Decided on July 13,2001

ANIL KUMAR Appellant


M.C.JAIN,J. - (1.)THE petitioner is a practising lawyer at Rishikesh, District Dehradun and has challenged the Notification dated 23 -5 -2001 issued by the respondent no.1 appointing the respondent no.3 as a Notary for Tahsil Rishikesh. He has also prayed for a writ of mandamus directing the respondent no.1 to appoint him as Notary for Tahsil Rishikesh.
(2.)THE respondent no. 1 took a decision to create an additional post of a Notary for Tahsil Rishikesh and in pursuance of such Government decision a notice dated 23 -4 -2001 was issued by the respondent no.2 (District Judge, Dehradun) inviting applications in the prescribed format by 10 -5 -2001. Nine candidates including the petitioner and respondent no.3 submitted applications. The petitioner was a candidate of backward class practising at Rishikesh since 1985 and, according to him, he was the only candidate eligible to be appointed as Notary. As regards respondent no.3, it is contended that he is not a practising Advocate in Tahsil Rishikesh. Nor he actually resides there. In fact, he is a resident of Tehri Garhwal district and practises there. He is also a member of ruling B.J.P. and has great political affinity and influence in the B.J.P. circle. He is said to have manoeuvred his appointment as Notary by exercising undue influence on the respondent no.1. The respondent no. 2 did not follow the relevant rules and only forwarded the applications of the petitioner and respondent no.3 along with other applicants without making any recommendation as enjoined upon him under Rule 7 and without making any inquiry and without inviting any objection under Rule 6 of the Notaries Rules 1956. The petition is founded on these allegations, seeking the relief as mentioned in the opening part of the judgment.
(3.)WE have heard learned counsel for the petitioner, learned S.C. and learned counsel for the respondent no.3 whose appointment as Notary has been challenged. The learned S.C. has also placed before us the record concerning the appointment of Notary. The submission from the side of the respondent no.3 is that he is a practising Advocate in Tahsil Rishikesh since his registration as such and he is residing at Rishikesh since his student life. He, thus, justifies his appointment as Notary.
We find that the respondent no.2 -competent authority (District Judge, Dehradun) simply forwarded the applications alongwith documents of the nine candidates (including the petitioner and respondent no. 3) to the respondent no.1 without any application of mind and without recording his opinion separately in respect of each candidate after complying with the requirements of relevant rules. He also does not appear to have made any inquiry as to the place of residence of each candidate and without inviting objections as per requirement of rules. The truth of the matter is that the respondent no.2 just forwarded memorials of the nine candidates including the petitioner and respondent no. 3 alongwith other documents to the State Government for appropriate action. It may be pointed out that appointment of Notary is governed by provisions of Notaries Act, 1952 and the Rules framed thereunder i.e. Notaries Rules 1956; Under the Rules, for appointment of Notary, a candidate is required to submit his application in the form of memorial addressed to such officer or authority of the appropriate Government as that Government may by Notification in the official gazette designate in this behalf. Such officer or authority is known as competent authority. The District Judge is the competent authority. For being eligible for appointment as Notary, one has to be a legal practitioner atleast for ten years and various other categories of people have also been made eligible for appointment as Notary as per Rule 3. On the submission of memorials, the competent authority is required to examine the same and in case he is satisfied that the applicant does not possess the qualification as specified in Rule 3 of the Rules, he is obliged to reject such memorial. He is also obliged to reject memorials of such applicants whose previous application for appointment of Notary has been rejected within six months. If the competent authority does not reject the application under sub -rule (1) of Rule 6, then he, in his discretion, may invite objection, if any, to the appointment of the candidates from any Bar Council, Bar Association, incorporated law society or other authority in the area.


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