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Bechan Deo Pandey Adn Others v. State Of U.P. And Others - WRIT - C No. 66998 of 2006  RD-AH 1251 (22 January 2007)
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 66998 of 2006.
Bechan Deo Pandey & another ...Petitioners
State of U.P. & others ...Respondents.
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 2562 of 2007.
Bechan Deo Pandey and others ...Petitioners
State of U.P. & others ...Respondents.
Hon'ble Ashok Bhushan, J.
Heard Sri Shashi Nandan, learned Senior Advocate assisted by Sri N.K. Pandey for the petitioner and Sri Ashok Khare, Senior Advocate appearing for contesting respondents. Both the writ petitions have been heard together and are being disposed of by this common judgment.
Writ Petition No. 66998 of 2006 has been filed by the petitioner praying for quashing the order dated 25.11.2006 (Annexure-27 to the writ petition) determining the list of the members who are entitled to participate in the election of the Committee of Management of the institution. In pursuance of the determination of the list of members on 25th November, 2006 election of the Committee of Management of the institution has been conducted, which election has been accorded recognition by the Regional Committee vide its decision dated 22.12.2006, which recognition is subject matter of challenge in Writ Petition No.2562 of 2007.
Brief facts necessary for deciding the writ petition are; Janta Inter College Parasi Pandey, District Sonebhadra is a recognised institution under the provisions of the U.P. Intermediate Education Act, 1921. The institution is governed by approved scheme of administration framed under the U.P. Intermediate Education Act, 1921. The said scheme of administration was amended in the year 1985. A writ petition being Writ Petition No.21418 of 2004 was filed by the Committee of Management through Bechan Deo Pandey challenging the order dated 29th March,2004 of the District Inspector of Schools wherein the District Inspector of Schools/Prabandh Sanchalak has recommended that a list of the members submitted by earlier Manager be cancelled. The writ petition was disposed of by this Court vide its order dated 28th January, 2005 by which this Court directed the Regional Joint Director of Education to appoint some other officer of the Education Department as the Prabandh Sanchalak of the institution. It was also directed that the Prabandh Sanchalak so appointed shall hold fresh elections of the Committee of Management after publishing a tentative list of members entitled to participate in the same. Objections were also directed to be invited, which were required to be decided by a reasoned and speaking order. In pursuance of the order of this Court dated 28th January, 2005 Prabandh Sanchalak was appointed who conducted the election on 22nd May, 2006. A writ petition being Writ Petition No.43447 of 2005 was filed challenging the election dated 22nd May, 2005. This Court disposed of the said writ petition on 22nd May, 2005 directing the Regional Committed to afford opportunity of hearing to the parties and thereafter take a reasoned decision. The Regional Committee vide its order held that the election cannot be said to be just and valid election, which has not been done in pursuance of a properly drawn voter list. The Joint Director of Education did not accept the election dated 22nd May, 2005. A writ petition being Writ Petition No.57335 of 2005 was filed
challenging the order of Joint Director of Education. The said writ petition was dismissed on 25th August, 2005. Another writ petition being Writ Petition No.3878 of 2006 was filed in which allegations were made against the District Inspector of Schools, Smt. Malti Rai, that she has been meddling with the affairs of the institution and authorised controllers are being replaced one after another. This Court thought it expedient that the District Judge, Sonebhadra be requested to spare and depute some Additional District Judge who shall ensure that the election is held in accordance with the scheme of administration. In the said writ petition following orders were passed on 26.7.2006:-
"In the facts and circumstances, considering the allegations of alleged meddling by Smt. Malti Rai, presently posted as District Inspector of Schools, Sonebhadra, who was earlier seized of the affairs of the college as authorised controller, with the process of election, I consider it expedient that the District Judge, Sonebhadra be requested to spare and depute some Additional District Judge who shall ensure that the election is held in accordance with the scheme of administration. The Additional District Judge so nominated by the District Judge shall look into the question of authenticity of list of members and finalise the same without being influenced by any external pressure and after affording opportunity of hearing to all concerned. The exercise shall be taken to completion within three months. It may be made clear that the order passed by Joint Director of Education Mirzapur dated 3.7.2006 shall not be given effect to till further orders of this Court."
