FRANCISWELL SYIEM Vs. THE JUDGE, DISTRICT COUNCIL COURT AND ANR.
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
The Judge, District Council Court And Anr.
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P.K. Goswami, C.J. -
(1.) THIS Civil Rule is directed against two orders passed by the Judge, District Council Court, acting as an Election Appeal Tribunal under Section 5 of the United Khasi -Jaintia Hills Autonomous District (Appointment and Succession of Chiefs and Headmen) Act, 1959. hereinafter called 'the Act'. By the first order the Tribunal asked the Petitioner to show cause against the' objection taken regarding his election. The Petitioner did not show any cause. By the second order the Tribunal fixed the case for evidence.
(2.) THE facts material for the purpose of disposal of this Rule may be' noted. The Executive Committee of the District Council, United Khasi -Jaintia Hills called upon the electors on the 6th of April, 1962 to elect a Syiem in succession to U Jor Manik, the previous Syiem of Mylliem. The electors by an overwhelming majority elected the Petitioner as the Syiem of Mylliem. The result of the said election was approved of and published by the District Council and the customary Sanad was granted to him and he has been functioning as such since 17th May, 1963.
The Respondent No. 2 raised a dispute regarding the said election before the Executive Committee of the District Council. The parties on being asked filed their written statements in support of their respective claims and also documents. The Executive Committee, after hearing the parties, did not interfere with the election by its order dated 19th January, 1965. The Respondent No. 2 thereafter preferred an appeal against the aforesaid order of the Executive Committee under Section 5 of the Act.
The District Council appointed Respondent No. 1 as a Single Member Election Appeal Tribunal to hear and dispose of the said appeal. The Tribunal called upon the Petitioner to file his written statement. The Petitioner questioned the jurisdiction of the Tribunal to call for written statement from the Petitioner. The Tribunal overruled the objection and passed the first impugned order, namely:
The Syiem will show cause on 8 -8 -66.
The Petitioner showed cause and the Tribunal passed the second impugned order to the following effect:
Both the parties appeared. Fix 19 -12 -C6 for evidence by the Appellant. It is these two orders set out above which the Petitioner challenges by this application under Article 226 of the Constitution.
The learned counsel for the Petitioner contends that there is no pro vision to warrant the procedure adopted by - the Appeal Tribunal authorising it to ask for a statement showing cause and also to take evidence at an appel late stage. The Tribunal was bound to decide the matter after hearing the parties on the materials already placed by them before the Executive Commit tee.
(3.) SINCE the matter Is of some importance and affects the procedure of Election Appeal Tribunal in cases of this nature, which may be of frequent occur rence, we issued notice to the Advocate General, Meghalaya to ascertain the views of the District Council in the matter, so that we are in a position to decide the same after hearing all the parties. The learned Advocate General appeared and submitted that the Election Appeal Tribunal is free to follow its own procedure provided it confines itself to the subject -matter of reference and conducts itself within the four cor ners of the provisions of the Act.;
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