High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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BALDEV SINGH v. STATE OF PUNJAB - CWP-11712-2005  RD-P&H 63 (21 July 2005)
Presenet: Mr. J.V.Yadav, Advocate, for the petitioner.
Petitioner is President of Municipal Council, Amloh, Disrict Fatehgarh Saheb. He seeks issuance of a writ of certiorari quashing the notification dated 14.7.2005 (Annexure P-4), issued by respondent No.1, vide which the term of Municipal Council Amloh expires on 17.7.2005 (After Noon).
The case of the petitioner in short is that the elections of the members of the Municipal Council were held on 17.6.2000 and he was elected as one of the members of the Municipal Council, being a backward class candidate.
Thereafter the Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Saheb authorized the Sub Divisional Magistrate Amloh to convene and preside over the meeting on 14.7.2000 for the purposes of administering oath and to fix the date of election of the President and Vice President. Thereafter another meeting was held on 18.7.2000 for the purpose of election of the post of President and Vice President.
One Baldev Sehda was elected President on the said date and his result was notified on 29.8.2000, vide Annexure P1. Since two posts of Presidents of Municipal Council in the State of Punjab were reserved for backward class candidates, some controversy had arisen regarding claim of the aforesaid Baldev Sehda belonging to backward class and ultimately it revealed that he did not belong to the said class. Consequently on 26.3.2002 Government of Punjab rescinded the aforesaid notification Annexure P1. The resultant effect was that the office of President of Municipal Council Amloh was declared vacant vide Annexure P2. The petitioner was then duly elected as President of the said council in another meeting dated 10-4-2002 under the Chairmanship of the Sub Divisional Magistrate. His result was consequently notified on 17.4.2002 vide Civil Writ Petition No. 11712 of 2005 2
Annexure P3. Now vide notification (Annexure P-4), the term of the Municipal Council Amloh has expired on 17-7-2005 and Sub Divisional Magistrate, Amloh has been appointed to exercise and perform all the powers and duties of the municipality till it is re-constituted. Hence this petition.
We have heard Mr. Jai Vir Yadav, learned counsel for the petitioner.
Mr. Yadav contends that the term of the office of the President is 5 years and the said period is to be counted from the date of the first meeting convened for the purposes of election to the post of President/Vice President.
According to Mr. Yadav, in the flashback of the aforesaid facts, the earlier meeting held on 18.7.2000, in which Baldev Sehda was elected as President, cannot be said to be a valid meeting as he did not belong to the Backward Class category and the valid meeting can only be the one, which was held on 10-4-2002 when the petitioner was elected as President. Strengthening his arguments, Mr.
Yadav contends that the respondent/Government while issuing notification dated 17.4.2002 (Annexure P-3) had failed to notify the term of the office of the petitioner as President and simply notified his post and that the petitioner was under the belief that his term would expire on 10-4-2007 after completing five years. Therefore, the action of the government while issuing notification (Annexure P4), notifying the expiry of his term as 17.7.2005 and thereby directing the Sub Divisional Magistrate to take the charge of the said Municipality is illegal on the face of it. Mr.Yadav, however, very fairly submits that earlier also the petitioner had filed Civil Writ Petition No. 9127 of 2005, which was got dismissed as withdrawn vide order dated 5-7-2005 as at that stage the representation of the petitioner was pending consideration with the Government.
We do not agree with the submissions made by Mr. Yadav.
Section 21 of the Punjab Municipal Act (in short `the Act') , which deals with the term of the office of the President and Vice President reads as under:- Civil Writ Petition No. 11712 of 2005 3
"The term of office of President of a municipality shall be co-terminus with the term of the municipality.
(2) The term of office of Vice President of Municipality shall be such as municipality may fix under its by laws.
(3) An outgoing President or Vice-President shall, if otherwise qualified, be eligible for the re-election".
A perusal of the above clearly shows that the term of the President is co- terminus with the term of the Municipality. The petitioner's tenure as President, therefore, cannot go beyond the tenure of the Municipality. If this plea of the petitioner were to be accepted, it would mean that he would continue to be the President even after tenure of the present Municipality has expired and the new Municipality elected.
This argument, therefore, is against logic and cannot be accepted.
We also do not find any merit in the contention of learned counsel for the petitioner that the date of first meeting of the Council should be taken as 10-4-2002 when the petitioner was elected as President. This claim has been made on the ground that since the election of Baldev Sehda, who was elected as President in the meeting dated 18-7-2000, was held to be invalid, the said meeting itself should be treated as invalid. Merely because the decision taken in a particular meeting is found to be invalid, does not invalidate the meeting itself. At any rate, this issue is only of academic interest as the term of the petitioner as President has expired with the term of the Municipality in terms of Section 21(1) of the Act.
Resultantly, this writ petition is dismissed in limine itself.
`ask ' August 1, 2005
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