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P.K. Muthuvelappa Goundar Vs. the Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1960)2MLJ392
AppellantP.K. Muthuvelappa Goundar
RespondentThe Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies and ors.
Cases ReferredGuntur v. Seshqyyai
Excerpt:
- - the main reason of the deputy registrar in reaching that conclusion was his view that there was a contravention of the election rules by reason of muthuvelappa's name as delegate having been received on 20th october, 1959. the following extract from his order clearly reveals the basis of his order: there is no controversy in this case that if there is a dispute touching the business of a registered society within the meaning of section 51, the other requirements of section 51, namely, the categories of persons between whom the dispute should subsist are satisfied. the contention urged on behalf of the petitioner is that it should not be construed as mandatory entailing forfeiture of rights especially when there are no words in the said rules prescribing the consequence of a failure.....orderjagadisan, j.1. this writ petition prays for the issue of a writ of certiorari or other appropriate writ, direction or order for quashing the order of the deputy registrar of co-operative societies, coimbatore, dated ist december, 1959, in a.r.c. no. 140 of 1959 under the following circumstances:2. the coimbatore district co-operative central bank, ltd., is a registered society governed by the madras co-operative societies act (vi of 1932). it will be hereinafter referred to as the central bank. the general body of central bank consists of the following members : (i) individual members; (ii) affiliated societies; (iii) the state co-operative bank, ltd., and (iv) the state government if they held shares in the bank. bye-law no. 8 of the central bank provides that each society being a.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Jagadisan, J.

1. This writ petition prays for the issue of a writ of certiorari or other appropriate writ, direction or order for quashing the order of the Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Coimbatore, dated ist December, 1959, in A.R.C. No. 140 of 1959 under the following circumstances:

2. The Coimbatore District Co-operative Central Bank, Ltd., is a registered Society governed by the Madras Co-operative Societies Act (VI of 1932). It will be hereinafter referred to as the Central Bank. The General Body of Central Bank consists of the following members : (I) individual members; (ii) affiliated societies; (iii) the State Co-operative Bank, Ltd., and (iv) the State Government if they held shares in the Bank. Bye-law No. 8 of the Central Bank provides that each society being a member of the Central Bank shall at a general meeting appoint a delegate who shall hold office for a period of three years or until his successor shall have been appointed in accordance with the rules governing such appointment. Under bye-law No. 11 the management of the Central Bank shall vest in a Board consisting of several persons of whom delegates from several constituencies shall also form part. One such constituency is styled as ' Audit Union and Urban Banks affiliated to the Central Bank'. Bye-law No. 11, Clause (2), provides as follows:. The election of these representatives shall be held at separate meetings composed exclusively of the delegates of the respective classes of societies and specially convened for the purpose from among themselves. The President of the Central Bank shall preside over such meetings, and he shall have no right to vote unless he is a delegate from any of the types of societies referred to. In the event of an equality of votes the matter shall be decided on the spot, by the casting of lots

3. For the purposes of the present case what need be noted is that each of the constituencies mentioned in bye-law No. 11, Clause (2), has a right to send a delegate to the Board of Management of the Central Bank and the mode of choosing such delegate shall be by election as amongst delegates of each such constituency.

4. Bye-law No. 14 is as follows:

The entire administration of the Central Bank shall vest in the Board of Management. The Board shall be competent to make regulations from time to time not inconsistent with the bye-laws of the Co-operative Societies Act (VI of 1932)(Madras) and the rules made thereunder for the conduct of the business of the Central Bank. A copy of such regulations shall be furnished to the Registrar of Co-operative Societies for information.

5. In exercise of the powers conferred under bye-law 14 rules were framed for the conduct of elections and the said rules shall hereinafter be referred to as the election rules. It will be convenient to set out some of the relevant elections rules at this stage.

Rule 4: ' Voters' List : In the year of election before the 10th October, as soon as the particulars regarding the delegates are received from the Societies, a list has to be prepared with reference to the delegates and individual shareholders. This shall be the ' voters list'.. Before the 20th of October of the election year, the list of voters must be prepared, signed by the Secretary and published in the Notice Board of the Bank. A copy of the said list has to be supplied to any voter (bund therein on a payment of Rs. 10 per copy '.

