Decided on October 12,1965


Cited Judgements :-



N.U. Beg, J. - (1.)THIS is a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India by one Jagdish Gandhi. The opposite- parties in this petition are:--
1. Legislative Council, Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow, through its Chairman, 2. Chairman, Legislative Council, U. P., Lucknow, 3. Marshal, Legislative Council, U. P. Lucknow, and 4. The State of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow.

(2.)THE allegations made by the petitioner in the writ petition are that he is the Manager of the City Montessori School. Lucknow, having branches all over the city and that about 2,500 children are studying in the various branches of the City Montessori School, apart from 50 trainees who are receiving teachers' training This institution is recognised by the Government of Uttar Pradesh, and has a very good reputation throughout the State of Uttar Pradesh. The petitioner has further alleged that Smt. Savitri Shyam, a member of the Legislative Council, U. P., (hereinafter referred to as "the House"), delivered a speech in the Mouse on February 18, 1965, bitterly criticising the petitioner's institution. Reports of this speech wore published in various newspapers. Annexure 1 filed with the writ petition is a copy of the report published in the National Herald of February 19. Annexure 1 is reproduced as follows:--"Mrs. Savitri Shyam, M.L.C. (Congress). Criticising the education department she said that chains of Montessori Schools had been allowed to be opened in the city, which were purely commercial concerns, These schools were exploiting women teachers. Music and dance teachers of these so-called Montessori Schools were made to sing and dance at private functions and detained! till late in the night, she added. Government grants given to these schools were mere waste. She requested the Government to smash this racket immediately." Annexure 2 is a copy of another report, dated the 19th February 1965, published in the Swatantra Bharat in respect of the same speech.
In the writ petition the petitioner has alleged that after reading the said reports of the speech delivered by the said Smt. Savitri Shyam in the House, the petitioner sent one Sri Yamuna Prasad Tripathi to Smt. Savitri Shyam on February 20, 1.965, to seek clarification of the subject-matter of her speech, and to remove her doubt about the Montessori institution referred to in her speech. Sri Yamuna Prasad Tripathi, after meeting Smt. Savitri Shyam, came back to the petitioner and informed him that she (Smt. Savitri Shyam) did not listen to him, and that she re-asserted what she had already said in the House. Thereafter, the petitioner wrote a letter to Smt. Savitri Shyam on the 24th February 1965. A copy of this letter has been filed with the writ petition, and is marked as Annexure 3. Annexure 3 is a long letter sent by the petitioner, Jagdish Gandhi, Manager, Montessori School, Lucknow, to Smt. Savitri Shyam. It is dated the 24th February 1965. It purports to have been signed by four persons. It also contains a verification clause by the petitioner, Jagdish Gandhi, as Manager, City Montessori School, Lucknow, to the effect that the averments contained in the said letter are entirely correct. This letter is addressed to Smt. Savitri Shyam, M.A., LL.B., M.L.C., Darulshafa, B Block, Lucknow. It opens with the statement that on the 18th February 1965, the addressee had "levelled false accusations" against the City Montessori School in Vidhan Parishad. Altogether seven charges have been mentioned seriatim, and answer to the said charges has been sought to be given in the said letter. Reply to charge No. 3 in the said letter includes the following statement:--

"The charge levelled against your own sisters by you does not befit you. You are probably under the impression that dignity and respect is only the privilege of the lady legislators. The baseless charge of this nature levelled by you against the lady teachers of this institution rendering social service does not befit a lady of your position." Further in reply to charge No. 4, the letter contains the following averment:-- "It does not befit you in so far that a lady like you, educated, learned, having legal knowledge and being a respectable legislator gives speeches without knowing the true state of affairs." After replying to the charges referred to in the said letter, it closes with the following statement:-- "Dear sister, if you do not send a proper reply within three days of the receipt of this letter, our workers will stage a hunger-strike at your door to establish the truth, and copies of this letter will be distributed among the Hon'ble members of Vidhan Parishad, You may understand the true facts, and, keeping in view the truth, you may ask for pardon through newspapers or in the Vidhan Parishad, while contradicting the previous statement."
After receiving the said letter on the 24th February 1965, Smt. Savitri Shyam moved a motion for breach of privilege in the House on the 25th February 1965. On the same day the House referred the matter to the Committee of Privileges of the House. The petitioner was summoned by the said Committee of Privileges and appeared before it on the 25th March 1965. The Committee also took evidence of the petitioner on the said date. Thereafter on the 25th September 1965, the petitioner received a notice from the House under the signature of Sri P. S. Pachauri, the Secretary of the House, to the effect that he should present himself in the House on the 30th September 1965, at 12.30 P.M. to receive the punishment of reprimand in respect of the breach of privilege of Smt. Savitri Shyam. A copy of this notice is filed along with the petition, and is marked as Annexure 4. In the supplementary affidavit filed with the writ petition it is alleged that the new Committee of Privileges was formed after the 16th May 1965, and that the report in respect of the matter was submitted by the new Committee. The petitioner has further alleged that he did not present himself before the House on the 30th September 1965, and, instead of doing so, he sent a representation to the House one day earlier, that is, on the 29th September 1965, for a reconsideration of the matter by the House. The application sent by the petitioner to the House in this regard is filed as Annexure 5 along with the writ petition. The petitioner having not attended the House on the 30th September 1965, as required by the notice (Annexure 4), the House passed a resolution directing the Marshal to bring the petitioner under custody to the House, and to produce him before it on the 15th October 1965. As a result of the said resolution the petitioner apprehends that he may be arrested by the Marshal of the House at any time. In the writ petition the petitioner challenged the proceedings before the Committee of Privileges as well as before the House on a number of grounds. Before us, however, the petitioner pressed only five grounds. They are:--
(1) That Rule 96 (1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the U. P. Legislative Council (hereinafter called "the Rules") was contravened in the present case. (2) That Rule 75 (1) of the Rules was contravened. (3) That the House did not possess any power to commit the petitioner for contempt. (4) That there was- a breach of the principles of natural justice in the present case, and (5) That, in any case, the facts alleged did not amount to a breach of privilege of the House.

(3.)THE prayers in the writ petition are as follows:--
"(a) A writ in the nature of certiorari be issued quashing the finding of the privilege committee and the decision of the House to reprimand the petitioner, (b) A writ in the nature of mandamus directing the opposite-parties not to implement the decision of the House, dated 30-9-1965 directing the Marshal that the petitioner be brought under custody before the House on 15-10-1965, and further directing them not to punish the petitioner either by themselves or through any of their subordinates or persons appointed by them in this behalf; and (c) Any other order or direction which the Hon'ble Court deems fit in the circumstances of the case be also issued."
It may be mentioned at this stage that although the petitioner has prayed for quashing the finding of the Committee of Privileges and has further challenged the validity of the constitution of the said Committee, he has not impleaded either the previous Committee or the freshly constituted Committee as an opposite-party in his writ petition.

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