MAHENDRA PRATAP PRESIDENT NFIR Vs. P N KALITA STATION BLDG GAUHATI RLY STATION
LAWS(GAU)-1994-11-21
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
Decided on November 19,1994

MAHENDRA PRATAP, PRESIDENT,NFIR Appellant
VERSUS
P.N. KALITA, STATION BLDG. GAUHATI RLY STATION Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

CHAND KAUR -VS- PRATAP SINGH [REFERRED TO]
T. ARIVANDANDAM -VS- T.V. SATYAPAL [REFERRED TO]
BABHUTMAL -VS- LAXMI BAI [REFERRED TO]
WANDER LTD. AND ORS -VS- ANTOX INDIA (P) LTD. [REFERRED TO]
O.N.G.C. -VS- UTPAL KR. BOSE AND ORS. [REFERRED TO]
BHUTNATH CHATTERJEE VS. STATE OF WEST BENGAL [REFERRED TO]
M L SETHI VS. R P KAPUR [REFERRED TO]
MANECK GUSTEDJI BURJARJI VS. SARAFAZALI NAWABALI MIRZA [REFERRED TO]
TRIMBAK GANGADHAR TELANG VS. RAMCHANDRA GANESH BHIDE [REFERRED TO]
JAGIR SINGH VS. RANBIR SINGH [REFERRED TO]
MOHAMMAD YUNUS VS. MOHAMMAD MUSTAQIM [REFERRED TO]
MORGAN STANLEY MUTUAL FUND DRARVINDGUPTA VS. KARTICK DAS:SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE BOARD OF INDIA [REFERRED TO]
DALMIA JAIN AIRWAYS LTD. VS. SUKUMAR MUKHERJEE [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

