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The Delhi Cloth and General Mills Co. Ltd. and anr. Vs. Dharam Singh - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectElection
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Miscellaneous (Main) Appeal No. 216 of 1980
Judge
Reported inAIR1981Delhi157; 19(1981)DLT376; 1981RLR226
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 - Sections 151 - Order 39, Rules 1 and 2
AppellantThe Delhi Cloth and General Mills Co. Ltd. and anr.
RespondentDharam Singh
Advocates: J.K. Seth,; Sheba Gupta,; L.U. Singhavi and;
Excerpt:
the court ruled that when in an election of a workman member to the office of a trustee of a company's employee benefit fund trust, the successful candidate was declared elected by almost two thirds of total electorate, in suit for injunction the court should be slow in denying the elected representatives from discharging his function. - - it is also well established that where the election is challenged, the elected representative should be allowed to perform his duties......dated 17.11.1980 senior sub judge(b.n. chaturvedi) set aside the order of the trial court. the learned judge also restrained the petitioner from giving effect to the result of the election declared on 25.10.1980 and restraining shri harphool singh the elected workman to take over and to act as the trustee till the disposal of the suit. (2) interference in the democratic process of elections, particularly at the interim stages, should be spairing. the democratic process should not be stopped in between, because the final result can always be challenged. it is also well established that where the election is challenged, the elected representative should be allowed to perform his duties. if he is restrained in between the general body of electorate, would be deprived of their elected.....
Judgment:

S.B. Wad, J.

(1) This petition concerns with election of a workman- member to the office of a Trustee of the Employees Benefit Fund Trust. This fund is established by the D.C.M. Through the impugned order dated 17.11.1980 senior Sub Judge(B.N. Chaturvedi) set aside the order of the trial court. The learned Judge also restrained the petitioner from giving effect to the result of the election declared on 25.10.1980 and restraining Shri Harphool Singh the elected workman to take over and to act as the Trustee till the disposal of the suit.

(2) Interference in the democratic process of elections, particularly at the interim stages, should be spairing. The democratic process should not be stopped in between, because the final result can always be challenged. It is also well established that where the election is challenged, the elected representative should be allowed to perform his duties. If he is restrained in between the General Body of Electorate, would be deprived of their elected representative to look after the general interest of the Electorate. The elections took place on 9.10.1980 and the results were declared on 25.10.1980. Out of 1293 eligible voters 1 145 cast their votes. Harphool Singh secure 758 votes. respondent Dharampal Singh secured 363 votes. 24 votes were declared invalid. Harphool Singh was thus declared elected by almost 2/3rds of the total electorate.

(3) respondent Dharampal Singh filed Suit No. 351 of 1980 for permanent injunction against the D.C.M., the present petitioner. This suit was filed for restraining the D.C.M. from holding the elections scheduled on 9.10.1980. The suit was filed a day earlier i.e. on 8.10.1980, although the election programme was announced much earlier. He also moved an application for temporary injunction under order 39 Rule I and 2 read with section 151 C.P.C. The learned Sub Judge heard the application. He .found that the application, with all the allegations containing it, could not be disposed of within one day, as even the replies of the defendants were not before the court. The court observed 'It would cause inconvenience if the elections scheduled to be held are stayed, arrangements for which have already been made'. The learned Judge, thereforee, permitted the elections to be held on 9th, as scheduled, on a condition. The condition was 'results of the elections would not be declared till further orders till the application of the plaintiff is not filed and heard and disposed of.........'. The learned judge then fixed 21.10.1980 as the next date of hearing and for filing written statement etc. Thereafter the elections were held. The application for ad-interim injunction was heard on merits on 24.10.1930. On 25.10.1980 the learned judge vacated the condition imposed in the earlier order and permitted the results to be declared. On that date the results were declared. It was found that Dharampal had not secured even half the number of the votes of the elected candidate. Dharampal, thereafter filed an application for the stay of the operation of the order dated 31.10.1980. On this application the trial court passed an order directing that the decision not to give the charge of the office to the elected candidate, Harphool Sin^h.

(4) Feeling aggrieved by the earlier order of the trial court permitting the petitioner to declare the results, Dharampal preferred an appeal to the Additional Senior Sub Judge, Delhi (Shri Chaturvedi). This appeal was allowed on 17.11.1980. The learned Senior Sub Judge directed the D.C.M. not to give charge of office to the elected candidate. This writ petition is filed against the said appellate order dated 17.1.1980.

(5) As I observed earlier the court should be very slow in denying the elected representative (and also the electorate) from discharging the functions in a democratic manner.

(6) The order vacating stay was issued by the trial court on the application of the D.C.M. The hearing took place on 24.10.1980 and the order was pronounced on 25.10.1980. The respondent Dharampal moved the applications, on 25.10.1980 around 12.20 P.M. in the court. First, was an application for amendment of the suit in view of the fact that the election had already took place on 9.10.1980. The other application was under order 39 Rules I and 2 to continue the stay granted on 8.10.1980. The appellate court allowed the appeal because in its opinion the trial court did not consider these applications of respondent before passing the order vacating the stay on 25.10.1980. There is not much of a substance in this reasoning of the appellate court. The amendment application merely intended to bring on record the circumstances of the election being held. It had no direct and immediate bearing on the interim injunction application. The date was fixed by the trial court for hearing the application for ad-interim injunction after notice and for confirmation of the said order. The second application by the respondent under Order 39 Rule I and 2 was, thereforee, superfluous application. Thus no prejudice is caused to the petitioner.

(7) The learned counsel for the respondent submits that permitting Harphool Singh to take over would amount to give full relief to the respondent which, he might get only after the decision of the suit. But this is inherent in a suit for permanent injunction. On the contrary, an. elected representative would be unreasonably denied an opportunity to work on the Trust if the suit takes a long time for disposal. On the facts of the case I am of the view that the second option is more just and proper. The appellate court has held that the threat of strike by workers (electorate) is no justification for refusing injunction. True, but the court must show awareness of the importance of democratic process of election.

(8) For the reasons stated above the impugned order is set aside. Harphool Singh would be entitled to take over and act as a trustee. Considering the fact that period of his office is only two years, the trial court should consider whether early hearing of the suit is possible.

(9) The petition succeeds but with no orders as to costs.


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