Rule 5: ' Nomination : The candidate for the Board of Management has to file his application under Form No. 1, which has to be signed by the candidate, his proposer and seconder. The candidate, his proposer and seconder must be persons found in the voters' list so prepared. All the three must be from out of the said voters'list. From the 25th to 28th October of' the election year, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on each day, the nomination paper has to be submitted to the Secretary.

6. The constituency of'the Audit Union and Urban Banks affiliated to the Central Bank ' consists of, amongst other societies, two societies (i) the Gohichettipalayam Co-operative Urban Bank, Ltd., and (ii) the Coimbatore City Co-operative Bank, Ltd. The Central Bank passed a resolution on 8th September, 1959 and issued a circular on 9th September, 1959, to all the affiliated societies drawing their attention to submit the names of their respective delegates on or before iotli October, 1959, with a view to facilitate the holding of elections to the Board of Management in due course as per the schedule of time fixed by the Central Bnak. The Coimbatore City Co-operative Bank, Ltd., had its delegate in one Dr. T.V. Sivanadam. The Cobichettipalayam Co-operative Urban Bank, Ltd., elected as a delegate one P.K. Muthuvelappa Goundar at its general meeting held on 18th October, 1959 and forwarded his name and a copy of the resolution appointing him to the Central Bank by its letter, dated 19th October, 1959. This was received by the Central Bank on 20th October, 1959. It must be mentioned that the printed voters' list of the Central Bank published in the notice board on 20th October, 1959, contained the name of one S.K. Subramanialyer alias Vembu Iyer as the delegate appertaining to the Gobi Co-operative Urban Bank, Ltd. But by a subsequent correction of the voters' list, presumably after the receipt of the name of the fresh delegate, P.K. Muthuvelappa Goundar, the voters' list was corrected substituting his name in the place of the old delegate.

7. In respect of the constituency of 'the Audit Union and Urban Bank' the two delegates, P.K. Muthuvelappa Goundar, the delegate of the Gobi Co-operative Urban Bank, Ltd., and Dr. T.V. Sivanandam, the delegate of the Coimbatore City Co-operative Urabn Bank, Ltd. filed their nominations within the time prescribed by the election rules and they came on for scrutiny by the President of the Central Bank in accordance with the said rules, and the President declared both of them as duly and validly nominated to stand for election for a seat in the Board of Management. It appears from the record that Dr. T.V. Sivanandam objected to the nomination of P.K. Muthuvelappa at the time of the scrutiny.

8. Dr. T.V. Sivanandam, the delegate of the Coimbatore City Co-operative Urban Bank, Ltd., filed an application before the Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Coimbatore, invoking the aid of Section 51 of the Madras Co-operative Societies Act, which was taken on his file as A.RC. No. 140 of 1959. He alleged in the said petition, to which he impleaded the Secretary of the Central Bank as the first respondent, the President of the Central Bank as the second respondent, and P.K. Muthuvelappa Goundar as the third respondent, that the said Muthuvelappa Goundar cannot be nominated as a candidate since his name is not in the final voters' list prepared and published by the Bank that though objection was taken by him at the time of the scrutiny, the President of the Central Bank was pleased to hold that Muthuvelappa Gounder's nomination was valid, that the decision of the President was against the rules framed for the conduct of election. He accordingly prayed for setting aside the order of the President of the Central Bank declaring Muthuvelappa as duly nominated, and for declaring him as the duly elected director from 'the Audit Union and Urban Bank Constituency.

9. This application was resisted by all the respondents before the Deputy Registrar. Their contention was that the nomination of the third respondent was valid that there had been no violation of the election rules by accepting the candidature of Muthuvelappa despite the fact that he came in as a delegate only after 10th October, 1959 and that the Central Bank had a power of revision of the electoral roll under Bye-law 33-A, that the bye-law should prevail over the election rules which were subsidiary regulations and that the petition should therefore be dismissed.

