THONDEPU RADHA KRISHNA MURTHY Vs. INTURI KONDALA RAO
LAWS(APH)-1972-3-5
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Decided on March 14,1972

THONDEPU RADHA KRISHNA MURTHY Appellant
VERSUS
INTURI KONDALA RAO Respondents

JUDGEMENT

Vaidya, J. - (1.) This appeal is directed against the decision of our learned brother Parthasarathi, J., in W.P. No. 3803 of 1970. The appellant was elected President of the Caillakallu Panchayat Samithi on 18th July, 1970. Respondents 1 and 2 before us filed the writ petition in the nature of quo warranto to show by what authority the appellant and the 6th respondent herein are acting as President and Vice-President of the Panchayat Samithi respectively and tor an injunction restraining them from so acting.
(2.) The case of the petitioners is that Ghillakallu Panchayat Samithi consist of 30-ex-officio members and 6 members are to be elected by the ex-officio members under section 4 (1) (v) of the Andhra Pradesh Panchayat Samithis and Zilla Parishads Act., 1959 hereinafter referred to as " the Act ". Notice to 28 members of the Samithi was issued on 1st July 1970 of a meeting to be held on 18th July, 1970, for electing members under section 4 (1) (v) of the Act hereinafter referred to as the co-opted members." In regard to two ex-officio members, as a writ petition was pending in the High Court, the notices were issued two days thereafter. The first notice issued to the 28 members in addition to specifying that the meeting is to be held for the election of the co-opted members, also specified that the election of the VicePresident will be held immediately after the election of the co-opted members at a time to be specified on the notice Board of the Pachayat Samithi. In the notice issued to the other two members, it was stated that the meeting would be held for election of the co-opted members and for election of the President and the Vice-President of the Samithi. The notice was in respect of the meeting to be held on 18th July, 1970 and on that day, all the 30 ex-officio members attended the meeting. These ex-officio members consisted of two groups. A group numbering 18 belongs to the appellant's side and another group numbering 12 belongs to the side of respondents 1 and 2. At the election of the six co-opted members, the appellant's group was successful and all the six members nominated by their group were elected and thus the strength of that group rose to 24. The meeting for the election of the President and the Vice-President was called soon after the election of the co-opted members and after the meeting was so-called, the 1st respondent and two others who, it is alleged had received the notices specifying that the meeting would be for the election of a President and VicePresident, raised an objection that the notices issued to the 28 ex-officio members on 1st July, 1970 did not specify that the meeting would be held for election of the President and therefore, the election of the President could r.ot be held. This objection was overruled by the Presiding Officer inter alia stating that the omission of the word "President" in the fair copy of the notice was only a stencil error which had. crept in in spite of good care though the said word had been noted in the office copy of the notice. He also adverted to rule 16 (1) and the fact that there cannot be an election of the Vice-President without the election of the President and came to the conclusion that the omission of the word " President " in the fair copy of the notice would not vitiate the proceedings for the election of the President. He, therefore, overruled the objection of the 12 members who staged a walk-Out. The Presiding Officer then conducted the election of the President as there were 24 members present which is more than the requisite quorum ; and in that meeting, the appellant was elected as the President. After the election of the appellant as President, he presided over the meeting for the election of the Vice-President and in that meeting, the 6th respondent was elected as the Vice-President. Respondents 1 and 2 filed the writ petition referred to above.
(3.) In the writ petition it was argued before our learned brother, Parthasarathi, J., that the meeting held for the election of the President and the Vice President was not in accordance with law as there was no notice for the election of the President. The President's election being illegal, the Vice-President's election would also become illegal as he had presided over the meeting for the election of the Vice-President. The appellant and the 6th respondent argued before the learned Judge that the omission of the word "President" in the notice was merely an accidental error and the election of the President, therefore, is not in any manner vitiated. The contention of the appellant did not find favour with the learned Judge who held: " irrespective of whether the omission to mention about the election of the President was accidental or intentional the election of the President could not take place at the meeting held on 18th July, 1970. The meeting was not convened for that purpose and hence the purported election of the President was of no legal effect. The fact that the majority of the members had expressed their assent cannot obliterate the effect of want of notice. The writ petition has therefore to be allowed and a declaration should be given that the election of the President was void and inoperative." As regards the election of the Vice-President the learned Judge held "there was due notice in regard to the election of the Vice-President, and a person was in fact elected. It is true that the statute contemplates the election of the President and Vice-President at the same meeting and that in the instant case the election of the President has;


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