- (1.)This is an application under Article 227 of the Constitution of India against an ad interim order of injunction dated 12.8.94 of the Munsiff No. IV, Guwahati, by which the respondent No. 2 has been restrained from holding himself out as the Returning Officer for the National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (for short 'the NFIR') elections and from interfering with the internal affairs of the NFIR by writing circulars to the affiliated unions or any one else and taking any step towards implementation of the election programme circulated by him.
(2.)The impugned order was passed by the learned Munsiff in Misc (J) Case No. 51/94 arising out of TS No. 268/94 filed by the NFIR represented by respondent No. 1. The case made out in the said suit, in short, is that the NFIR is the (coordinating and federating body of the trade union of workmen of the Indian Railways and is the recognised bargaining agent on behalf of different categories, of workmen. The membership of the NFIR is approximately 10 lakhs workmen. At the General Council meeting of the NFIR held at Madras on 29th/30th April, 1992, Shri T.B. Anandan was elected as the President and Shri P.N. Sarma was elected as the Working President. Shri T.B. Anandan resigned on the ground of ill-health at the meeting of the working Committee held at Maligaon in Guwahati on 5.9.92 and at the said meeting, the working Committee elected (co-opted) Shri P.N. Sarma as the President and thereafter the Working Committee has been meeting under the Presidentship of Shri P.N. Sarma. The petitioners (defendant Nos. 3,4,5 and 6 in the suit) claimed that they were elected as President, General Secretary and Assistant General Secretary and Treasurer of the NFIR at the requisition meeting at Secundrabad on 14.12.93 and occupied the head office of the NFIR at 2 Chelmsford Road, New Delhi, on 15th/16th December, 1993, but after the Railway Board certified to the police that Shri P.N. Sarma was the President, the petitioners vacated the head office of the NFIR on 21.12.93. Thereafter, Suit No. 133/94 was filed in Delhi High Court by petitioner No. 1 and others for restraining Shri P.N. Sarma and his associates from functioning as the President, Working President and General Secretary of the NFIR and from continuing to illegally occupy the head office of the NFIR at No. 2 Chelmsford Road, New Delhi. In the meanwhile, at the meeting of the Working Committee of the NFIR on 15th/16th December, 1993, it was decided to hold the next General Body/General Council meeting in May, 1994, at Guwahati, but finally on 28.4.94 the Working Committee of the Federation met in New Delhi and declared to hold the General Body/General Council meeting and election at Guwahati from 4th to 6th June, 1994. When the Delhi High Court was informed on 10.5.94 that the Working Committee of the NFIR had decided to hold the General Body/General Council/election meeting at Guwahati from 4th to 6th June, 1994, the Delhi High Court disposed of the suit as well as IA No. 1296/ 93 arising out of the said suit by the following order on 10.5.94 : "I have heard the Parties. The main contention between the rival factions of National Federation of Indian Railwaymen is as to who constitutes the working committee as of today. The contention of the Plaintiff is that they had elected a new working committee at the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) convened in accordance with the Constitution of NFIR on 14.12.1993 at Secunderabad. This fact is disputed by the defendants, who state that the working committee is still continuing and they alleged that the Extra-ordinary General Meeting was not validly called and it was contrary to the provisions of the constitution of the Federation and in fact it was only a closed door meeting of a few individuals without observing the conditions precedent for convening EGM. In support, Mr. Khera has drawn attention to a letter from Railway Board dated 21.12.1993 confirming that Mr. P.N. Sharma, defendant No. 1 and defendant No. 2 continue to be President. and Joint Secretary of the Federation. In the course of hearing, my attention was also drawn to the fact that this matter has been brought to the notice of Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) to which NFIR is affiliated and INTUC has agreed to supervise and conduct elections by appointing a Returning Officer provided both the warring groups withdrew the pending litigations. The said returning officer will conduct the elections in consultation with the office bearers of NFIR. I consider that it will not only be desirable, but absolutely necessary to allow the general elections to take place. I further direct that the elections should be held in the manner suggested by INTUC and their nominee will be the returning officer. He shall conduct the elections in consultation with defendant Nos. 1 and 2. The returning officer will be free to take assistance from plaintiffs Nos. 1 and 2 or any other person, he considers appropriate. The elections will take place, as already scheduled. Mr Khera on behalf of the defendants stated that there are no litigations initiated by them in any Court in the country as of date. Counsel for plaintiff states that he also undertakes to withdraw the suit pending in the Court of Sub Judge Delhi within one week, I.A. is disposed of in the above terms. S. 133/94 In the light of the orders passed on IA 1296/94, the plaintiff does not wish to proceed with the suit any further and prays for leave to withdraw (he same. Leave granted. Suit is dismissed as withdrawn subject to the orders on I.A. 1296/94." Pursuant to the said order dated 10.5.94 of the Delhi High Court, the respondent No. 2 (defendant No. 1 in the suit) was nominated as Returning Officer by the INTUC. As per the aforesaid order of the Delhi High Court election was to take place as already scheduled. According to the case of the respondent No. 1 - plaintiff in the suit, this meant that the election was to take place on 4th to 6th June, 1994, at Guwahati as decided by the working Committee in its meeting held on 28.4.94. The General Body/ General Council/ Election meetings were held at Guwahati from 4th to 6th June, 1994 as scheduled, but the respondent No. 2 decided not to turn up to conduct the election at Guwahati and instead requested for deferring the item of the agenda relating to holding of election. In its meeting on 4.6.94, the Working Committee of the NFIR turned down the request of the respondent No. 2 to defer the election since hundreds of delegates/workmen had gathered from the length and breadth of the country for the meeting of the election and decided that Shri S. S. Ojha, Minister of Transport, Assam and the Chairman of the Reception Committee be requested to conduct the election as scheduled on 6.6.94. The elections were held on 6.6.94 and the office bearers were elected. Since the elections were over, the functions of the respondent No. 2 as the returning Officer were rendered infructuous and yet the respondent No. 2 continued to communicate with the affiliated unions regarding the NFIR elections and in a circular addressed to the affiliated unions notified that the elections will be held at Mavelanker Hall, New Delhi on 23. 8.94. It is on these facts stated in the plaint that the respondent No.1 has in the suit sought for a declaration that the respondent No, 2 (defendant No. 1 in the suit) has by his own acts and omissions rendered his assignment and appointment as Returning Officer to conduct elections of NFIR redundant and infructuous and for a permanent injunction restraining the respondent No. 2 from holding himself out as the Returning Officer of the NFIR elections and from interferring with the internal affairs of NFIR by writing communications/sending circulars to affiliated unions; and taking steps towards implementation of election programmes. Alongwith the suit, the respondent No. 1 also filed an application for temporary injunction under O 39, r 1 and 2, CPC, and on the said application, the learned Munsiff has passed the impugned order of ad-interim injunction dated 12.8.94.
(3.)When the case was taken up for admission and interim orders on 18.8.94, Mr. D.N. Choudhury, learned counsel ifor the respondent No. 1, raised a preliminary objection that the remedy by way of appeal was available under 0 43, CPC, even against an ad-interim order of injunction before the appellate Court, and hence the application under Article 227 of the Constitution of India was not maintainable. In the order dated 18.8.94, this Court observed that this contention of Mr. Choudhury shall be considered while deciding the matter finally and directed as interim measure that since the respondent No. 2 as Returning Officer has already issued notices for holding NFIR elections on 23.8.94 at New Delhi and a number of delegates would be participating in the said elections, the respondent No. 2 be allowed to function as Returning Officer and to hold the elections on 23.8.94 at New Delhi but the result of the said elections will not be declared by the respondent No. 2 or any other person until further orders of this Court. By the said order dated 18.8.94 summons were also issued to the respondent Nos. 2, 3 and 4.


Click here to view full judgement.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.