10. The Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Society took evidence, held an enquiry and reached the conclusion that the nomination of Muthuvelappa Goundar was not valid and should not have been accepted by the President of the Central Bank. The main reason of the Deputy Registrar in reaching that conclusion was his view that there was a contravention of the election rules by reason of Muthuvelappa's name as delegate having been received on 20th October, 1959. The following extract from his order clearly reveals the basis of his order:

I therefore find that the inclusion of the name of the third respondent (P.K. Muthuvelappa Goundar) as a delegate of the Gobichettipalayam Co-operative Urban Bank, Ltd., on 20th October, 1959, in the delegates' list of the Coimbatore District Co-operative Central Bank, Ltd., Coimbatore, though may be right or proper under the Bye-law 33-A or Rule 10-A of the rules framed under the Madras Co-operative Societies Act (VI of 1932) for revising the list of voters 30 days prior to the date of election of this Bank, (the date of election of the Bank being 5th December, 1959) the accepting of the nomination to stand as a candidature for the election is invalid and contrary to the rules framed by the Board. I therefore declare that the selection or approval by the second respondent as presiding Officer of the 3rd respondent as a candidate for the ' Audit Union ' and ' Urban Bank ' constituency directorship of the Coimbatore District Cooperative Central Bank, Ltd., Coimbatore, is set aside and order that his name be cancelled from the list of selected candidates for contesting the election for this particular constituency.

11. P.K. Muthuvelappa Goundar, the candidate whose nomination has thus been rejected by orders of the Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies, feeling aggrieved by the said order, has preferred the above writ petition. He has impleaded the Deputy Registrar as the first respondent, the rival candidate Dr. T.V. Sivanandam as the second respondent, the Secretary Of the Central Bank as the third respondent and the President of the Central Bank as the fourth respondent in this petition.

12. The ground on which the petitioner seeks relief by way of certiorari under Article 226 of the Constitution is firstly that the Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies had no jurisdiction as the application before him purporting to be under Section 51 of the Madras Co-operative Societies Act was incompetent and unsustainable, and secondly that the Deputy Registrar erred in law in cancelling his nomination1 approved by the President on a misconception of the nature and scope of the election rules.

13. I shall first deal with the question of jurisdiction of the Deputy Registrar under Section 51 of the Madras Act VI of 1932. The section provides that any dispute, touching the business of a registered society, (other than a dispute regarding disciplinary action taken by the society) amongst members, past members and persons claiming through members, etc., or between a member, past member, etc., and the society or between the society or its Committee and any past committee, etc., or between the society and any other registered society, shall be referred to the Registrar for decision. There is no controversy in this case that if there is a dispute touching the business of a registered society within the meaning of Section 51, the other requirements of Section 51, namely, the categories of persons between whom the dispute should subsist are satisfied. The dispute between the parties which was the subject-matter of adjudication before the Deputy Registrar can be treated either as between members or persons claiming through members, which means that Section 51, clause (a) is complied with. The dispute, if any, can equally be brought within Section 51, Clause (b). The only contention urged by the learned Advocate-General, who appeared for the petitioner in this case was that the dispute now between the parties, namely, the validity of the nomination, of one of the candidates is not a dispute touching the business of a registered society. His contention is that though the election of directors as such will constitute a dispute touching the business of a registered society, if the election is impugned by anybody as held by a decision of a Full Bench of this Court in Madhava Row v. Surya Rao (1953) 2 M.L.J. 340 : I.L.R. (1953) Mad. 1047 the stage of nomination is different and to that stage the principle of the Full Bench decision is not applicable. Mr. P.S. Kailasam, appearing for the contesting respondent (the second respondent) contended that the principle of the Full Bench decision is fully applicable to the facts of the present case and cannot be distinguished in the manner submitted by the learned Advocate-General. It is only necessary for me to examine the scope of the said Full Bench ruling as all the cases on the subject have been dealt with and considered in it. I do not find that there is any subsequent decision dealing with the point nor was my attention drawn to any such ruling. The headnote of the Full Bench decision runs as follows:

A dispute relating to the election of the Directors of a Co-operative Bank registered under the provisions of the Madras Act (VI of 1932) is one 'touching the business ' of the Bank, within the meaning of Section 51 of the Act.