In pursuance of the order dated 26th July, 2007, the Additional District Judge undertook the exercise. Both the parties filed their detail representations along with the materials before the Additional District Judge claiming the different membership who are entitled to participate in the election of the Committee of
Management. The Additional District Judge vide his order dated 25th November, 2006, after giving opportunity to the parties, determined the list of voters who are entitled to participate in the election of the Committee of Management of the institution. The Additional District Judge held that 21 members whose names are in List-B, are life members of the general body of the society and they are entitled to participate in the election. He further held that no persons have been enrolled in accordance with the scheme of administration from 1985 to 1.7.2002, which is the date of appointment of Prabandh Sanchalak. The order dated 25th November, 2006 has been challenged in the first writ petition.
Sri Shashi Nandan, challenging the order, contended that Additional District Judge did not publish the tentative list of the voters, hence the entire exercise is bad. He further contended that the records were in the possession of respondent No.6, who was the Ex Principal and the membership of the members, who were enrolled in the year 1990, 1991, 1995, 1999 and February, 2002 have been ignored on erroneous basis. He submits that the original records being with the contesting respondent were not produced and the records produced were the interpolated records. The reason given by the Additional District Judge in discarding the membership has been challenged.
Learned counsel for the respondent supporting the impugned order, contended that the Additional District Judge has given cogent reasons for finalising the voter list. He submits that members who were enrolled after the term of the election of the Committee of Management elected in 1980 came to an end cannot be accepted. He submits that members of the list given by the respondent has also been not accepted entirely and the life members who were enrolled prior to 1980 has also been accepted totalling 21 members. He further submits that reasons given by the Additional District Judge in finalising the list cannot be said to
be perverse and the various submissions raised by the petitioner with regard to validity of the voter list cannot be gone into under Article 226 of the Constitution. He further submits that on the basis of the finalisation of the voter list fresh election has already been held, which election has also been recognised by the Regional Committee vide its order dated 22nd December, 2006. He submits that there is no error in order dated 22nd December, 2006 recognising the election held on 12.12.2006. He further pointed out that even in the interim order, which was passed in the first writ petition on 12.12.2006, there was no restraint in holding election and declaring the result, which were however made subject to further orders of the Court.
I have considered the submissions and perused the record.
The question of election and finalisation of the voter list was agitated before this Court in several writ petitions, as noticed above. This Court earlier directed the Joint Director of Education to appoint a Prabandh Sanchalak, who was directed to finalise the voter list after tentative publication and after deciding the objections by reasoned order. One election held by Prabandh Sanchalak was discarded by the Regional Committee, which was upheld by this Court. On subsequent occasion again the attention of the Court was engaged stating that the then District Inspector of Schools is meddling with the affairs and getting the Prabandh Sanchalak changed one after another. The Court took notice of the matter and found it appropriate that District Judge, Sonebhadra be requested to spare a Additional District Judge who shall ensure that election is held in accordance with the scheme of administration. The said order was passed on 26th July, 2006 in pursuance of which the District Judge has deputed one Additional District Judge for conducting the election of the Committee of Management. Before the Additional District Judge both the parties have filed their detail representations along with materials. Copy of
the detail representation filed by the petitioner along with affidavit has been brought on the record of the writ petition.
