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Puran Chand Gupta and anr. Vs. the State of Punjab and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberLetter Patent Appeal No. 93 of 1971
Judge
Reported inAIR1973P& H450
ActsPunjab Municipal Act, 1911 - Sections 1(3), 3(7), 3(8), 5(1), 5(2), 15, 16, 62-A, 120 and 238; Punjab General Clauses Act, 1898 - Sections 22(36)
AppellantPuran Chand Gupta and anr.
RespondentThe State of Punjab and ors.
Cases Referred and The State of Assam v. Gauhati Municipal Board
Excerpt:
.....that there is no grievance made out by the writ petitioners in the writ petition that they were not informed of the order of supersession along with the grounds on which the committee was superseded and if all concerned were informed about the order of the state government in the manner other than by publishing the notification in the official gazette, the requirements of section 238 of the act are satisfied and, therefore, the said notification cannot be held to be incompetent.bhopinder singh dhillon, j.1. municipal committee ludhiana, was superseded by the punjab state government on 5-10-1970 under the provisions of section 238 of the punjab municipal act, 1911 (hereinafter referred to as the act). a notification to this effect was alleged to have been published in the official gazette of the state government. the municipal commissioners of the said municipal committee who by the order of supersession went out of office, challenged the supersession of the committee in a writ petition filed in this court on a number of grounds. learned single judge of this court, vide his judgment dated 9-11-1971, accepted the writ petition and quashed the order of supersession. it is against this judgment of the learned single judge that the present letters patent appeal has.....
Judgment:

Bhopinder Singh Dhillon, J.

1. Municipal Committee Ludhiana, was superseded by the Punjab State Government on 5-10-1970 under the provisions of Section 238 of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911 (hereinafter referred to as the Act). A notification to this effect was alleged to have been published in the official Gazette of the State Government. The Municipal Commissioners of the said Municipal Committee who by the order of supersession went out of office, challenged the supersession of the Committee in a writ petition filed in this Court on a number of grounds. Learned Single Judge of this Court, vide his judgment dated 9-11-1971, accepted the writ petition and quashed the order of supersession. It is against this judgment of the learned Single Judge that the present Letters Patent Appeal has been filed by two ex members of the Municipal Committee, Ludhiana, namely Puran Chand Gupta and Parkash Chand Thapar, with the contention that the supersession of the Committee was legal and the same should not have been interfered with by the learned Single Judge.

2. Mr. H. S. Doabia, the learned counsel for the appellants, in support of the Letters Patent Appeal, vehemently argued that the finding of the Learned Single Judge, that the notification issued under Section 238 of the Act was incompetent as the said notification did not give reasons for the supersession of the Committee because the schedule mentioned in the body of the notification giving reasons for the suppression of the committee was not published along with the notification in the official Gazette, is liable to be set aside because according to the learned counsel it is not necessary that a notification under Section 238 of the Act should be published in the official Gazette. The learned counsel contends that there is no grievance made out by the writ petitioners in the writ petition that they were not informed of the order of supersession along with the grounds on which the Committee was superseded and if all concerned were informed about the order of the State Government in the manner other than by publishing the notification in the official Gazette, the requirements of Section 238 of the Act are satisfied and, therefore, the said notification cannot be held to be incompetent. The learned counsel referred to the provisions of Sections 1(3), 5(1), 5(2), 15, 62-A of the Act which provisions according to him, mention about the notification to be issued by the State Government in the official Gazette. The learned counsel also referred to the provisions of Sections 3(7), 3(8), 16, 120 and 238 of the Act, wherein according to him, the notification has to be issued by the State Government and it is not necessary that it should be issued in the official Gazette. Therefore, it is contended that even though the notification in question be deemed to have not been published in the official Gazette, even then the petitioners having not made out any grievance to the non-publication of the impugned notification with the schedule, the said notification cannot be quashed.

3. No one appears to oppose this appeal and the learned counsel for the State also supported the appellants by saying that the order passed by the State Government superseding the Municipal Committee, is with jurisdiction and the same had been wrongly quashed by the learned Single Judge.

4. I am unable to agree with this contention of the learned counsel for the simple reason that in the Punjab General Clauses Act, 1898, Section 22(36) of the said Act provides that in that Act and in all Punjab Acts, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context 'notification' shall mean a notification published under proper authority in the Official Gazette. Thus it has to be seen that in all Punjab Acts where the word 'notification' is used, until and unless the Act in which the said word is used, specifically overrules the publication of the said notification in the Official Gazette, all notifications have to be published in the Official Gazette of the State Government even though it may not have been mentioned in the relevant Act in which the word 'notification' exists. In this view of the matter, it has to be held that a notification issued under Section 238 of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911, has to be published in the Official Gazette of the State Government and the said notification must notify the reasons for the supersession of the Committee, as is clear from the plain reading of Section 238 of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911. Therefore, the finding of the learned Single Judge that the impugned notification is invalid, cannot be successfully assailed and the same is hereby affirmed. It is not the case of the State Government or the appellants that the reasons for superseding the Committee were ever published in the Official Gazette of the State Government.

5. The appeal is liable to be dismissed on another ground also. The learned Single Judge further recorded a finding that the Chief Minister while passing the order of supersession of the Committee took into consideration the material such as the report of the Deputy Director Local Government and the fact that earlier also a notice for supersession of this Committee was issued which material admittedly was not made known to the Committee while issuing the show cause notice. Mr. Doabia, the learned counsel for the appellants could not raise even a single argument against this finding of the learned Single Judge. It is apparent from the orders of Shri S. S. Bassi, the then Irrigation and Power Minister, Punjab, who was performing the duties of the Chief Minister, Punjab that he did take into consideration the issuance of an earlier notice to the Committee for its being superseded and also the report of the Deputy Director of Local Government Department while passing the order of supersession, which material was never made available to the Committee nor was this made the subject-matter of the charge-sheet issued to the Committee by which the Committee was asked to furnish its explanation. The same material was taken into consideration by Shri P. S. Badal, the then Chief Minister, Punjab who passed the final order. Therefore, on this ground also the impugned notification has rightly been quashed because no material could be used against the committee regarding which the Committee was not afforded an opportunity for explaining its conduct and if such a material was taken into consideration while passing the final order, the same would vitiate the order.

6. The learned counsel for the appellants relies on the state of Maharashtra v. Babulal Kriparam Takkamore, AIR 1967 SC 1353, and The State of Assam v. Gauhati Municipal Board, Gauhati, AIR 1967 SC 1398. It may be mentioned that none of these authorities is of any help to the learned counsel for the appellants because these are not the cases in which material was taken into consideration by the State Government while passing the impugned orders, which material was not made available to the defaulting Committee and thus there being no chance given to the Committee to explain away the charges contained in the said material which influenced the mind of the final authority passing the orders of the supersession. Both the cases are the cases decided on their own facts and it is difficult to hold that if the State Government has in fact taken into consideration certain material which contains the charges against the Municipal Committee and regarding which the Committee was not given any opportunity to explain away the charges, still the order passed on the said material can be upheld.

7. No other point has been pressed before us.

8. For the reasons recorded above, there is no merit in this appeal and the same is hereby dismissed with costs.

Premchand Pandit, J.

9. I agree.

10. Appeal dismissed.


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