14. The words ' dispute touching the business of a registered society' were construed as words of wide import bringing within its ambit not merely disputes directly arising out of the business of the society but also disputes having reference or relation to or concerning the business of the society. The word 'touching' was held designed to enlarge the scope of the word ' business'. All that was permitted to be done by the bye-laws governing the society and by the rules framed under the Act were deemed to be the business of the society. At page 1064 the following observation occurs:

It therefore follows that, in order to determine the activities or the ' business' of the corporation, one has to look into the provisions of the Act and the rules and the bye-laws framed by ihe society. All matters comprised in them or are incidental to or necessary for carryirg out those matters must be deemed to be the business of the corporation. The power of the corporation is derived from these three sources, and so long as its activity is within those powers, it cannot be questioned as being invalid.

A dispute relating, therefore, to election would undoubtedly be a dispute concerning or relating to the business of the society.

Having examined the Full Bench decision closely I am of opinion that the contention on the part of the petitioner is not sustainable. It is not possible to dissociate the stage of nomination from the stage of return of the candidate after polling and declaration of results, in such a manner as to import the notion of business of society only to the latter stage of election, and not to the former stage of nomination. In fact the whole process of election commences from the stage of nomination and the word election has been considered as including nomination also in its wide sense of the term.

15. In Ponnuswami v. Returning Officer, Namakkal (1952) S.C.J. 100 : (1952) 1 M.L.J. (S.C.), of the Supreme Court observed as follows:. the word ' election ' can be and has been appropriately used with reference to the entire process which consists of several stages and embraces many steps, some of which may have an important bearing on the result of the process.

I am of opinion that the ratio decidendi of the Full Bench decision fully applies to the facts of the present case, and that therefore the jurisdiction of the Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies was rightly invoked under Section 51 of the Act.

16. The next question that has to be considered is as regards the nature of Clause (4) of the election rules, which has already been set out. The contention urged on behalf of the petitioner is that it should not be construed as mandatory entailing forfeiture of rights especially when there are no words in the said rules prescribing the consequence of a failure to comply with the said rules. The contention on behalf of the second respondent is that having regard to the word 'shall' which is contained in the clause it must be held to be mandatory carrying with it the inevitable deprivation of the rights of persons who do not comply with the said rules.

17. The distinction between absolute and directory enactments or mandatory and recommendatory provisions, rules and regulations is well known and cannot admit of any doubt. The contravention of an absolute enactment renders the resulting act invalid and void while non-compliance of a directory enactment leaves the validity of the thing done untouched. ' An absolute enactment must be obeyed or fulfilled exactly. But it is sufficient if a directory enactment be obeyed or fulfilled substantially '. Woodward v. Sarsons Lahore L.R. 10 Common Pleas 733 at 746, Punjab Co-operative Bank v. I.T.O. (1941) 1 M.L.J. 130 : L.R. 67 IndAp 464 The classification is of vital importance as the consequences flowing from it lead to greatly divergent results.

18. How to distinguish the one kind of enactment or rule from the other is a problem which cannot be solved by applying set formulae or using any acid test or invoking any golden rule of construction. This is again a field of law where common sense has to be called in aid. In Thakur Pratap Singh v. Shri Krishna Gupta and Ors., : [1955]2SCR1029 their Lordships observe as follows:. We deprecate this tendency towards technicality; it is the substance that counts and must take precedence over mere form. Some rules are vital and go to the root of the matter; they cannot be broken; others are only directory and a breach of them can be overlooked provided there is substantial compliance with the rules read as a whole and provided no prejudice ensues; and when the Legislature does not itself state which is which Judges must determine the matter, and exercising a nice discrimination, sort out one class from the other along broad-based, commonsense lines.

Oftentimes the statute or the body of rules, the provisions whereof come in for determination, is mute in the sense that it does not prescribe the consequence or penalty for non-conformity or non-adherence. To use the expression of Lord Sumner in a well-known case, Rex v. Nat Bell Liquors, Ltd., L.R. (1922) A.C. 128 it bears the inscrutable face of a Sphinx.

19. In Liverpool Bank v. Turner, 30 L.J. Ch. 379 Lord Gambell observed as follows:

No universal rule....can be laid down as to whether mandatory enactments shall be considered directory only or obligatory with an implied nullification for disobedience. It is the duty of Courts of Justice to try to get at the real intention of the Legislature by carefully, attending to the whole scope of the statute to be construed.

