Decided on September 28,1988

State of Gujarat and Others Respondents


P.R.GOKULAKRISHNAN - (1.)The petitioner in this Special Civil Application No. 554 of 1981 has come forward with a prayer for quashing the election of the second respondent as President of Deesa Taluka Panchayat held on 24/02/1981 and also for issue of a writ of quo warranto calling upon the respondent to show the authorities or legal provisions under which he is occupying the office of the President of Taluka Panchayat Deesa. The short facts for the purpose of deciding the issue involved in this case are as follows:
(2.)The petitioner herein was elected as a member of Deesa Taluka Panchayat in the general election held in the month of February 1981. The Deesa Taluka Panchayat consists of 26 elected members. Respondent No. 4 herein was appointed as the Presiding Officer under the provisions of the Gujarat Panchayats Act for the purpose of presiding over the meeting held for election of the President and Vice-President of the Taluka Panchayat under Sec. 55 of the Gujarat Panchayats Act. The Taluka Development Officer who in the respondent No. 5 in this Special Civil Application issued notice dated 13/02/1981 for the purchase of holding meeting for the election of the President and Vice-President of Taluka Panchayat The said notice which is Annexure `A to the Special Civil Application inter alia states that the election of the President and Vice-President will be held in the meeting to be held on 24/02/1981 from 11.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. and that the intending candidate for the election of the President and Vice-President should submit the nomination paper not later than 23/02/1981 between 11 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. and that the said nomination papers will be scrutinised at 2.00 p.m. on the same day. Pursuant to the said notice the petitioner and the respondent No. 1 and others filled-in the nomination forms for the post of President of the Deesa Taluka Panchayat on 23/02/1981 and filed the same. The election was held and in that 25 voters exercised their franchise. One vote having been rejected there was equality of votes. As per Sec. 55(5) of the Panchayat Act the result of the election was decided by lot drawn and picked up by a child. In that respondent No. 2 came out successfully.
(3.)The election of respondent No 2 is being questioned by the petitioner on the ground that the provisions of Rule 6 are clearly ultra vires of Sec. 55 of Gujarat Panchayats Act and that therefore the election held under such void rule is also void and deserves to be quashed and set aside by this Court. Elaborating this submission the petitioner has stated that Sec. 55(4) states that no business other than the election of the President and Vice-President shall be transacted at the meeting. Hence according to the petitioner the scrutiny and election have to be finalised in the meeting convened for the purpose of electing the President and Vice-President as per Sec. 55(4) and since the Rule 6 of the Act directs the filing of the nomination on the date immediately preceding the date of the meeting the said rule is ultra vires Sec. 55(4).

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