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S.K. Mariya Pillai and anr. Vs. Muthuvelu Pandaram - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1926Mad877
AppellantS.K. Mariya Pillai and anr.
RespondentMuthuvelu Pandaram
Cases ReferredKershaw v. Mayor
Excerpt:
- .....which runs thus:in the case of a person who has ceased to be a member in consequence of failure to attend meetings, the matter shall be reported by the president at the next meeting of the local board, which may at that meeting restore such person to office.8. it has been contended that this provision has not been complied with. the president reported to the meeting that the petitioners had failed to attend meetings for three consecutive months. but he gave a ruling at that meeting that they did not forfeit their seats on that account. it is argued that the petitioners were thus deprived of an opportunity of having the question of their reinstatement considered. i cannot accept this contention. the result has been unfortunate, but as i hold that they did commit default, the fact that the.....
Judgment:

Venkatasubba Rao, J.

1. This Civil Revision Petition raises an interesting question. The petitioners before us are two members of the, Taluk Board of Tirutturaippundi There was, a meeting of the Board on the 6th September 1923, and they attended it. On the 19th September there was another meeting. They failed to attend it. On the 17th October there was a meeting and the petitioners were again absent. In November no meeting was convened. On the l9th December there was a meeting at which they failed to be present. On the 17th January 1924, a meeting was convened , and the petitioners attended it. The question that we have to decide is : Did the petitioners cease to hold office by reason of the fact that they failed for three consecutive months to attend the meetings of the Local Board ?

2. Section 56(1)(h), so far as it is relevant to the present point, reads thus:

Subject to the provisions of Section 57, a member of a Local Board shall cease to hold his office, if he

(h) fails for three consecutive months to attend the meetings of the Local Board.

3. The words are ' three consecutive months,' not three consecutive meetings.' The first default occurred on the 19th September 1923. Computing three months from that date, it is obvious that the petitioners failed for three consecutive months to attend the meetings of the Board. That the period is to be computed from the date of the first default is settled by Kershaw v. Mayor, etc. of Shoreditch [1906] 22 T.L.R. 302.

4. Schedule 2, Rule 1, enacts;

Every Local Board shall meet for the transaction of business at least once in two months.

5. This fixes merely the minimum and there is nothing to prevent the Local Board from meeting more often, say twice a month, if it chooses to do so. In this case, it met twice in September. The default having occurred on the 19th September, three months must be reckoned from that date.

6. A difficulty was suggested and it may be put in the form pf an illustration. Supposing the Local Board does not meet in January, meets in February, does not meet in March,; there is Only one meeting held during the three months and it is asked, in such a case, does the sub-section apply? The answer perfectly clear. The sub-section uses the word '' meetings' and not ' meeting.' There must therefore be at least two meetings which a member has failed to attend and Section 56(h) will not otherwise apply. If, on the other hand, the three months should be computed not from the date of of the default, but the construction is that the month should be excluded when the petitioners attended a meeting (in this case the month of September) ; even then . they committed default, because they failed for three consecutive months, October, November and December, to attend the meetings of the Board.

7. Another contention has been urged on behalf of the petitioners and it has reference to Sub-section (4) of Section 56 which runs thus:

In the case of a person who has ceased to be a member in consequence of failure to attend meetings, the matter shall be reported by the President at the next meeting of the Local Board, which may at that meeting restore such person to office.

8. It has been contended that this provision has not been complied with. The President reported to the meeting that the petitioners had failed to attend meetings for three consecutive months. But he gave a ruling at that meeting that they did not forfeit their seats on that account. It is argued that the petitioners were thus deprived of an opportunity of having the question of their reinstatement considered. I cannot accept this contention. The result has been unfortunate, but as I hold that they did commit default, the fact that the petitioners easily acquiesced in the wrong ruling of the President, which happened to be in their favour, does not absolve them. In the result, I am of the opinion that the decision of the District Judge is correct and the Civil Revision Petition is accordingly dismissed. We desire to make no order as to costs because the question raised is novel and of some difficulty and the petitioners have not acted' improperly in taking the matter to this Court.

Reilly, J.

9. I agree that the petitioners ceased to hold office as members of the Taluk Board of Tirutturaippundi because they failed to attend the meetings of that Board for three consecutive months from the 19th September 1923. I understand the expression ' three consecutive months ' in Section 56(1)(h) of the Act to be equivalent to a period of three months. I do not think that the question whether the President of the Board reported the failure of the petitioners to attend the meetings of the Board-as he should have done under Section 56(4) of the act-can affect the question whether they had or had not ceased to be members of the Board. I agree that the petition must be dismissed.


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