C.M. Lodha, J.
1. This writ application involves a short point viz., whether the direction of the Government dated 21st November, 1975, (Exhibit-3) that all motions for consideration of no-confidence against Pramukh, Up-Pramukh, Pradhan, Up-Pradhan, Sarpanch and Up-Sarpanch be stayed upto 31st December, 1975, due to drives of allotment of house-sites, allotment of agricultural land and other items of 20 points Economic Programme.
2. The question arises in this manner. The non-petitioner No. 4 Shri Hardeosingh is Pradhan, Panchayat Samiti, Fatehpur, District Sikar. A motion of no-confidence by the requisite number of members was moved against him and the Collector, Sikar, thereupon issued a notice dated 29th October, 1975 (Exhibit-1) calling the meeting for consideration of no-confidence motion on 24th November, 1975. However, in pursuance of the Government's direction dated 21st November, 1975 (Exhibit-3) referred to above, the Collector by his order bearing the same date, postponed the consideration of the no-confidence motion and cancelled the notice (Exhibit-1) calling the meeting on 24th November, 1975 for consideration of the no-confidence motion.
3. Thereupon the petitioner who is one of the signatories to the motion of no-confidence filed the present writ application in this court for issuing an appropriate writ for quashing the orders Exhibit-1, Exhibit-2 and Exhibit-3 and for issuing a direction to the Collector, Sikar, to convene the meeting for consideration of the motion at an early date.
4. The application has been opposed on behalf of the State of Rajasthan as well as the non-petitioner No. 4. The preliminary objections have been raised by Mr. Dutt on behalf of the non-petitioner No. 4. It is urged in the first instance, that since the last date of stay issued by the Government is to expire on 31st December. 1975 and the meeting is required to be called by a notice of not less than 15 clear days of such meeting to the members, no useful purpose would be served by issuing a writ in the present case and, therefore, the writ should be dismissed as having become infructuous, I am, however, unable to accept this contention. May be, that the meeting has to be called after 31st December, 1975, but the main question is whether the direction issued by the Government in the present case for postponing consideration of no-confidence motion is valid and proper Unless the validity of the impugned order issued by the Government is decided in the present case, the possibility of extension of the order of stay by the Government cannot be altogether excluded. I am, therefore, of opinion that the matter must be decided on merits.
5. The other preliminary objection raised by the learned counsel is that the writ petition is not maintainable, inasmuch as it has not been moved by all the signatories to the no-confidence motion. The motion was moved by 22 members in all and under Section 12(b) of the Rajasthan Panchayat Samiti and Zila Parishads Act, 1959; (which will hereinafter be referred to as 'the Act') a subsequent motion as in the present case must be moved by more than half of the total number of members of the Panchayat Samiti. The total number of members of the Panchayat Samiti in the present case at the relevant time was 41 and, therefore, undisputedly the motion was properly moved, inasmuch as it was signed by 22 persons. The objection is that all those 22 members should have been joined in this writ petition and since only one of them has come forward as the petitioner and the others have not been joined even as non-petitioners, the writ petition is not maintainable. In support of his contention, strong reliance has been placed by Mr. Dutt on Pt. Kalicharan Sharma v. Chief Panchayat Officer, (1958 Raj LW 219). In that case the election of the Sarpanch was challenged by a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution by one elector only. An objection was taken on behalf of the opposite party that in the first place an election petition could have been brought for challenging the election and, therefore, the writ application was not entertainable. This objection found favour with the Court. In the alternative it was urged that the relevant provision of law required that the election petition must be filed by at least 10 qualified electors. It was, therefore, contended that a single elector could not file a writ application for setting aside the election of the Sarpanch. This objection was allowed and it was observed that it would be improper to permit one elector to challenge the validity of the election in this Court, inasmuch as by doing that, the court would allow him to do a thing which the Legislature had obviously not permitted. The facts of that case are, therefore, clearly distinguishable and the rationale of that decision has no application to the facts and circumstances of the present case. Here, the motion of no-confidence has been moved by the requisite number of members, on which the meeting was also called, but according to the petitioner, an illegality has been committed by the Collector in cancelling the meeting on the basis of an invalid order by the Government. I am, therefore, not persuaded to accept this preliminary objection either.
6. This brings me to the merits of the case. Mr. Dutta has tried to support the order of the Government by making reference to Chapter IV which bears the heading 'External Control' and has made reference particularly to Section 66 (4) in this Chapter, which provides that the State Government may of its own motion or on a representation made by the Panchayat Samiti, call for the record of the case in which such order was passed and pass such order in relation thereto as it may deem fit; but the State Government shall not pass any order prejudicial to the Panchayat Samiti unless it is given an opportunity for explanation. It may be pointed out that this sub-section deals with the power of the State Government of cancelling or suspending resolution of a Panchayat Samiti as is indicated by the heading of the section itself. It provides that the State Government may by an order in writing cancel any resolution passed by a Panchayat Samiti or any standing committee thereof if in its opinion such resolution is not legally passed or is in excess or abuse of the powers conferred by or under this Act or under any law for the time being in force, or if its execution is likely to cause danger to human life, health or safety or is likely to lead to a breach of the peace. It need hardly be pointed out that this provision has nothing to do with the supposed power of the State Government to postpone the consideration of the no confidence motion in matters like the present. In this connection, I wish to invite attention to Section 39 (5) of the Act which appears to be mandatory in nature. It provides that a meeting convened for the purpose of considering a motion under this section shall not be adjourned. No other provision has been brought to my notice under which the Government could have exercised its power of suspending the consideration of the motion of no-confidence against a Pradhan or Up-Pradhan. In this state of law, I have no alternative but to come to the conclusion that the direction issued by the Government (Exhibit-3) dated 21st November, 1975, to the effect that all motions for consideration of no-confidence against Pradhan may be stayed upto 31st December, 1975, is illegal. I am not concerned in the present case with motions of no-confidence moved against other persons mentioned in the order, and, there-fore, the order passed in the present case must be limited to the case of no-confidence motion against Pradhan only.
7. The result is that I allow this writ petition and quash the direction of the Government dated 21st November, 1975 (Exhibit-3) so far as the consideration of no-confidence motion against the Pradhan is concerned and also the consequential order of the Collector, Sikar, dated 21st November, 1975 (Exhibit-2) and hereby further direct that the Collector, Sikar, shall summon the meeting for consideration of no-confidence motion against the non-petitioner No. 4 in accordance with law. No order as to costs.