Decided on February 22,1962

Kesheorao Shrawanji Datir Appellant
COLLECTOR Respondents


KOTVAL,J. - (1.)In this Special Civil Application, we are concerned with the election of the President of the Municipal Committee, Badnera. He was declared to have been elected on November 24, -1961, in circumstances which, briefly stated, are as follows: The general election for the purpose of constituting the Municipal Committee was held on October 21, 1961, and the names of the elected members of the Municipality were notified in the Maharashtra Government Gazette on November 2, 1961. A meeting of the members of the Committee was convened for the election of the President as provided by Section 18 of the C.P. and Berar Municipalities Act, 1922, for November 24, 1961. What happened at that meeting has given rise to the present petition.
(2.)IT appears that respondent No. 5 Pundalik Sadhu Bansod wanted to stand as a candidate for the presidentship and, therefore, two of his supporters and he went to the municipal office and handed over his nomination paper to respondent No. 2 who was appointed Chairman of the meeting. There is some dispute as to the exact time at which the nomination paper of respondent No. 5 was handed over. The petitioners say that it was handed over at 10 -35 a.m. and respondent No. 5 says that it was' handed over at 10 -30 a.m. But nothing turns upon that difference in time. According to the petitioners, petitioner No. 1 also wanted to stand for election to the office of President and, therefore, he and the twelve other petitioners had attended the meeting. The meeting was scheduled to be held at 11 a.m. and the petitioners were all present at the meeting'. According to the petitioners, respondent No. 2 declined to accept the nomination form of petitioner No. 1 though it was duly proposed and seconded. That fact however has been denied by respondent No. 2 who, in his return, has stated that no nomination paper of petitioner No. 1 was ever submitted to him. Nothing, however, turns upon this denial.
The point that has been raised on behalf of the petitioners by Mr. Mandlekar is a point concerning the validity and vires of a rule. The decision of the point depends upon certain provisions of the C.P. and Berar Municipalities Act and the rules framed under Sections 18(6) and 20 thereof. These rules are the C.P. and Berar Municipalities President and Vice -President (Election and Appointment) (Bombay) Rules, 1!)58. Sub -section (1) of Section 18 of the Act prescribes that each Committee shall have a President who shall be elected by the members from among their number. Sub -section (2) prescribes that each Committee shall have a Vice -President and indicates how he is to be appointed. Then come the important provisions of Sub -section (3) which, for the purposes of the dispute before us, are decisive Sub -section (3) runs as follows: - Save as otherwise provided in this Act, (a) the President shall hold office for such term, not less than one year or not less than the residue of the term of office of the Committee whichever is less, and not exceeding three years, as the Committee shall, previous to the election of the President, determine or until the expiry within the said term of his term of office as member, but shall be eligible for re -election; and (b) the Vice -President shall hold office during the term of office of the President who appoints him; Provided that the term of office of such President or Vice -President shall be deemed to extend to and expire with, the date on which his successor is elected or appointed, as the case may be: Provided further that where the term of office of a Committee is extended under this Act, the President and Vice -President holding office immediately before the date with effect from which such term is extended shall continue to hold their respective offices until the date on which the term so extended expires.

(3.)TURNING to the rules, Rule 3 requires the Collector to convene a meeting of all the members of the Committee within 25 days of the notification of the names of the members of the Committee in the Official Gazette under Section 20, for the purpose of election of the President under Section 18(1). For this meeting, Rule 3(2) provides that the Collector shall appoint an officer to be the Chairman. In this case, it is not in dispute that respondent No. 2 was so appointed Chairman. Rule 3(5) makes provision for the quorum at the meeting and for adjournment of the meeting. The provisions of IT. 4 and 5 (1) are as follows: - 4. The Chairman shall, before proceeding to elect the President, call upon the members to determine the term for which the President shall hold office as required by the provisions of clause (a) of Sub -section (3) of section 18.

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