Skip to content


Jaikishan Vs. Collector, Ganganagar and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ Petn. No. 527 of 1961
Judge
Reported inAIR1964Raj112
ActsRajasthan Panchayat Act, 1953 - Sections 9(3) and 27C(6)
AppellantJaikishan
RespondentCollector, Ganganagar and ors.
Appellant Advocate Marudhar Mridul, Adv.
Respondent Advocate J.S. Rastogi, Adv.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
.....the learned counsel for the petitioner to furnish the circumstances under which the members of the nyayapanchayat failed to elect their chairman, but these factshave not been placed on record in spite of the order of the court, but during the course of his arguments learned counsel for the petitioner however disclosed that the officer appointed by the collector to conduct the meeting of the nyaya panchayat to elect the chairman on 25th february, 1961 could not reach the place of meeting and, therefore, the meeting could not be held on the appointed date. rastogi, he could not also throw any light about the facts and circumstances which were responsible for the failure of themembers of the nyaya panchayat to elect their chairmanon 25th february, 1961. 5. mr. it has also been urged that in..........the learned counsel for the petitioner to furnish the circumstances under which the members of the nyayapanchayat failed to elect their chairman, but these factshave not been placed on record in spite of the order of the court, but during the course of his arguments learned counsel for the petitioner however disclosed that the officer appointed by the collector to conduct the meeting of the nyaya panchayat to elect the chairman on 25th february, 1961 could not reach the place of meeting and, therefore, the meeting could not be held on the appointed date. he has further admitted that after 25th february no attempt was, however, made by the collector to call the meeting till 30th october, 1961 when the nyaya panchayat elected respondent no. 3 as its chairman.4. none of the three.....
Judgment:
ORDER

V.P. Tyagi, J.

1. This writ application of Jai Kishen, who was nominated as a chairman of the Nyaya Panchayat, Thande-wala by the Collector, Ganganagar, under Section 27-C(6) of the Rajasthan Panchayat Act presents an important question of law namely whether a member once appointed as Chairman of the Nyaya Panchayat by the Collector can subsequently be removed by him or not. In the instant case, petitioner was appointed as Chairman on 27th May, 1961 but later on it was ordered by the Collector that a Chairman may be elected by the Nyaya Panchayat as a result of which respondent No. 3 Satpaul Singh was declared duly elected on 30th October, 1961. It is under these circumstances that the present writ application has been filed by the petitioner with a prayer that an appropriate writ, order or direction be issued to quash the proceedings taken for electing the Chairman of the Nyaya Panchayat and the Government may be restrained from removing him (the petition) from the office of Chairman of the said Nyaya Panchayat.

2. In order to appreciate the question in its right perspective, it will be convenient to mention the relevant facts that have given rise to this situation. It is alleged that after the general election of the Panchayats in 1960, the Nyaya Panchayat, of Thandewala was constituted on 17th February, 1961 and thereafter a meeting of the members of the Nyaya Panchayat was called by the Collector on 25th February, 1961 to elect its Chairman, but somehow that meeting did not take place on the appointed date and the Chairman could, not, therefore, be elected by the members of the Nyaya Panchayat. It is stated that on May 27, 1961 the Collector nominated the peti-tioner as the Chairman of the said Nyaya Panchayat and the oath of office was also administered to him on 31st May, 1961. On 16th October, 1961 it is alleged that the Collector issued a notice calling the meeting of the members of Nyaya Panchayat to elect its Chairman and consequently non-petitioner No. 3 was declared elected as Chairman of the said Nyaya Panchayat on 30th October, 1961. It is on account of this election that the Petitionerfelt aggrieved and therefore he has challenged the election of non-petitioner No. 3.

3. It may be mentioned that the petitioner has not disclosed the circumstances and the reasons as to whythe meeting of the Nyaya Panchayat, which was called on 25th February, 1961, could not be held. When this case came up for hearing on 4th September, 1963 the Court asked the learned counsel for the petitioner to furnish the circumstances under which the members of the NyayaPanchayat failed to elect their Chairman, but these factshave not been placed on record in spite of the order of the Court, but during the course of his arguments learned counsel for the petitioner however disclosed that the officer appointed by the Collector to conduct the meeting of the Nyaya Panchayat to elect the Chairman on 25th February, 1961 could not reach the place of meeting and, therefore, the meeting could not be held on the appointed date. He has further admitted that after 25th February no attempt was, however, made by the Collector to call the meeting till 30th October, 1961 when the Nyaya Panchayat elected Respondent No. 3 as its Chairman.