In Howard v. Bodington L.R. (1877) 2 Pro. Div. 203, Lord Penzance made the following observation:

I believe, as far as any rule is concerned, you cannot safely go further than that in each case you must look to the subjet-matter, consider the importance of the provision and the relation of that provision to the general object intended to be secured by the Act, and upon a review of the case in that aspect decide whether the enactment is what is called imperative or only directory... I have been very carefully through all principal cases but upon reading them all the conclusion at which I am constrained to arrive is this, that you cannot glean a great deal that is very decisive from a perusal of these cases. They are on all sorts of subjects. It is very difficult to group them together and the tendency of my mind after reading them is to come to the conclusion which was expressed by Lord Campbell in the case of the Liverpool Bank v. Turner. : (1958)IILLJ273SC

The primary thing to be considered is of course the language of the enactment or the rule. Care must however be taken not to unduly stress the language as it may result in sacrificing the substance to the form. The proper approach seems to be that the Court considering the nature of the enactment must, without ignoring the plain words of the enactment or rule, have regard to the scope, object, scheme, context and design of the Act and the purposes for which the Act or rule is intended. The consequence of taking one view or the other is also a matter for consideration.

20. The following passage from Craword 'On Statutory, Construction' occurring at page 515 may be usefully referred to:

If the provision involved relates to some immaterial matter, where compliance is a matter of convenience rather than substance, or directs certain actions with a view to the proper, orderly and prompt conduct of public business, the provision may be regarded as directory, but where it directs acts or proceedings to be done in a certain way and indicates that a compliance with such provisions is essential to the validity of the act or proceedings, or requires some antecedent and prerequisite conditions to exist prior to the exercise of the power, or be performed before certain other powers can be exercised, the statute may be regarded as mandatory.

To the same effect is the following passage from Corpus Juris Secondutn : Vol. 82, p. 872.

Whether a statute is mandatory or directory depends on whether the thing directed to be done is of the essence of the thing required or is a mere matter of form and what is a matter of essence can often be determined only by judicial construction.

Generally where affirmative language is used the enactment or rule is regarded only as directory. Though expressed in affirmative language the words may be absolute, explicit and peremptory, calling for including a negative by implication. Everything will depend upon the object and purposes of the enactment or rule, the context or what is called the legislative intent, the intention of the authors of the rules.

21. In State of U.P. v. Manbodhan Lal : (1958)IILLJ273SC , the Supreme Court observed as follows:

The use of the word ' shall' in a statute though generally taken in a mandatory sense does not necessarily mean that in every case it shall have that effect that is to say that unless the words of the statute are punctiliously followed the proceeding or the outcome of the proceeding, would be invalid.

Provisions fixing the time for performance of acts are ordinarily held directory where there are no words prohibiting the doing of the thing after the time specified and there is no penalty for the delay. Maxwell on ' Interpretation of Statutes', 10th Edition at page 381, states the law thus:

To hold that an Act which required an officer to prepare and deliver to another officer a list of voters on or before a certain day, under a penalty, made a list not delivered till a later day invalid would in effect, put it in the pdwer of the person charged with the duty of preparing it to disfranchise the electors, a conclusion too unreasonable for acceptance.

Reference may again be made to Crawford on 'Statutory Construction' at page 535:

As a general rule a statute which specifies a time for the purposes of an official duty will be considered as directory so far as the time for performance is concerned especially when the statute fixes the time simply for convenient or orderly procedure.

At page 536, it is stated thus:

Further more it may be assessed as a general rule that where a statute imposes upon the public officer the duty of performing some act relating to the interests of the public and fixes1 a time for the doing of such act, the requirement as to time is to be regarded as directory, and not as a limitation of the exercise of the power unless it contains negative words denying the exercise of the power after thfc time named or unless from the character of the Act to be performed the manner of its performance or its effect upon public interests or private rights it must be presumed that the Legislature had in contemplation that the act had better not be performed at all than be performed at any other time tnari that named.

