Kh. Nobin Singh, J. -
(1.) Heard Ms. Th. Babita, learned Advocate appearing for the petitioners; Shri Lenin Hijam, learned Addl. Advocate General appearing for the State respondents as well as the Executive Officer and Shri N. Zequeson, learned Advocate appearing for the private respondents.
(2.) By the instant writ petition, the petitioners have prayed for issuing a writ of certiorari or any other appropriate writs to quash and set-aside the letter dated 28.07.2018 issued by Government of Manipur and the notice dated 22.07.2019 issued by the Executive Officer, Kwakta Municpal Council, Kwakta.
(3.) Facts and circumstances as narrated in the writ petition, are that the petitioners are the councillors of Kwakta Municipal Council duly elected vide Notification dated 15.01.2016 and thereafter, the petitioner Nos.1 and 2 were elected as the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson of the Kwakta Municipal Council on 05.02.2016 and 11.02.2016 respectively.
3.2. Four persons namely, (a) Md. Abdul Hamid, (b) K. Ibochouba Singh, (c) A. Basanta Singh and (d) Md. Hafijuddin, identified themselves as (i) the Councilor, Kwakta Municipal Ward No.8, Moirang Assembly Constituency, (ii) the Ex-Councillor, Moirang Municpal Council, Ward No. 10, Moirang A/C, (iii) the General Secretary, Bishnupur, Moirang Mandal and (iv) the Ex-Vice Chairperson, Moirang Municpal Council respectively, submitted a representation dated 20.04.2019, Jointly signed by themselves, to the Hon'ble Minister (MAHUD), Manipur and the Director, MAHUD, Manipur with a copy endorsed to the Deputy Commissioner, Bishnupur complaining that the Kwakta Municipal Council had failed to perform many obligated functions as mentioned therein. One of the petitioners namely the petitioner No.2, Md. Abdul Karim, Councillor Kwakta Ward No.8 came to know about the said representation and also that Md. Abdul Hamid impersonating himself as the Councillor, Kwakta Municipal Council Ward No.8 along with 3 others, submitted the said representation alleging many irregularities without any basis. The petitioner No.2, Md. Abdul Karim submitted a complaint dated 10.05.2019 to the Director, MAHUD to take action against the said Md. Abdul Hamid but no action was taken against him.
3.3. The Advisor to the Chief Minister, Manipur who happens to be the member of the Manipur Legislative Assembly, Moirang Assembly Constituency, also wrote a D.O letter dated 06.05.2019 requesting the Director, MAHUD, Government of Manipur to issue show cause notice to the Kwakta Municipal Council in this regard. The Director, MAHUD, Government of Manipur, knowing fully well that Md. Abdul Hamid was not the Councillor of the Kwakta Municipal Council Ward No.8, sought for a report on the allegation made in the joint representation dated 20.04.2019 from the Executive Officer, Kwakta Municipal Council after about a month vide its letter dated 07.05.2019 and on the next day itself, the Executive Officer, Kwakta Municipal Council submitted a report to the Director, MAHUD, Government of Manipur vide its letter 08.05.2019 and in the said report, it has been stated that the allegations made in the complaint letter dated 20.04.2019 were found to be totally baseless and that the representation submitted by Md. Abdul Hamid in collusion with others, was to malign or to destabilize the functioning of the Kwakta Municipal Council for some political vendetta.
3.4. While the petitioner No.1 and 2 were discharging their duties and functions to the satisfaction of the general public, the Private Respondents submitted a requisition dated 10.07.2019 to the Executive Officer, Kwakta Municipal Council for moving "No Confidence Motion" against the petitioner No.1 alleging that he had failed to perform his duties as the Chairperson in all fronts and always indulged in nepotism and corrupt practices etc. On receipt of said requisition dated 10.07.2019, the Executive Officer, Kwakta Municipal Council forwarded it to the Director, MAHUD, Government of Manipur vide its letter dated 11.07.2019 itself. On 19.07.2019, the petitioner Nos.1 and 2 submitted a representation to the Executive Officer requesting him to verify the signatures of those 6(six) applicants on the ground that the signatures of 3(three) councilors appeared to have been forged by someone. But the Executive Officer left the representation dated 19.07.2019 unattended. On 28.07.2019, the MAHUD Department vide its letter conveyed the approval of the State Government for holding a special meeting for consideration of "No Confidence Motion" against the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson, for which the Deputy Commissioner, Bishnupur was appointed to preside over the meeting for consideration of "No Confidence Motion" against the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson of Kwakta Municipal Council as provided under Section 31(2) of the Manipur Municipalities Act, 1994 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act, 1994") and the rules made thereunder. In the meanwhile, the Executive Officer, Kwakta Municipal Council issued a notice dated 22.07.2019 informing that a special meeting of the Kwakta Municipal Council be held on 05.08.2019 at 11.00 p.m for consideration of "No Confidence Motion" against the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson. Being aggrieved by said letter dated 28.07.2019 and the notice dated 22.07.2019, the instant writ petition has been filed by the petitioners on inter-alia grounds that the requisition dated 10.07.2019 was found to be faulty, fabricated and forged one; that the Executive Officer, without caring to verify the signatures, forwarded the said requisition to the State Government which had shown that the Executive Officer acted with undue haste without application of mind; that the Executive Officer knew that the charges were those which he himself had already investigated and submitted a report thereof; that the Government of Manipur conveyed an approval for holding a special meeting for consideration of " No Confidence Motion" against the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson, although the letter dated 28.07.2019 did not mention about the meeting to be held for consideration of "No Confidence Motion" against the Vice-Chairperson. In the application being MC(MP) No.208 of 2019 filed by the petitioners, some more grounds have been taken by them. On receipt of the letter dated 10-07-2019 for moving "no-confidence motion" against the Chairman, the Executive Officer vide its letter dated 10-07-2019 forwarded it to the Director, MAHUD stating that the proceedings of the earlier special meeting held on 11-06-2019 against the Chairperson had been submitted to it but no decision was received by it. Similarly, in its letter dated 10-07- 2019 addressed to the Director, MAHUD relating to moving "no-confidence motion" against the Vice-Chairperson, it has been stated by the Executive Officer that a decision was pending in regard to the requisition dated 06- 04-2018 for moving "no-confidence motion" against the Vice-Chairperson. Another ground taken by them is that a representation dated 19-07-2019 was addressed to the Executive Officer alleging that signatures of three out of six councilors were forged and that the same had not been considered by him. The Government of Manipur, MAHUD Department vide its letter dated 29-07-2019 instructed the Executive Officer to call for a meeting and submit a report in regard to the allegation of signatures being forged. ;