Decided on September 04,1953

A.R.V. ACHAR Appellant


- (1.) The Letters Patent Appeal and the two writ petitions were heard together and can toe disposed of by a common judgment. The Letters Patent Appeal is against the judgment of Subba Rao J. in W. P. No. 568 of 1952. The appellant filed that application for the issue of appropriate write, orders and directions in the circumstances of the case and in particular for the issue of a writ of Mandamus directing the respondents, namely, the Madras State represented by the Secretary Local Administration Department, Madras, and the Commissioner the Corporation of Madras, to forbear from holding the elections to the Council of the Corporation of Madras.
(2.) Under Section 55-A, Madras City Municipal Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act) vacancies arising by efflux of time in the office of Divisional Councillors shall be filled at ordinary elections which shall be fixed by the Commissioner to take place on such days in the months of August and September immediately preceding the vacancies as he thinks not. The Commissioner accordingly advertised in the local daily newspapers fixing a programme of elections intimating that the nominations would be received by the Revenue Officer and by himself from 21-81952 to 23-8-1952, and fixing the 30th and 31st August 1952 for scrutiny and various dates in September 1952 for the elections to the several vacancies. Section 5 of the Act provides for the constitution of the Council. The material part of that section runs thus : "The Council shall consist of (a) sixty six divisional councillors of whom fifty shall be persons elected to general seats, five to seats specially reserved for members of the scheduled castes, four to seats specially reserved for Muslims, two seats specially reserved for Indian Christians, one to a seat specially reserved for Anglo- Indians and four to seats specially reserved for women; Provided that nothing in this clause shall be deemed to prevent members of any community or women for whom seats have been reserved from standing for election to the non-reserved seats; (b) four councillors to seats specially reserved for labour; (c) two councillors, one elected by the members of the Madras Chamber of Commerce and the other by the members of the Madras Trades Association in such manner as may be prescribed: (d) six councillors elected in such manner as may be prescribed by the members of the Southern India Chamber of Commerce, the Andhra Chamber of Commerce, the Muslim Chamber of Commerce, the Nattukottai Nagarathars Association, the Southern Indian Skins and Hides Merchants' Association, and the Piece-goods Merchants' Association, Madras, each of the bodies and associations aforesaid voting separately and electing one councillor; (e) one councillor elected by the trustees of the Port of Madras. (g) one councillor elected by the members of the Senate of the University of Madras; and (h) five aldernmen, of whom one shall be a woman, elected by the councillors referred to in Clauses (a) to (g), in the manner specified in Section 56-C". The appellant alleged in the affidavit filed in support of his applicstion that after the coming into force of the Constitution of India reservation of seats for any section except for the Scheduled castes and women was void as inconsistent with Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution. He also submitted that the power given to the Government under Section 45 of the Act to delimit territorial divisions by notification was arbitrary as no natural basis is indicated on the basis of which the deli-mination should be made. He further stated that the power of the Government to specify the constituency from which seats were specially reserved for members of the Scheduled castes, Muslims, Indian Christians, Anglo Indians and women under Section 5 of the Act was entirely arbitrary. One other objection raised by the appellant was that after adult franchise had been introduced by the Constitution the number of voters in the various territorial constituencies varied enormously and elections held on the basis of the such unequally distributed constituencies offended against the provisions of Article 14 of the Constitution.
(3.) Subba Rao J. disused of the application by his judgment delivered on 25-81952. He held that the reservation of seats for Muslims, Indian Christians and Anglo Indians was bad and the respondents had no power to hold elections in respect, of these reserved seats. He therefore directed the respondents to forbear from holding elections to the Council in respect of the aforesaid seats. In other respects he dismissed the application. On 11-9-1952 the above appeal was filed in so far as the judgment was against the appellant. We directed on 12-9-1953, the appellant to file typed papers and posted the appeal to a date in October 1952. Meanwhile the elections to all the seats in the Council, except to the reserved seats in respect of which Subha Rao J. had held that the reservations were bad, took place in September 1952. Under Section 56-C of the Act vacancies in the office o the aldermen have to be filled by election at a meeting of the persons who on first day of November on which such vacancies will arise will enter upon office as councillors and such meeting Shall be convened by the Mayor and shall be held On such day in the month of October, immediately preceding the vacancies as he may determine. Accordingly the aldermen were elected on 15-10-1952 and the Councillors and the aldermen so elected were sworn in on 4-11-1952 as councillors. On 4-11-1952 one of the aldermen, T. Chengalvaroyan was unanimously elected as Mayor.;

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