V.CHAKKARAI CHETTIAR Vs. STATE
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
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CHANDRA REDDI, J. -
(1.) THIS application is by a member of the Legislative Council to call upon the respondent to show cause why writ in the nature of Quo Warranto should not be issued against him to show by what authority he claims to bo a member of the Madras Legislative Council. Through the medium of this writ, the applicant calls in question the validity of the nomination of the respondent made by His Excellency the Governor of Madras on the 31st March 1952 in G.O. Ms. No. 1005 Public (Elections). The subject matter of these proceedings runs as follows: 'In pursuance of Clauses (3)(e) and (5) of Article 171 of the Constitution of India, I, Sri Prakasa, Governor of Madras, hereby nominate the following persons to be members of the Madras Legislative Council:
1. Sri Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari,
(2.) JANAB Mahammad Usman,
Sri Vellapuram Bhashyam Aiyangar,
(3.) SRI Omandur P. Ramaswami Reddiar.' 2. The applicant urges that this order nominating the respondent is invalid for two reasons: (1) that this is virtually a fraud of the powers conferred by the Constitution on the Governor, because the Governor by nominating the respondent wanted to assist the Congress Legislature Party; and (2) that the Governor could not exercise the power of making the nomination under Article 171, Clauses (3) (e) and (5) of the Constitution except on the advice of the Council of Ministers and having regard to the fact that by the date of the nomination the new ministry was not formed, the Governor could not have had the benefit of the advice of the Council of Ministers. 3. Before I examine the soundness of these contentions, I have first of all to see whether the petitioner has 'locus standi' to maintain this application. Attacking the validity of this very nomination, a petition was filed ( - - 'In re P. Ramamoorthi', W. P. No. 244 of 1952 (Mad)) by one Ramamurthi, an elected member of the Legislative Assembly. The grounds of attack on the nomination of the respondent by His Excellency the Governor in that petition are the same as in the present one. A Bench of this court consisting of the Chief Justice and Venkatarama Aiyar J. rejected that petition on the ground that the petitioner therein could not maintain that petition, as there was no infraction of his personal right. 4. Mr. Mohan Kumara Mangalam in support of this petition argues that this decision has no application to this case for the reason that the principles that govern the issue of a writ of certiorari are different from those applicable to a proceeding for information in the nature of a quo warranto. On this basis he seeks to distinguish the decision of the Bench in - - 'W. P. No. 244 of 1952 (Mad)' and urges that information in the nature of Quo warranto can be filed even at the instance of a private relator, who has no interest in the office in respect of which he seeks that relief. According to him, Article 226 enables a citizen of India to ask for the issue of such a writ in order to have the right of a person to an office determined, in the interest of the public, although he has no personal or direct interest in the matter. It is argued by him that if there was no distinction between a writ in the nature of a Quo warranto and other writs mentioned in Article 226, no useful purpose was served by introducing that writ into Article 226, because in no case in which information in the nature of Quo warranto is sought is a relator personally or directly interested. I am not very much impressed with this argument. There may be cases in which an applicant seeking that relief may be interested; but that need not detain me here long. An answer to that contention can be found in the provision of Article 32 of the Constitution Act. Article 32(2) enacts: 'The Supreme Court shall have power to issue directions or orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by this Part.'
So under Article 32 information in the nature of quo warranto can be filed even for protecting the fundamental rights. The fundamental rights mentioned in Chapter III are rights personal and direct to a citizen and for the protection of such right resort can be had to the writ of quo warranto under Article 32 of the Constitution. In the same manner the Writ in the nature of Quo warranto is mentioned in Article 226. 'That being so, there is no force in the contention that if the intendment of Article 226 is only the protection of the rights guaranteed in Chapter III, there is no point in mentioning Quo warranto in that Article. Hence the line of distinction relied upon by the Counsel for the applicant is therefore not available to him. The distinction sought to be made is not a sound one. It must be remembered that the decision of the Bench in - - 'Re P. Ramamoorthi', WP No. 244 of 1952 (Mad) is not confined to the issue' of a writ of certiorari. There the proposition is stated that the jurisdiction of this court under Article 226 can be invoked only by a person, who has suffered a personal injury. The writ of Quo warranto, being one of the writs mentioned in Article 226 falls, in my opinion, within the purview of the decision of the Bench. I do not propose to go at this stage into the history of this ancient writ which is the foundation of the present day information in the nature of Quo warranto prior to the framing of the Constitution.
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