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Golam Mortuza Moulik Vs. Munshi ManiruddIn Ahamad and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectElection
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Reported inAIR1941Cal115
AppellantGolam Mortuza Moulik
RespondentMunshi ManiruddIn Ahamad and ors.
Excerpt:
- .....nine members of the board. they were all present at the election. as required by the rules, the circle officer presided over the meeting. the plaintiff obtained six votes, defendant 1, the remaining three. both the plaintiff and defendant 1 voted for themselves. after the votes had been recorded, the circle officer on most flimsy grounds ignored three of the votes given in favour of the plaintiff, pretended that each candidate had an equal number of votes and proceeded to give his casting vote in favour of defendant l. the finding of the munsif that he was acting in collusion with defendant 1 is fully justified. the plaintiff then instituted the present suit and obtained a decree. defendant 1 appealed without success to the district court and now appeals to this court. the first.....
Judgment:

Henderson, J.

1. This appeal is by defendant 1. The question at issue between the parties is whether defendant 1 or the plaintiff has been elected as president of a certain union board in the District of Dacca. There are altogether nine members of the board. They were all present at the election. As required by the rules, the circle officer presided over the meeting. The plaintiff obtained six votes, defendant 1, the remaining three. Both the plaintiff and defendant 1 voted for themselves. After the votes had been recorded, the circle officer on most flimsy grounds ignored three of the votes given in favour of the plaintiff, pretended that each candidate had an equal number of votes and proceeded to give his casting vote in favour of defendant l. The finding of the Munsif that he was acting in collusion with defendant 1 is fully justified. The plaintiff then instituted the present suit and obtained a decree. Defendant 1 appealed without success to the District Court and now appeals to this Court. The first ground urged in support of the appeal is that the civil Courts have no jurisdiction to decide the question and that the suit ought to have been dismissed as incompetent. There can be no question that the civil Courts have jurisdiction unless their jurisdiction has been definitely taken away. It cannot even be pretended that there is any section in the Bengal Village Local Self-Government Act which takes away the jurisdiction of the Courts. There is merely an argument based upon analogy. Section 17A is concerned with the election of members of a union board. It provides that such an election shall not be called in question in any Court. Then Section 17B provides a special tribunal for deciding such disputes. The present suit has nothing to do with the election of a member of a union board. It is not the plaintiff's case that the appellant has been improperly elected. It is not disputed that he is a member of the union board. It cannot possibly be argued that, because a special tribunal has been provided to deal with election disputes, a precisely similar tribunal must by implication be provided to decide questions about the election of a president. There is no connexion whatever between the two causes of action. As the jurisdiction of the Courts has not been excluded the Munsif was entitled to entertain and decide the suit. The second ground urged in support of the appeal is with regard to the relief granted. It is contended that the plaintiff should only be given a declaration to the effect that the appellant is not the president and that it should then be left to the District Board to appoint a president under the provisions of Section 8 of the Act. The precise relief to which the plaintiff is entitled must of course depend upon the findings in a particular ease. Certainly, the plaintiff is not entitled to a declaration that he is the president unless it has been found that under the rules made by the Local Government he has been duly elected as president. Rule 32 provides that the candidate for whom there is the largest number of votes shall be declared by the presiding officer to be the president of the board. The plaintiff's case is that he obtained six votes while the appellant obtained only three. If he can establish this case then under the rules he is entitled to a declaration that he has been properly elected president of the board.

2. Both the Courts below have found that the respondent obtained six votes. He examined the members who voted for him and he is supported by their evidence. The first vote he obtained was his own vote. The circle officer disallowed this on the ground that he had not signed the paper. The finding of the Munsif is that this was due to the trickery of the circle officer. The plaintiff was given to understand that he might sign his name on a piece of paper in order to show that he was a candidate. Then when he afterwards discovered that this was supposed to be the voting paper he asked that it might be returned to him so that he might affix his signature. The circle officer refused to do this. It is not disputed on behalf of the respondent that under the rules voting papers require to be signed. There can be no question that this paper was not signed. The circle officer ought to have returned it to the plaintiff in order that he might sign it. Of the next two papers, one was given in favour of Sheikh Maniruddin and the other in favour of Munshi Maniruddin. I do not pretend to understand how the circle officer can have thought that these two papers might have been meant to be votes in favour of the appellant whose name is Golam Mortuza Moulik. There cannot be any question that the decision of the Courts below to the effect that the plaintiff obtained six votes is the only decision -which could be supported by the evidence. Finally it was argued that in deciding this question the learned Judge and the learned Munsif imported their own personal knowledge. They know nothing whatever about the parties to the case or what their names are. The learned Judge certainly says that to anyone having a smattering of Arabic, it would be clear that 'Maniruddin' is the real name; 'Munshi' is an honorific title. I myself cannot even pretend to have a smattering of Arabic but I know perfectly well that ' Munshi' may be a title, and I have no doubt whatever that the circle officer ignored these votes on merely flimsy grounds. The appeal accordingly fails and; is dismissed with costs.


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