GADEA NAGABHUSHANA REDDI Vs. STATE
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
Gadea Nagabhushana Reddi
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RAJAMANNAR, C.J. -
(1.) THIS is an application for the issue of a writ of probibition against the Election Sub - Committcee of the All India Congress Committee, the President of the Andhra Provincial Congress Committee and the District Congress Committee, the Presidents, taluk and town Congress Committees and the Returning Officers of the various taluks and towns in the district of Guntur for the Primary Congress Panchayat elections prohibiting them from holding Congress Primary Panchayat elections in the district of Guntur, and to insue an interim prohibitive order prohibiting the Returning Officers of the taluks and towns in the district of Guntur from holding Congress Primary Panchayat elections and to issue directions to the various authorities to prepare the electoral rolls of primary Congress members and qualified members as per the rules of the Constitution and circulars issued by the various authorities and give such other directions and grant such further reliefs as the circumstances of this case warrant and this Court thinks tit. The application has been filed by two persons alleging themselves to be primary members of the Indian National Congress entitled to vote at the election of the Primary Congress Panchayat in the Tenali taluk, Guntur district.
(2.) WE have heard fully Mr. C. R. Pattabhi -raman, learned counsel for the petitioners on the question, whether this Court can give the relief which the petitioners pray for in the petition under any provisions of law. The learned counsel relied upon Article 226(1) of the Constitution as giving us the power to give the several directions which he seeks in the petition. He stressed on the wide language employed in theArticle and in particular referred to the words 'to any person or authority' and 'for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by Part III and for any other purpose'. He practically conceded - -and if he had not conceded we are prepared to hold - -that a writ of prohibition us understood in the English law might not be available in this Court. But learned counsel argued that Article 220 is not confined to the issue of recognised writs like mandamus, prohibition or certiorari. It includes other writs and orders and directions without any restriction whatsoever as to their acope. In answer to a question from us he was compelled to confess that the logical result of the construction sought to be placed by him on the language of the Article would be to enable any person aggrieved to obtain any relief by an application under this Article. Take for instance the cage of money due under a promissory note to the payee of the note. Ordinarily, the only remedy available for the creditor to recover the money due to him is by way of a suit in the appropriate Court. But, as the language of Article 226(1) is very wide and refers to the isaus of directions to any person for any purpose, logically, the creditor instead of filing a suit can straightway approach this Court for a direction to the debtor to pay him the money. As the only limitation contained in Article 226 is that the power is confined to the territories in relation to which this Court exercises jurisdiction, presumably any person in the State of Madras can approach this Court under Article 226 for a direction against any other person in this State for any purpose. The construction of Article 226 would practically abrogate the entire judicial system and the machinery set up for the administration of justice in the State. We do not think that Article 226 should be construed in this manner in spite of the wide language on which the counsel relied.
The application in question purports to be for the issue of a writ of prohibition. Ordinarily, this writ is available only against inferior Courts and Tribunals and bodies entrusted by the law of the land with powers to affect the rights of parties. No case has been brought to our notice in which this writ has issued to a private orga -nisation, however widespread and powerful it may be, Mr. Pattabhiram stated that the res -pondents against whom the writ was sought were officers of the Congress party. We do not think that the Congress party could be held in law to be a public body. It may be a very powerful, if not the most powerful, political party in the land and the members of the Governments of the various States are persons be -longing to that party. Nevertheless, in law it cannot be held to be a public body entrusted bythe law of the land with powers and duties rela -ting to the rights of people.
(3.) IF , therefore, a writ of prohibition in the strict sense of that term cannot issue in this case, can we say that Article 226 gives us the power to issue directions to a private association, because certain irregularities are alleged to have been committed in the conduct of election to the various branches of that organisation? Or should the aggrieved persons be left to pursue the ordinary remedy by way of suit and injunction? In our opinion, the general rule applied to the case of writs like mandamus, prohibition and certiorari, namely, that these writs will not issue if there is another adequate remedy, should apply to the issue of a direction, order or writ under Article 226(1) in spite of the apparently wide language employed. In this case, the petitioners could well have filed a suits and obtained immediately an urgent order of injunction and thus obtained the same reliefs which they seek from this Court. Then of course the suit should be filed in the Court having territorial jurisdiction in the matter.;
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