dues and notices had been issued to them to show cause as to way they should not be removed having incurred the disqualification contained in Section 25(2)Cd) of the Act, there had been no 'accrued due' in that there had been no determination or the dues by any authority under the Co-operative Societies Act, 1963 and therefore, it could not legally be said that the petitioners had incurred the disqualification for which they had been removed by the impugned order.

11. An executive or quasi-judicial order in exercise of statutory powers should be passed after proper application of mind. As the Supreme Court has so aptly put in (1983) 4 Supreme Court Cases 339 ; AIR 1983 S. C. 1235 (Suman Gupta and Ors. v. State of J. & K. and Ors.,) the exercise of all administrative powers vested in a public authority must be structured within a system of controls informed by both relevance and reason-relevance in relation to the object which it seeks to serve and reason in regard to the manner in which it attempts to do so. In the instant cases, the impugned order has been passed not in accordance with, but in violation of the statutory provisions and without keeping in mind the law laid down by this Court. The impugned order is, therefore, liable th be quashed.

12. In the result, the writ applications are allowed. The impugned order holding the petitioners to have incurred disqualification and removing them as Ward Members of the Gaama Panchayat is hereby quashed. The parties to the proceedings are left to bear their own costs,

P.C. Misra, J.

13. I agree.


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