There are also cases where absolute and directory provisions are contained in the same Act. In respect of such enactment Craies at page 246 of his book 'Statute Law ' observes as follows:

Where a statute does not consist merely of one enactment, but contains a number of different provisions regulating the manner in which something is to be done, it often happens that some of these provisions are to be treated as being directory only, while others are to be considered absolute and essential; that is to say, some of the provisions may be disregarded without rendering invalid the thing to be done, but others not. For ' there is a known distinction ' as Lord Mansfield said in R. v. Loxdale, between circumstances which are of the essence of a thing required to be done by an Act of Parliament and clauses merely directory.

In Woodward v. Sarsons L.k. (1875) 10 C.P. 733, the question that had to be decided was whether a provision under the Ballot Act, 1872, regarding the marking of ballot papers was mandatory or directory. The Ballot Act, 1872, consisted of two parts: the principal part and two schedules which contained rules and forms. It was held that the provisions in the schedule were merely directory but that those contained in the principal part of the Act were to be considered as imperative and absolute. The same principle was followed in Phillips v. Goffs. L.R. (1886) 17 Q.B.D. 805

22. Clause (4) of the election rules does not contain any prvision by way of a penalty in case the time-limit for return of the delegate is not strictly adhered to. My atten.tion is drawn to the fact that previously till the year 1956 the election, rules eontained a clause to the following effect:

The delegates elected either after 31st August or before 1st July of the election year will not be included in the list of voters. Societies which fail to observe this procedure will lose their privi* lege of partaking in the election of directors to the Bank.

Such a clause is significantly omitted in the rules now governing the election to die Board of Management of the Central Bank.

23. I hold that clause (4) of the election rules fixing a time-limit for return of the delegates of the several constituencies is merely a directory provision for the convenience of orderly election and cannot and was not intended to operate as a deadline preventing the Central Bank from recognising and accepting delegates beyond that time and consequently disfranchising the member society from participating in the delegates election. My reasons are : (1) the language of the clause is affimative and it is not reasonable to include in it an implied negative to the effect that non-compliance thereof will result in total forfeiture of rights regarding the delegates elecion; (ii) till the year 1956 the election rules contained a clause prp-viding for forfeiture of rights in. respect of late comers, but such a clause is absent in the rules now governing the Central Bank; (iii) the return of delegates within a prescribed time is an unessential element which does not in any way affect the qualification or competency of the delegate or the essential requisites of the election like nomination, scrutiny of nomination, withdrawal, polling, etc.; (iv) the consequence of holding the time-limit as being mandatory will cause deprivation of rights, and Courts should not readily lean towards such a construction unless the language, scope and object of the enactment or rule are compelling and inevitable.

24. The election rules prescribe various formalities in Clauses (4.) and (5), such as the preparation of voters' list, publication of the list in the notice board of the Central Bank. It is not necessary for me to consider whether the entirety of the said provisions is mandatory or directory. The only question which calls for determination in this writ petition is whether the return of the delegate to the Central Bank has been made before 10th October, 1959 and if not so made does the member society lose the right to participate in the election of the Board of Management. I have already held that so far as that provision is concerned it is merely directory.

25. The scope and applicability of Bye-law 33-A of the Central Bank may now be considered. That bye-law provides that the Board of Directors shall maintain a list of members on the rolls of the Bank who are qualified to vote at general meetings and shall revise such list 30 days prior to the date fixed for the election of the Committee of the Bank. The Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies has taken the view that the said bye-law will not avail the revision of the voters' list in a manner repugnant to the election rules. It may be that if the time-limit fixed in the election rules for the return of the delegate to the Central Bank is considered as mandatory, then Bye-law 33-A by itself should not be construed as vesting the Board of Directors with an overriding power to revise the list. Of course if the said provision in the election rules is held to be directory then bye-law 33-A need not be resorted to at all. I am of opinion that Bye-law 33-A has got to be read along with the election rules so as to bring about a, harmonious result and this can be done only by construing the time-limit fixed 'under Clause (4) of the election rules regarding the return of delegates as being merely directory. In my opinion the provisions of Bye-law 33-A constitute another indication as to the mode of construction of Clause (4) of the election rules.

