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Ram Swaroop Pandey v. Vice Chancellor,Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya & Ors. - WRIT - C No. - 20453 of 2007  RD-AH 15765 (19 September 2007)
HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 20453 of 2007
Ram Swaroop Pandey
Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya,
Varanasi and others
Hon'ble V. K. Shukla, J.
Present writ petition has been filed by Ram Swaroop Pandey, claiming himself to be Manager of the Committee of Management, Gopal Hindi Sanskrit Pathshala, Rasin, District Chitrakoot, questioning the validity of order dated 15.02.2007 passed by the Vice Chancellor, Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi, as communicated by the Registrar of the said University, in exercise of the authority under Section 2 (13) of the U.P. State Universities Act, 1973.
In the district of Chitrakoot, there is an institution known as Gopal Hindi Sanskrit Pathshala, Rasin, District Chitrakoot, which is affiliated to Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi. The said institution is run by a society of the same name, namely, Gopal Hindi Sanskrit Pathshala, Rasin, District Chitrakoot. Said society has got its own bye-laws and Clause 4 of the said bye-laws deals with membership and clearly defines that any Hindu above the age of 18 years can become a member of the society subject to the approval of the Executive Committee and subject to condition set forth in Clause 5. Clause 5 provides that members shall be of three kinds; life members, ordinary members and honorary members. Persons contributing Rs.100/- or more will be called life members; persons contributing Rs.6/- or more in kind or cash will be called ordinary members; and the persons, who take active interest in the affairs of the society and whom society, for good reasons, may enroll as honorary members. Clause 6 deals with general body of the society and it provides that general body shall consist of all members at roll. Clause 7 talks of executive committee, which shall consist of 23 members elected every third year at the general meeting, including office bearers. Clause 9 provides that the executive committee shall have the entire management and superintendent over the affairs of Gopal Hindi Sanskrit Pathshala, Rasin and other institutions established under the control of the society. Clause 13 deals with meeting and Clause 14 deals with notice to be given by Secretary and the quorum. This fact is not disputed that one Jamuna Prasad was the President/Manager of the society. Group headed by Avanesh Kumar Tripathi, after his death, claimed that election of the society has been held, wherein they have been elected on 31.10.1999. Said elections were not accorded recognition, as is reflected from the letter dated 26.10.2002 and one Shitla Prasad Upadhyaya was appointed as observer for further follow-up action. Thereafter on 26.11.2002, order was passed directing single operation of the account in the institution. Petitioner has not at all disclosed before this Court as to in what way and manner, he has been enrolled as member of the general body of the society, and under what authority he has hold election dated 18.10.2002. Petitioner, however, claims to have submitted papers in respect of election dated 18.10.2002, and as nothing was being done, Civil Misc. Writ Petition No.14989 of 2003 had been filed before this Court, wherein this Court on 07.04.2003 asked the Vice Chancellor to decide the matter by following order:
"Having heard learned counsel for the petitioner and Sri Anil Tiwari, learned counsel for the respondents,this writ petition is being disposed of with the direction to the Vice Chancellor of the University to take appropriate decision on the papers submitted in the office of the Vice Chancellor in accordance with law. Needless to say that before taking any decision notice be issued to all the parties and then after hearing them necessary decision be taken expeditiously, preferably within a period of three months from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this order. In case the Vice Chancellor comes to the conclusion that rival dispute of the Committee of Management exists, then in that event the matter would be referred to the concerned Joint Director of Education, who will decide the same in accordance with law.
The writ petition stands disposed of finally with above observations."
On 31.05.2003 two-member committee was constituted to ascertain the dispute. On 04.12.2003, University authorities directed the District Magistrate to hold fresh elections. Thereafter writ petition No.16912 of 2004 had been filed by Avanesh Kumar Tripathi, challenging the validity of order dated 04.12.2003. This Court on 06.05.2004 kept operation of order dated 04.12.2003 in abeyance. However, subsequently, writ petition No. 16912 of 2004 was dismissed on 10.04.2006 with observation that the Committee of Management who was looking after the affairs of institution might hold fresh election. Against said order, special appeal had been filed which was also dismissed. Thereafter, petitioner claims that he requested for holding of the election. Petitioner has further contended that report was also called for from Dr. Shitla Prasad Upadhdyaya, and thereafter, it has been contended that recommendation was made for appointment of Authorized Controller. Thereafter, most surprisingly, Vice Chancellor has proceeded to pass impugned order. At this juncture, present writ petition has been filed.