4. None of the three respondents have preferred tofile a reply to this writ application but Mr. Rastogi has appeared on behalf of respondent No. 3 Satpaul Singh who has now been declared as duly elected Chairman of the Nyaya Panchayat. On enquiry from Mr. Rastogi, he could not also throw any light about the facts and circumstances which were responsible for the failure of themembers of the Nyaya Panchayat to elect their Chairmanon 25th February, 1961.

5. Mr. Mridul appearing on behalf of the petitioner has vehemently urged before me that under the Rajasthan Panchayat Act, there is no power given to the Collector or to the State Government to remove a person from the office of the Chairman of a Nyaya Panchayat if he is onceelected or appointed to that office. His contention is that holding of a meeting to elect a chairman after his client was appointed to that office under Section 27-C of the Rajasthan Panchayat Act and worked there for about five months is nothing but an ingenious device discover-ed by the Collector to remove the petitioner which he could not otherwise do under the Act. It has also been urged that in the absence of any reply on behalf of therespondent to controvert the facts mentioned in his affidavit, this position must be accepted by the Court that the members of the Nyaya Panchayat had failed to elect their Chairman when called upon to do so on 25th February, 1961 and, therefore, under the proviso to Clause (6) of Section 27-C of the Act, the Collector had validly appointed the petitioner to work as the Chairman of thesaid Nyaya Panchayat and that the petitioner had acquired a right to hold that office till he is either removed ty a vote of no-confidence or by the! expiry of his term as a member of the Nyaya Panchayat.

6. Mr. Rastogi on behalf of respondent No. 3 has urged that the appointment of the petitioner to the office of Chairman under Section 27-C (6) was uncalled for, asunder the circumstances disclosed by Mr. Mridul, it can-not be said that the members of the Nyaya Panchayathad failed to elect the Chairman. He has also contended that if under a mistaken view of the situation theCollector had appointed the petitioner as a Chairman ofthe Nyaya Panchayat, the petitioner cannot claim anyright to remain in the office as his appointment is 'ab-initio' void, and therefore the Collector was justified tocall a mooting of the Nyaya Panchayat to elect the Chairman.

7. Contention raised by learned counsel for the parties pose the following two questions for the' decision of the Court:

(i) Whether the appointment of the petitioner as Chairman of the Nyaya Panchayat was valid; and

(ii) Whether after the appointment of the petitioneras Chairman could the Panchayat elect another Chairmanto replace the petitioner before the expiry of his termunder the Act.

8. Relevant provision of the Act that deals with the election or appointment of a Chairman of the Nyaya Panchayat is contained in Clause (6) of Section 27-C of the Act which reads as follows:

'27-C. (6) The members of a Nyaya Panchayat shallelect within a month from the date of the administrationof oath, one from amongst themselves to be the Chairmanof such Nyaya Panchayat.

Provided that if they fail so to elect the Chairman within the specified period, the Officer-in-charge of Pancha-yats shall appoint one from amongst the members to be such Chairman.'

9. From the perusal of this Clause it is clear that if the Collector, who is officer-in-charge of the Panchayats in his district, comes to the conclusion that the mem-Ders of a Nyaya Panchayat have failed to elect the Chair-man, within one month from the date of the constitution of the Nyaya Panchayat, he can appoint one of the members of such Panchayat as a Chairman. It may be noted here that there is no provision in this Act to regulate the term of the appointment of such a Chairman. In the absence of any specific provision in the Act governing the tenure of the appointed Chairman, it is urged that he would work as a Chairman in the same mariner as if he were elected to that job and would, therefore, continue to function as such as long as his term is not expired by the efflux of time or he is not removed therefrom by passing a vote of no-confidence against him. Mr. Rastogi in this Connection has referred to the order of the Collector by which the petitioner was appointed, which reads as follows:

^^U;k; iapk;r FkkUnsokyklfefr jk;flaguxj ds gqos lk/kj.k fuokZpu ds le; ernkrkvksa dh vksj ls fdlh lnL;dh v/;{k ij ds fy;s ughaa pquk] blfy;s jktLFkku iapk;r ,DV 1953 dh /kkjk 27 lh6 ds vUrxZr fn;s x;s vf/kdkjksa dks mi;ksx esa ykrs gq;s mDr ,DV dh /kkjk 9ds 3 ds vuqlkj es pEikyky dkspj Jh xaxkuxj blds }kjk Jh tSfdlu oYn ikjke19 vkj- ch- dks U;k; iapk;r FkkUnsokyk dks v/;{k fu;qDr djrk gwa A**

