PUNJAB STATE CLUB SIMLA Vs. MUNICIPAL COMMITTEE SIMLA
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
PUNJAB STATE CLUB, SIMLA
MUNICIPAL COMMITTEE, SIMLA
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(1.) A certain premises consisting of a building with a small grassy plot known as "lady Reading Coolies Shelter" situated in Simla was given to the Municipal committee (hereinafter called the committee for tise as coolie shelter. The Punjab state Club was in possession of these premises in June 1957 when on 23-6-1957 the Committee locked up and sealed the premises. This has led the Club to file this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution on the ground that the Club was in possession of these premises as tenant and could not be evicted without a proper order by a Court of law. This petition is contested by the Committee.
(2.) THE admitted facts are these, On 4-8-1949, Shri P. Tribhavan, then Press liaison Officer, requested the Committee to allot these premises to the "services club" which was proposed to be started for Government and Semi-Government servants. The Committee granted this request and passed a resolution on the 4th august reading-
"resolved that this building be allotted for one year to this Club on payment of rent on condition that it will be used as a Club during hours which will be fixed by the Committee so as not to deprive the public of the use of the open space in front ol of this building. ***" The Services Club accordingly occupied the premises. Admittedly, this Club was an unincorporated members Club and was formed for social intercourse and relaxation and recreation of its members. On 14-6-1950, the Committee passed a resolution calling upon the Club to vacate the premises on or before 5-9-1950. The club requested the Committee to re-consider the matter but that request was not accepted. Number of notices were issued to the Club and resolutions were passed calling upon the Club to hand over possession. Thereafter the facts are not admitted and are in dispute and I shall deal with them a little later. Suffice it to say that on the facts alleged by the Club the petitioner claims that it is Committee's tenant, while according to the Committee's version the petitioner is merely a trespasser and has no right to remain in possession of the premises.
(3.) BEFORE dealing with the case on merits I may dispose of the preliminary objection raised on behalf of the respondent Committee. Its objection is that the punjab Services Club not being a registered body could not file this petition through the Club's officers and that it could be filed only by all the members of the club. This petition is filed by the Punjab State Club, Simla, through its Managing committee through Sh. Avtar Singh, Chairman, Sh. Sewa Ram Anand and Sh. S. P. Mehta, members. This petition is supported by the affidavit of Avtar Singh. Other members have not been im-pleaded as petitioners or respondents. Admittedly the Punjab Services club is an unregistered members' Club. Such a club has no legal status. It is neither a company nor a partnership. It is a social club for relaxation and recreation of its members. Unregistered members Clubs are societies, the members of which are perpetually changing and are merely aggregates of individuals, called for convenience by a common name. It is well established that such association of members cannot sue or be sued in the association's name and all its members must sue or be sued, It is argued by the learned counsel for the petitioner that it was the intention of all the members jab State Club, Simla vs. Municipal Committee, Simla (05. 09. 1957 -PHHC) Page 3 of 5 of the Club to file this petition and that they have merely used the Club's name as a short and collective name for all the individual members who constitute the Club. According to the learned coun-sel these three members who figure as petitioners I have been authorised by all the members to file this petition and they are really acting as representatives of all the members. It is urged that if the procedure adopted is defective, then it is merely a case of misdescrip-tion and an amendment may be allowed to cure this defect. This is a possible view and in this view all that is required to be done to regularise the petition is to permit the petitioner to amend the petition and to implead all the existing members us petitioners or as respondents. In view of this matter I have decided not to accept the preliminary objection and to deal with the case on merits.;
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