To this writ petition, counter affidavit has been filed, and therein it has been sought to be contended that petitioner is neither ordinary member of the society nor holding any post in the management which runs the institution and he has given totally false affidavit alleging himself to be validly elected Committee of Management. It has also been stated that Dr. Shitla Prasad Upadhyaya made enquiry and submitted report that petitioner was not even primary member of the general body of the society. Shitla Prasad has mentioned that fresh election of the Committee of Management was to be held under the supervision of Dr. Shitla Prasad Upadhyaya and the District Magistrate, Chitrakoot. Respondents filed writ petition 16912 of 2004, challenging the order of the Vice Chancellor, by which he had directed the District Magistrate and the Shitla Prasad to hold election of the Committee of Management. When said writ petition came up for hearing in 2005, the term of the Committee of Management had expired and there was no rival claim. It has been contended that members of the society were approved by the Registrar, Firms, Societies and Chits and the election of the Committee of Management took place, wherein deponent of the counter affidavit had been elected as President. In this background, it has been contended that writ petition is liable to be dismissed.
To this counter affidavit, rejoinder affidavit has been filed, and it has been contended that petitioner is member of the society and was rightly elected as Manager, in accordance with law, and it has been prayed that writ petition deserves to be allowed.
After pleadings mentioned above have been exchanged, present writ petition has been taken up for final hearing and disposal with the consent of the parties.
Sri D.S.P. Singh, learned counsel appearing for petitioner, contended with vehemence that in the present case Vice Chancellor of the University has totally misdirected himself, inasmuch as no exercise, whatsoever, has been undertaken by the Vice Chancellor before proceeding to accord recognition to the election dated 10.10.2006, as such order passed by him is totally unjustifiable and same deserves to be quashed.
Dr. R. Dwivedi, Senior Advocate, assisted by Sri V.S. Dwivedi, Advocate, on the other hand, contended that petitioner is rank trespasser and is not even primary member of the general body of the society, as such elections have been rightly approved and no interference is required.
After respective arguments have been advanced, factual position which emerges is to the effect that the elections which had been held in the past by the respondents, same had not been accorded recognition by the University and the said elections were disapproved on 26.10.2002. Thereafter, Vice Chancellor had given categorical direction 04.12.2003for holding election through the agency of the District Magistrate and Dr. Shitla Prasad Upadhyaya was asked to be present as observer. Said order had been subject matter of challenge before this Court in Civil Misc. Writ petition No. 16912 of 2004, wherein an interim order was passed. Ultimately, writ petition was got dismissed on 10.04.2006 by mentioning that term of the Committee of Management had expired and it was mentioned that without expressing any opinion in this regard, it was open to the Committee of Management, who was looking after the affairs of the institution to hold fresh elections. Elections are claimed to have been held on 10.10.2006. As far as elections of petitioners are concerned, same was claimed to have been held on 08.10.2002. Duration/term of Managing Committee is three years, and said period has already run out. Coupled with from own showing of petitioner, he had given up the said election, as petitioner had never chosen to challenge the validity of order dated 04.12.2003,wherein University Authorities had given categorical direction for holding of elections through the agency of the District Magistrate., with Sri Shitla Prasad Upadhyaya as observer. This Court on 10.09.2006 left it open to the Committee of Management to hold election, who had been looking after the affairs of the institution. This court at no point of time, had ever decided the right of parties to hold election and the validity of election, as the order reflects that word "may" was mentioned there. Once elections had been claimed to have been held, then it was incumbent and obligatory on the part of the Vice Chancellor to have satisfied himself, prima facie, before proceeding to accord recognition; (i) As to whether persons who convened meeting for holding election had authority to do so; (ii) Persons who participated in the election were valid members entitled to participate in the election; and (iii) elections were held as per provisions as contained in the bye-laws of the society. Serious dispute has been raised as to whether petitioner is primary member of the general body of the society or not or he is rank out sider or intermeddler and his claim is totally false. Here, in the present case while passing impugned order, Vice Chancellor has not taken any exercise of the kind and has mechanically proceeded to accord recognition to the election dated 10.10.2006, which cannot be subscribed in law.
Consequently, writ petition succeeds and is allowed. Order dated 15.02.2007 is hereby quashed and set aside, and the matter is remitted back to be decided by Vice Chancellor, Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi, afresh. Vice Chancellor shall also examine the question as to at what point of time Ram Sewaroop Pandey had been enrolled as member of the general body of the society and as to whether his enrolment was in consonance with the bye-laws of the society, inasmuch as bye-laws are clear and categorical that any person can be enrolled as member with tacit consent of the Executive Council subject to fulfilment of other terms and conditions mentioned in clause 5 thereof. The Vice Chancellor shall also look into the following aspects, namely, (i) As to whether persons who convened meeting for holding election had authority to do so; (ii) Persons who participated in the election were valid members entitled to participate in the election; and (iii) elections were held as per provisions as contained in the bye-laws of the society. Entire exercise be undertaken within next eight weeks. Opportunity of hearing be provided to both Ram Swaroop Pandey and Avanesh Kumar Tripathi.
No order as to costs.
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