R.S. Narula and D.K. Mahajan, JJ.
1. The co-option of respondents Nos. 9 to 14 as members of the Panchayat Samiti Khuian Sarwar, has been questioned by the petitioners in this case. Petitioner No. 1 claims to have been elected as a primary member of the said Panchayat Samiti. Petitioner No. 2 was a Harijan and had contested the election, but was bracketed with respondents Nos. 10 and 11, each of which three candidates secured two votes. None of them was elected in the straight contest on the 22nd of January, 1965. Just after the result of the election of the primary members was declared, the Returning Officer proceeded to decide as to which of the three Harijan members who had contested the election, but had not been elected, were entitled to be co-opted under Section 5(2) (cc) of the Punjab Panchayat Samitis and Zilla Parishads Act (3 of 1961) (hereinafter called the Act). At the meeting of theSamiti convened under Section 16 of the Act for co-opting the other members on February 16, 1965, an objection was raised to the manner in which new ballot papers had been prepared by the Presiding Officer. The objection was turned down by the written order of the Presiding Officer (Annexure 'A'). This related to the co-option of respondents Noa, 9 and 12 to 14 only,
2. Mr. Harnam Singh Wasu, the learned counsel for the petitioners has contended that the Returning Officer had no jurisdiction to draw the lots between the three Harijan members, that is, petitioner No. 2 and respondents Nos. 10 and 11, so as to decide as to which two out of them were entitled to be co-opted. He has also argued that according to the law laid down by a Division Bench of this Court in Charan Dass Dogra v. Punjab State, (1965) 67 Pun. L. R. 1238= (AIR 1966 Punj, 274), the co-option under Clause (cc) of Sub-section (2) of Section 5 of the Act is not automatic in any circumstances and has to be done in a meeting convened under Rule 3(1) read with Rule 4-A of the Panchayat Samitis (Co-option of Members) Rules, 1961. The learned Advocate General contests this proposition and has submitted that the earlier Division Bench judgment of this Court needs reconsideration. We are bound by the Division Bench judgment and since its correctness is doubted, it would be appropriate that the whole case is heard by a larger Bench. It is, therefore, directed that the papers of this case may be placed before my Lord, the Chief Justice for constituting a Full Bench to hear this petition, and to decide the matter. At the request of the learned counsel for the petitioners, it is directed that the case may be fixed before the Full Bench as early as possible.