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ASHOK KUMAR SINGH & ANOTHER versus THE COMMISSIONER, AGRA DIVISION, AGRA & OTHERS

High Court of Judicature at Allahabad

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Ashok Kumar Singh & Another v. The Commissioner, Agra Division, Agra & Others - SPECIAL APPEAL No. 51 of 2006 [2006] RD-AH 1512 (20 January 2006)

 

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HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE OF ALLAHABAD

Court No. 34

Special Appeal No. 51 of 2006

Ashok Kumar Singh & Anr.

Vs.

The Commissioner Agra Division, Agra & others

~~~~

Hon'ble Dr. B.S. Chauhan, J.

Hon'ble Dilip Gupta, J.

This Special Appeal has been filed against the judgment and order dated 7th December, 2005 of a learned Judge of this Court in Writ Petition No.74606 of 2005. The Writ Petition had been filed by Sri Ashok Kumar Singh claiming himself to be the Manager of the Kisan Uchchatar Madhyamik Vidyalaya Samiti, District Aligarh as well as by the Committee of Management of Kisan Inter College, Budhansi, District Aligarh for quashing the order dated 19th January, 2004 passed by the Assistant Registrar, Firms, Societies and Chits, U.P. Lucknow (hereinafter referred to as the ''Assistant Registrar') under Section 12-D of the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (hereinafter referred to as the ''Act') and the order dated 9th November, 2005 passed by the Commissioner, Agra Division, Agra rejecting the appeal filed against the aforesaid order. The learned Judge by a detailed judgment dismissed the Writ Petition holding that once the finding of fraud and misrepresentation had been arrived at on the basis of the material available on record, no interference was warranted under Article 226 of the Constitution in exercise of its discretionary jurisdiction.

The learned judge has elaborately dealt with the factual aspect and, therefore, we shall narrate only the relevant facts necessary for deciding the appeal. Section 12-D(1)(c) of the Act provides that the Registrar may, by order in writing, cancel the registration of the Society on the ground that the registration had been obtained by misrepresentation of fraud but before passing the order of cancellation of registration, the Society has to be given a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against the action proposed to be taken. Under Section 12-D(2), an appeal lies against the aforesaid order to the Commissioner of the Division. The proceedings for cancellation were initiated by the Assistant Registrar but in spite of repeated opportunities having been given to the petitioner, Sri Ashok Kumar Singh did not turn up to produce the original records. Such a categorical finding has been recorded in the impugned order dated 19th January, 2004 passed by the Assistant Registrar. It has also been stated in the impugned order that Sri Ashok Kumar Singh had applied for registration of the Society on the basis of the agenda notice dated 19th May, 1983 and the resolution dated 5th June, 1983 but five persons who had been shown to have participated in the said meeting had given categorical affidavits that the agenda as well as the said meeting were fictitious and such a resolution had in fact, never been passed. The learned Judge has recorded a finding that this fact has not been disputed by the petitioners in the Writ Petition and as such the persons who were shown to have participated in the meeting had actually not participated. The learned Judge has also observed in the order that at the time when the petitioner had applied for registration, an affidavit had been filed by him that there was no Society by the said name or identical name whereas in fact, there was a Society by that name in the past and, therefore, the filing of such an affidavit clearly reflected that the petitioner had deliberately and willfully filed a false affidavit. The learned Judge, therefore concluded that both the elements of fraud and misrepresentation were present in obtaining the registration. In such circumstances the Writ Petition was dismissed.

We have heard Sri Bhoopendra Nath Singh, learned counsel appearing for the appellants and the learned Standing Counsel appearing for the respondents and have perused the materials available on record.

Learned counsel for the appellants submitted that various order had been passed by the Prescribed Authority under Section 25 of the Act which would clearly demonstrate that the appellant society was a valid society and there was, therefore, no occasion to pass the orders under Section 12-D of the Act. This submission does not appeal to us. Section 12-D of the Act relates to the power of the Registrar to cancel the registration in certain cases including the case where the registration has been obtained by misrepresentation or fraud, while Section 25 relates to disputes regarding election of office bearers. In such circumstances any order passed under Section 25 of the Act by the Prescribed Authority has no relevance to any order passed by the Registrar under Section 12-D of the Act. This aspect has also been considered by the learned Judge and we entirely agree with the view expressed.

Learned counsel for the appellants then submitted that the order dated 19th January, 2004 passed by the Assistant Registrar under Section 12-D of the Act deserves to be quashed because against the order dated 13th November, 2003 passed by the Deputy Registrar reviewing the registration of the erstwhile society, the petitioners/appellants had filed a Writ Petition in this Court in which an interim order was passed which is still in force. This contention of the learned counsel for the appellants cannot also be accepted inasmuch as the said order dated 13th November, 2003 is independent of the order passed against the appellants under Section 12-D of the Act and mere pendency of the petition or passing of any interim order in the said petition cannot take away the powers of the Registrar to cancel the registration under Section 12-D of the Act.

Learned counsel for the appellants then contended that proper opportunity had not been given by the Assistant Registrar while passing the order under Section 12-D of the Act. We have carefully perused the order dated 19th January, 2004 and find that 9th December, 2003 had been fixed in the matter on which date Sri Ashok Kumar Singh appeared and sought for an adjournment which was granted and 20th December, 2003 was fixed. On 20th December, 2003 Sri Ashok Kumar Singh appeared but again sought an adjournment to produce the records and accordingly 19th January, 2005 was fixed but even on that date Sri Ashok Kumar Singh did not produce the records and only sought for an adjournment. It is in these circumstances that the Assistant Registrar proceeded to pass orders as Sri Ashok Kumar Singh had earlier been heard and only the records were to be produced. The contention of the learned counsel for the appellants that proper opportunity had not been granted cannot, therefore, be accepted as it is a case where the petitioners/appellants failed to avail the opportunity granted to them.

It must also be pointed out that in the order it has clearly been stated that Sri Ashok Kumar Singh had applied for registration of the Society on the basis of the agenda notice dated 19th May, 1983 and the resolution dated 5th June, 1983. However, five persons who were shown to have participated in this meeting had given affidavits that the agenda as well as the meeting were fictitious. This finding of fact was not challenged by the petitioners/appellants in the Writ Petition. The learned Judge, therefore, was of the opinion that it was a clear case of fraud and manipulation attracting the provisions of Section 12-D of the Act. Learned counsel for the appellants has very fairly accepted that this finding of fact was not challenged in the Writ Petition and all that he contends is that these grounds were raised before the Commissioner in the appeal. Be that as it may, since the petitioners/appellants did not challenge this finding of fact in the Writ Petition, we are of the opinion that there is no infirmity in the judgment of the learned Judge.

Thus, none of the contentions raised by the learned counsel for the appellants has any force. The Special Appeal is, accordingly, dismissed.

Date - 20.1.2006

GS


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