26. A point was raised before me on behalf of the contesting respondent that the voters' list was not corrected so as to include the name of Muthuvellappa Goundar on the crucial date, namely, the date of filing the nomination. On behalf of the petitioner it was contended that the voters' list was corrected on 20th October; 1959, after the receipt by the Central Bank of the communication from the Gopichettipalyam Co-operative Urban Bank. The Secretary of the Central Bank deposed before the Deputy Registrar as follows :--.

A list of delegates to the Bank was prepared on 10th October, 1959, by me as per the subsidiary regulations. Even after 10th October, 1959, names of some delegates were received. They were included in a revised list as per Bye-law 33-AThe first list was prepared on 12th October, 1959, as 10th and 1 ith were public holidays. In my view the revised list is the final list.

He further deposed, on being cross-examined as,follows:

The names of delegates who came after 12th October, 1959, were included in the list of voiers which was in the office and not in the list put upon the notice board. I do not exactly remember when correction was made.

A supplemental affidavit filed before me avers that the correction or revision of the voters' list was on 20th October, 1959. On behalf of the contesting respondent a supplemental counter-affidavit is filed denying this averment. The question as td When the voters' list was corrected is a question of fact, which cannot be gone into hy this Court in these proceedings. The list produced before the Deputy Registrar on behalf of the applicant before him Exhibit P-i in the case, is the unamended list. The list produced before him on behalf of the Central Bank, Exhibit D-I is the' amended list. I have no jurisdiction to investigate this fact, namely, when the voters' list was amended and I do not think that any finding in this behalf is necessary for the dispbsal of the writ petition. I therefore express no opinion on that question.

27. The Deputy Registrar has set aside the nomination of Muthuvelappa Goundar accepted by the President of the Central Bank on the ground that such acceptance would be repugnant to or in contravention of the election rules. In my view the mere fact that Muthuvelappa Goundar came in as a delegate by reason of a communication from the Gobichettipalayam Co-operative Urban Bank which reached the Central Bank only on 20th October, 1959, cannot disqualify him from being treated as a proper delegate. The President of the Central Bank was right in accepting his nomination and the order of the Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Coimbatore, cancelling the nomination is vitiated by error of' law apparent on the face of the record. The jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution is therefore properly invoked to quash the impugned order. The only question considered by this Court is the alleged invalidity of the nomination of Muthuvelappa by reason of his having come in as a delegate after 10th October, 1959. I have held that on that ground his nomination cannot be invalidated. If there are other grounds, upon which I express no opinion, attacking the validity of the nomination, these proceedings do not set them at rest.

28. Mr. P.S. Kailasam, the learned Counsel for the second respondent, contended that the petitioner had a remedy by way of revision to the Registrar under Section 51(5) of the Madras Act (VI of 1932), and that remedy being adequate and effective to redress his grievance, if any, ought to have been availed of by him before resorting to this Court. The learned Counsel pointed out that the existence of an alternative remedy, equally convenient, beneficial or effective, is a ground for refusing the discretionary relief of a certiorari. He relied upon the decision of the Supreme Court in Rashi & Son v. Income-tax Investigation Commission : [1954]25ITR167(SC) , and JV.T. Veluswami Thevar v. G. Raja Mainar and Ors. (1959) 2 M.LJ. 48. The availability of other remedies to the aggrieved party may weigh with the Court in refusing a writ under Article 226 of the Constitution but cannot disentitle him to get the relief or preclude the Court from issuing the writ. I am of opinion that however convenient or expedient it may be to dismiss a writ petition before issuing rule nisi oh the ground of a subsisting alternative remedy, it may not always be just to do so at the final stage, when the parties have incurred all the expenses and the Court has gone into the matter fully. In Official Receiver, Guntur v. Seshqyyai, dealing with the exercise of revisional jurisdiction under Section 115, Civil Procedure Code, this' Court observed as follows:

The principle that revision should not be allowed when another remedy is available is a principle which may very conveniently be applied at the stage of admission. This revision petition wt.s admitted by Mr. Justice Varadachariar nearly two years ago and since it has been admitted we think that it would be wrong at this stage to say that it must be dismissed merely because the Official Receiver might have proceeded by way of suit.

In the result, I confirm the rule nisi and make it absolute. There will, however, be no order as to costs.


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