The first submission of the petitioner's counsel is that the tentative list was not published by the Additional District Judge, hence the whole exercise is bad. From the sequel of facts as noticed above, it is clear that earlier Prabandh Sanchalak has finalised the voter list which voter list was not approved by the Regional Committee. Vide order dated 26th July, 2006 this Court requested the District Judge to spare an Additional District Judge for conducting the election. The Court further observed that the question of list of members was to be finalised after affording opportunity of hearing to all concerned. There is no dispute that before the Additional District Judge both the parties have filed their representations along with their detail list. The detail papers including photo copy of all the documents and the list, which have been submitted before the Additional District Judge by both the parties, have been brought on the record of the writ petition. The notice dated 25th August, 2006 issued by the Additional District Judge has been brought on the record, which was addressed to the Prabandh Sanchalak asking the documents and list by 6.9.2006 and permitting any other aggrieved person to appear for personal hearing. The notice given by the Additional District Judge appears to have been acted upon and the parties have preferred their papers and documents before the Additional District Judge. The Additional District Judge also noticed that both the parties were given opportunity to file objections to the other sides' representation. They were given opportunity to file affidavits, which have been noticed in the order impugned itself. Both the parties were also given personal hearing by the Additional District Judge before finalising the list. Thus in view of the tenor of the order dated 26th July, 2006 the Additional District Judge has proceeded to finalise the list and it cannot be said that there is any breach of the order dated 26th July, 2006 in finalising the voter list,
hence the first submission of counsel for the petitioner cannot be accepted.
The learned counsel for the petitioner attacked on the reasons given in the impugned order for discarding the list submitted by the petitioner. He has referred to pages 266 and 267 of the first writ petition where reasons have been given for discarding the list of the members. The Additional District Judge had adverted to the issues and has given reasons for not accepting the list submitted by the petitioner. The reasons given by the Additional District Judge cannot be said to be perverse nor it can be said that no such view is possible. The view taken by the Additional District Judge on the question of eligibility of voter based on materials filed before him and further the issue raised by the petitioner including the submission that the records were in the custody of respondent No.5, the Ex Principal, raises question of fact which can be gone into and decided by a competent Court where the competent Court takes evidence both documentary and oral and decides the issue of fact. The question of membership, which has been directed to be decided by Additional District Judge under the order of this Court, has been so decided and there does not appear breach of any direction nor the said order can be said to be perverse. However, it is observed that such determination is always subject to adjudication by a competent civil Court and in any such adjudication the observations and findings given are not treated as conclusive or binding.
The Additional District Judge while coming to the opinion that the list of the petitioner cannot be accepted has observed that the resolution of the Committee of Management approving the list has not been brought on the record on the basis of which it can be held that members included in the list by the petitioner were even approved by the Committee of Management. The said observation
cannot be said to be without any basis. In so far as the submission of counsel for the petitioner that three members were minor at the time when the membership fee was deposited is concerned, suffice it to say that this question has been gone into by the Additional District Judge at page 265 of the first writ petition. It has been observed that on 2.11.1980 they all had attained the age of 21 years, hence on the basis of their membership fee earlier deposited there is nothing wrong in treating them life members.
The election has been conducted, on the basis of the membership determined on 25th November, 2006, on 12.12.2006 by the Additional District Judge in accordance with the direction of this Court and the Regional Committee has approved the said election. No grounds have been made out to interfere with the order of the Regional Committee dated 22nd December, 2006. No relief can be granted to the writ petition in the second writ petition.
Lastly it has been contented that the Additional District Judge himself observed in the impugned order that possibility cannot be ruled out that cash book and other documents being in possession of the Principal, Ramji Chaturvedi taking benefit of the same the name and the membership could be entered subsequently. After making the above observation, the Additional District Judge has further observed that name of persons at Serial No.1 to 23 in List-B cannot be held to be suspicious since the details of membership fee along with date has been entered in the membership register which contains the signatures of Amar Nath Tiwari, who was the manager till the Committee of Management functioned and it has also not been shown that Amar Nath Tiwari has ever raised any objection with regard to the list of members up to 1990. Thus the Additional District Judge has drawn his own conclusion on the basis of submission raised before him by both the parties. By drawing his conclusion he has relied on various
documents including the aforesaid facts and it cannot be said that the said conclusions can be said to be in any manner perverse warranting interference by this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution.
In the result both the writ petitions are dismissed subject to observation that the determination of membership shall be subject to adjudication by the competent civil Court in accordance with law.
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