THONGAM SHYAMO SINGH Vs. STATE OF MANIPUR
HIGH COURT OF MANIPUR
Thongam Shyamo Singh
STATE OF MANIPUR
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Kh. Nobin Singh, J. -
(1.) Heard Shri N. Ibotombi, learned Senior Advocate appearing for the petitioner in writ petition being WP(C) No.2 of 2018; WP(C) No.379 of 2019 and WP(C) No. 424 of 2019 while Shri Th. Mahira, learned Advocate appearing for the petitioners in writ petition being WP(C) No.806 of 2018; Shri M. Rarry, learned Addl. Advocate General appearing for the State in all the cases; Shri Romendro Sharma, learned Advocate appearing for the private respondents in WP(C) No.2 of 2018 and Ms. Priyashimala, learned Advocate appearing for the Executive Officer in all the cases.
(2.) Since the above-mentioned writ petitions have arisen out of a similar set of facts, the same are being disposed of by this common judgment and order. WP(C) No. 2 of 2018:
(3.) By the instant writ petition, the petitioner has prayed for issuing a writ of certiorari or any other appropriate writ to quash and set aside the letter dated 23.12.2017 written by the Under Secretary (MAHUD), Government of Manipur and the requisition dated 29.12.2017 submitted by 9 (nine) Councillors of the Thoubal Municipal Council (hereinafter referred to as "the Council").
3.2. Facts and circumstances as narrated in the writ petition, are that in pursuance of Rule 84 of the Manipur Municipalities (Election of Councilors) Rules, 1994, a list of candidates for being elected as the Councillors of the Council was published vide Notification dated 15.01.2016 and thereafter, the petitioner was elected as the Chairperson of the Council vide Notification dated 09.02.2016.
3.3. On 24.10.2016, 9(nine) Councillors of the Council submitted a requisition to the respondent No. 4, the Executive Officer for convening a meeting for consideration of "No-Confidence Motion" against the petitioner under Section 31 of the Manipur Municipalities Act, 1994 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act, 1994"). Accordingly, the Executive Officer issued a notice dated 16.11.2016 informing that a special meeting for consideration of "No-Confidence Motion" against him will be held on 28.11.2016 at the conference hall of the Deputy Commissioner with the Deputy Commissioner, Thoubal at the chair. The said notice dated 16.11.2016 was assailed before this Court by 9(nine) Councillors by way of a writ petition being WP(C) No.932 of 2016 on the ground that the Deputy Commissioner was not the competent authority under the provisions of the Act, 1994 to preside over a meeting for consideration of "No-Confidence Motion" against the petitioner which was disposed of by this Court vide its order dated 30.11.2016 directing the Executive Officer to fix a date and time for convening a special meeting for consideration of "No-Confidence Motion" against the petitioner for which the Vice-Chairperson was directed to chair the meeting. In compliance with the said order, the Executive Officer issued a notice dated 03.12.2016 informing that a meeting for consideration of "No-Confidence Motion" against the petitioner be held on 16.12.2016 at 11:30 a.m at the conference hall of the Council with the Vice-Chairperson at the chair.
3.4. As per the notice dated 03-12-2016, the special meeting was held on 16.12.2016 which was presided over by the Vice-Chairman who being an elected Councillor also, casted his vote. After the meeting and just before counting votes, 9(nine) Councillors of the Council objected to the casting of vote by the Vice-Chairperson, because of which the counting of votes could not be done. Accordingly, a resolution was taken by the Council to seek a clarification from the State Government whether the Vice-Chairperson has the right to cast his vote or not and to keep the ballot box in the safe custody of the Thoubal Police Station. As directed by the Council, the Executive Officer wrote a letter dated 16.12.2016 to the State Government seeking a clarification and by the said letter, the State Government was informed that the Ballot Box which was sealed in the presence of the Councillors, had been kept in the custody of the police station. The Department of MAHUD, after consultation with the law, vide its letter dated 30.08.2017 clarified that the Vice-Chairperson being an elected Councillors, had the right to cast his vote in the said "No- Confidence Motion" but the Executive Officer, instead of counting votes, wrote another letter dated 31.08.2017 seeking an administrative approval from the State Government for counting of votes.
3.5. In the meantime, on 31.07.2017, 10(ten) Councillors of the Council submitted an application to the Executive Officer for withdrawal of "No-Confidence Motion" and in its meeting held on 31.07.2017 itself, the Councillors took a resolution for withdrawal of the "No-Confidence Motion" against the petitioner. The Executive Officer vide its letter dated 01.08.2017 informed the State Government about the withdrawal of the "No-Confidence Motion" and the State Government was requested to take up necessary action in that regard. Thereafter, on 03.10.2017, a meeting of the Council was held at the conference hall which took a resolution that since the clarification sought for had been received, the counting of the votes should be done at the earliest. The meeting also resolved for reviewing the resolution taken on 31.07.2017 for withdrawal of the "no-confidence of motion". On 04.10.2017, the Executive Officer informed the State Government about the situation and requested it for conveying the administrative approval for counting of votes. A writ petition being WP(C) No.818 of 2017 came to be filed by Hijam Jamuna Devi and 7 others praying for direction to the State Government for granting approval/ permission to count votes of "No-Confidence Motion" which was held on 16.12.2016 which is alleged to be pending for disposal by this Court.
3.6. As no positive action was taken by the official respondents, the petitioner got a Legal Notice dated 22.12.2017 served upon the Official Respondents not to take any action against the interest of the petitioner. While the petitioner was waiting eagerly for positive actions from the State Government, the respondent No.2, the Under Secretary (MAHUD) vide its letter dated 23.12.2017 conveyed the approval of the State Government for withdrawal of "No-Confidence Motion" against the petitioner. Immediately thereafter, 9(nine) Councillors of the Council submitted a requisition dated 29.12.2017 requesting the Executive Officer for conveying a special meeting of "No-Confidence Motion" against the petitioner. Since there is no any provision for withdrawal of the requisition under the provisions of the Act of 1994, the withdrawal of "No-Confidence Motion" against the petitioner is not permissible and therefore, the letter dated 23.12.2017 issued by the Secretary, MAHUD Department hah no legs to stand. Being aggrieved by the said letter dated 23.12.2017 and the requisition dated 29.12.2017, the instant writ petition has been filed by the petitioner. ;
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