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Chandra Narayan Tripathi Alias Chandoo Tripathi,Advocate,Hc v. The Registrar, Socities Firms & Chits, Under The Socities - PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION (PIL) No. 15287 of 2006  RD-AH 6228 (22 March 2006)
Chief Justice's Court
Civil Misc. Writ Petition (PIL) No.15287 of 2006
Chandra Narayan Tripathi alias Chandoo Tripathi & Others
The Registrar, Societies Firms and Chits, Allahabad & Others
Hon'ble Ajoy Nath Ray, CJ.
Hon'ble Ashok Bhushan, J.
Mrs. Sadhna Upadhyaya wishes to withdraw her name from the petition. She makes submission herself that her name be struck out from the petition.
Mr. Chandra Narayan Tripathi @ Chandoo Tripathi wishes to withdraw this petition and this case; he wishes his name to be struck out from the array of the parties. Let his name be struck out from the petition. This leaves only petitioner no.2 as the single petitioner in this petition before us.
Heard Sri S.S. Rathore, who is the sole remaining petitioner in this writ petition, styled as a public interest litigation.
The array of the parties of the writ petition as initially filed contains three petitioners, namely petitioner no.1-Chandra Narayan Tripathi alias Chandoo Tripathi, petitioner no.2-Shivraj Singh Rathore and petitioner no.3-Sadhna Upadhyay. The petitioner is ordinary member of the High Court Bar Association, which is registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
The relief claimed in the writ petition is, to issue a writ, order or direction in the nature of certiorari quashing the election of the HCBA held on 02.03.2006. A further prayer has been made praying for issue a writ in the nature of prohibition restraining the office bearers of the HCBA so elected on the basis of fraudulent voter list in the election of the HCBA held on 02.03.2006.
Sri Rathore submitted that the election held on 02.03.2006 is on the basis of voter list, which is not genuine voter list, which contains several persons who are not practising advocates. He further contends that the voter list also contains the names of several persons, who were seized to be members of the Association in view of Rule 14 of the Rules of the High Court Bar Association. He further contends that the persons elected on the basis of said voter list cannot be held to be genuine representatives of the High Court Bar Association and on this ground the election be set aside.
Sri M.K. Gupta, learned counsel appearing for the respondent no.2 refuting the submission of the petitioner submitted that this writ petition cannot be treated as a public interest litigation. He submits that the prayer in the writ petition to quash the entire election of the Bar Association cannot be termed to be a P.I.L. He further contends that the correctness of the voter list can not be adjudicated in a writ proceeding. The High Court Bar Association being a registered Society, the remedy of the petitioner is to invoke Section 25 of the Societies Registration Act, 1860. He further submits that the writ petition is not an appropriate remedy.
Sri Rathore refuting the submission of Sri M.K. Gupta has placed reliance on a Division Bench order of this Court in Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 55898 of 2004: Shiv Kumar Akela and others Vs. The Registrar, Societies Firms and Chits, Allahabad & Others, passed on 26.7.2005, which is Annexure-2 to the writ petition. He submits that the Division Bench has already ruled that this writ petition is a public interest litigation and the writ petition was also held to be maintainable. He submits that the Bar Association performs a public function being a part of one of the wings of the State, namely, judiciary and its functions have all flavours of the public utility service, hence this is a P.I.L.
We have considered the submission made by both the parties and perused the records.
Before proceeding to consider the submission, it is necessary to deal with the Division Bench judgment relied upon by the petitioner dated 26.7.2005 (supra). The said writ petition was filed by three learned Advocates of this Court praying for various reliefs, as has been quoted in the judgment itself at page 39 of the paper book. The reliefs, which have been claimed in the present writ petition are as follows:-
"(i) issue a writ, order or direction in the nature of certiorari quashing the election of the HCBA held on 02.03.2006 on the basis of fraudulent voter list which does not contain the parentage and addresses of voters, besides showing their respective enrolment number of the U.P. Bar Council.
(ii) issue a writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamus directing for constituting Implementation Committee consisting of Former Presidents and General Secretaries of the HCBA, and all designated senior advocates presently practising in the High Court for weeding out non-practising advocates and to prepare final list of genuine voters who are regular practitioners in this Hon'ble Court and to hold elections of the General Body of the HCBA for the term 2005-2006 immediately thereafter.
(iii) issue a writ, order or direction in the nature of prohibition restraining the office bearers of the HCBA so elected on the basis of fraudulent voter list in the election of the HCBA held on 02.03.2006, from functioning, so as to secure the ends of justice, or else the petitioner as well as the "institution" shall suffer irreparable harm and injury.
(iv) issue a writ, order or direction in the nature of ad-interim prohibition restraining the office bearers of the HCBA so elected on the basis of fraudulent voter list in the election of the HCBA held on 02.03.2006, from functioning during the pendency of the present PIL Writ petition, so as to secure the ends of justice, or else the petitioner as well as the "institution" shall suffer irreparable harm and injury.
(v) issue any such other or further orders in favour of the petitioners as this Hon'ble Court deems fit and proper in the present facts and circumstances of the case so as to secure the ends of justice."
The writ petition no. 55898 of 2004 was filed by three Advocates praying for various reliefs as quoted in the judgment, which was principally in the nature of mandamus for constituting a committee of Former President HCBA presently practising in the High Court for weeding out non-practising advocates and to prepare final list of genuine voters who are regular practitioners in this Hon'ble Court and to hold elections of the General Body of the HCBA for the term 2004-2005 and further in the nature of mandamus ceasing the financial powers of the respondent numbers 3 and 4.
In the earlier writ petition neither there was any challenge to any election of the office bearers of the HCBA nor election had even taken place, the prayer in this writ petition is to quash the entire elections of the HCBA held on 2.3.2006 and restrain the elected office bearers from functioning. The petitioner has stated in paragraph 3 of the writ petition that he is himself an ordinary member of the HCBA. The law pertaining to election, challenge to election is a special law. A voter has right to contest the election and to challenge the election. The petitioner being a member of the HCBA, has a right to challenge the election of the HCBA. The writ petition has been filed by the petitioner being a member of the HCBA, who claims also to be a voter in the election. A petition by a voter or a candidate challenging the election is a right of ventilating his or her own grievance pertaining to elections. The challenge, if any, is for ventilating the right of the petitioner as a member or a voter, who is the part of the electoral college, which elect the office bearers. We are fully satisfied that this writ petition filed by a member of the HCBA praying for setting aside the entire elections cannot be treated to be a PIL. The Division Bench judgment relied upon by the petitioner dated 26.7.2005 (supra) was not a case of a writ petition in which any challenge to election was made by the members. The reliefs claimed in this writ petition are entirely different from those in that case. In the said writ petition, there was no occasion to consider or contemplate the challenge to the election or to lay down any ratio with regard such petition being a PIL.
Further the judgment with regard to the maintainability also holds that the writ petition is, prima facie, maintainable. Although Sri M.K. Gupta has raised various submissions with regard to non-maintainability of the petition, the disputed question raised in the writ petition, and the remedy under Section 25 of the Act, but we having taken the view that the writ petition cannot be entertained as Public Interest Litigation, we are not expressing any opinion with regard to above submissions.
In view of the aforesaid, this writ petition is not entertained as a PIL and it is dismissed accordingly. It is open for the petitioner to seek remedy, if any, as available in law and take steps in accordance with law.
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