10. It appears from this order that the Collector was perhaps working under the impression that the proviso to Clause (6) of Section 27-C of the Act requires the simultaneous election of the Chairman with the constitution of the Nyaya Panchayat, and since the Chairman could riot be elected at the time of the general election, therefore, he thought that he could exercise the authority to appoint the Chairman vested in him by virtue of the proviso to Clause (6) of Section 27-C of the Act, and it is Under that mistaken notion about his authority under the law that he appointed the petitioner as a Chairman of the Nyaya Panchayat. While passing this order the Collector has also tried to draw his authority from the provisions of Section 9 (3) of the Act which deals with the nomination in place of the co-opted members of the Panchayat in the event the Panchayat fails at its first meeting to co-opt the requisite number of persons. In the instant case, this provision of the Act is obviously inapplicable and to appoint a Chairman by drawing authority under this provision viz. Section 9 (3) of the Act is a mistake patent on the face of the record.

11. Now the Court has to see whether under the circumstances of this case, as disclosed by Mr. Mridul, while addressing the Court, can it be said that the mem-bers of the Nyaya Panchayat really failed to elect Chair-mart so as to attract the provisions of the proviso to Sub-section (6) of Section 27-C of the Act. It may be noted that after the election of the members to the Nyaya Panchayat were held on I7th February, 1961, the Collector had called a meeting of the Nyaya Panchayat to elect its Chairman on 25th February, 1961, but this meeting could not be held as the; Returning Officer appointed by the Collector could not reach the spot of meeting in time. Thereafter it so appears that the Collector did not take any steps under Clause (6) of Section 27-C of the Rajas-than Panchayat Act to get the Chairman elected within one month from the date of the constitution of the Nyaya Panchayat and therefore election of the Chairman could not take place within the prescribed period. Under these circumstances, it cannot be said with any justification that the members of the Nyaya Panchayat failed to elect the Chairman, and therefore the Collector had an authority to appoint the petitioner as Chairman in the exercise of his power under the proviso to Clause (6) of Section 27-C of the Act. In my opinion, there was no inaction on the part of the members of the Nyaya Panchayat for which blame could be laid at their doors for not electing their own Chairman as they were never called upon by the Collector after the first meeting was adjourned on account of the failure on the part of the Returning Officer who did not reach the place of meeting. It is regrettable to note that the Collector did not even care to call another meeting of the Nyaya Panchayat within the prescribed period to get the Chairman elected and when one month expired he chose to appoint the petitioner as Chairman without carrying out his duty faithfully that was en-joined on him by Clause (6) of Section 27-C of the Act. Under these circumstances, the authority of the Collector under the proviso to Clause (6) of Section 27-C was not at all attracted as the members of the Nyaya Panchayat cannot be said to have failed in their duty to elect their Chairman. I regret that I cannot accept the averment made by the petitioner in his affidavit that the mem-bers of the Nyaya Panchayat had failed to elect the Chairman, and therefore his appointment as Chairman by the Collector In exercise of his authority under the proviso was valid In law. It has been provided by the legislature that the officer-in-charge of Panchayats shall appointa member as a Chairman only when the members havefailed so to elect. In the present case, it cannot besaid that the members of the Nyaya Panchayat had failedto elect their Chairman and, therefore, the very appointment of the petitioner as Chairman was obviously uncalledfor and illegal. In my opinion, the petitioner had noright to stick to the office of the Chairman as his appointment was not in accordance with the provisions of thelaw.

12. Mr. Mridul has also argued that the Collectorcannot call a meeting of the members of the Nyaya Panchayat to elect the Chairman unless there is a clearvacancy. His contention is that to hold such an electionwithout a clear vacancy is nothing but a device to remove the present occupant. This argument is not without force. In my opinion, the Collector has no authorityunder the law to remove the Chairman who has been law-fully appointed by him, nor can he order a fresh election of the Chairman unless there is a clear vacancy, butthis argument can be of any avail to the petitioner onlywhen his appointment is held to be valid. The argumentadvanced by Mr. MridUI presupposes the valid election orappointment of a Chairman in accordance with the provisions of the Act and the rules made, thereunder. As ithas already been observed that the appointment of thepetitioner by the Collector was not warranted by thecircumstances then obtainable petitioner cannot legallyclaim that he has a right to continue in the office. Inview of the said discussion, the petitioner, who, under thecircumstances referred to above, shall be treated as theusurper of the office of the Chairman of the Nyaya Panchayat, cannot challenge the election of respondentNo. 3.

13. As the appointment of the petitioner was not Inaccordance with the provisions of law, he has no right toInvoke the extraordinary jurisdiction of this Court to seekthe relief as prayed in his writ application. The petitionis, therefore, dismissed with costs.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //