1999(2) ALL MR 75
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY (NAGPUR BENCH)
N.P. CHAPALGAONKAR AND D.D. SINHA, JJ.
Vijay V. Raut, Chandrapur Vs. The Collector, Chandrapur And Two Ors.
Writ Petition No. 3467 of 1998,Writ Petition No.2065 of 1998
2nd December, 1998
Petitioner Counsel: S/Shri. R. K. DESHPANDE and S. KOCHE
Respondent Counsel: Shri. D. N. KUKDAY, Shri. ANJAN DE and Miss BHARATI MAHAJAN
Maharashtra Municipalities, Nagar Panchayats and Industrial Townships Act (1965), S.55(6)(b) - No confidence motion against president - Meeting commenced for consideration of motion - Motion not moved at all and meeting adjourned - No fresh motion could be brought before council during tenure of that President - Bar of S. 55(6) (b) applies.
Where a meeting is convened for consideration of a motion of noconfidence against the President and the meeting is adjourned without considering the motion, no fresh motion could be brought before the Council during the tenure of the President in view of S. 55(6) (b) of the Act. [Para 6]
Right to remove a Chairperson of a local body is no doubt a valuable electoral right. It is regulated by certain restrictions by the Legislature looking to the past experience. Any local body must have some stability if it has to work and, therefore, the Legislature thought it fit to provide that if the resolution fails, the second attempt to bring the same resolution should not be allowed within a short period thereafter. [Para 4]
It is for the members, who want to table the motion, whether to utilise the opportunity or not. Once they decide not to move, then they cannot again move the resolution during the period of restriction. [Para 6]
2. This petition takes exception to the order passed on 30th October, 1998 by the Collector, Chandrapur refusing to act upon the requisition, which was submitted by some members of the Municipal Council, Chandrapur, requesting to convene a meeting of Chandrapur Municipal Council to consider a vote of no-confidence. The Collector, Chandrapur, the respondent No.1 in this petition observed that in response to the earlier requisition, which was presented to the Collector on 29th June, 1998, a special meeting of the Council was convened on 6th July, 1998 and the resolution was not moved in that meeting. Therefore, the prohibition contained in Section 55(6)(b) of the Maharashtra Municipalities, Nagar panchayats and Industrial Townships Act, 1965 operates; and no fresh resolution can be brought before the Council during the tenure of the present president's term.
3. Shri Deshpande, the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner, contended that in the earlier meeting, which took place on 6th July, 1998, the resolution was read over by the Presiding Officer and, therefore, it was placed before the House for consideration. According to his contention, the resolution was moved in the meeting and it was adjourned by the Presiding Officer, accepting the request of some other members and that by itself will not wipe out effect of moving of the resolution, which was complete by the act of the Presiding Officer and the prohibition contained in sub-section (6) of Section 55 of the said Act would not, therefore, be applicable and the Collector erred in refusing to act upon the requisition. Shri Deshpande further contended that right to remove an elected representative is one of the valuable rights under the Election law and it can be equated with the right to elect a person to the said office and it could not be defeated on mere technicalities when there is no specific prohibition in the Statute. He further contended that when a meeting is called specially to consider a motion of no-confidence, every member is in know of the fact well in advance that the business to be transacted is consideration of the motion, which is proposed by some members of the Council. Reading of the resolution by Presiding Officer was nothing but moving of the resolution. Therefore, Collector should have convened the meeting as per new requisition since bar was not applicable.
4. Right to remove a Chairperson of a local body is no doubt a valuable electoral right. It is regulated by certain restrictions by the legislature looking to the past experience. Any local body must have some stability if it has to work and, therefore, the Legislature thought it fit to provide that if the resolution fails, the second attempt to bring the same resolution should not be allowed within a short period thereafter. Since it was possible to asses the likely fate of the resolution merely by counting the members present, movers had option not to move the resolution at all, so that prohibition for future attempt may not operate. Therefore, the Legislature imposed a further restriction. Now it is provided that if the motion is not moved or if moved, it is not carried by a requisite majority, then the second motion could not be moved within specified period. This is to prevent the attempt to come out of the prohibition, which otherwise was applicable. With this background, the word 'move' as used in sub-section (6) of Section 55 of the said Act will have to be interpreted. The word 'move' in relation to the law of meeting means submitting a motion for consideration of the House. Submitting a 'motion' for consideration of the House would be by a member, who has a right to move. The Presiding Officer is not authorised even to vote on such a motion. Therefore, there is no question for the Presiding Officer to move a resolution of no-confidence. Reading out the agenda is a secretarial function normally done by the officials of the Local Bodies or the Assemblies. The Presiding Officer, in this case read out the motion so that the members present should know the business, which is to be transacted. The formal moving of the motion was to be followed. In the meantime, there was a request for adjournment of a meeting and for reasons really not justified, the meeting was adjourned. Presiding Officer should not have adjourned the meeting when the Motion was about to be moved.
5. If we take the word 'move' to mean submitting it for consideration of the Body, there is no difficulty in holding that the motion was not moved at all. It was the pleasure of the requisitionists whether to move the resolution or not to move the resolution. They could change their mind and they cannot be compelled to move the resolution. The record shows that the motion was not moved at all. Therefore, the consequences must follow.
6. When the requisition is submitted to the Collector, as provided by Section 55(2) of the said Act, the Collector has a duty to convene a meeting within ten days from the date of receipt of the requisition. The first part of the Scheme under Section 55 of the Act is complete as soon as the Collector convenes a meeting. He gives an opportunity to the persons, who are desirous to move the resolution. It is for the members, who want to table the motion, whether to utilise the opportunity or not. Once they decide not to move, then they cannot again move the resolution during the period of restriction. Admittedly, the present President of the Council was elected after 6th December, 1994. Therefore, he was got term of one year and if in a meeting convened in pursuance of a requisition under Section 55 of the Act, the motion was not moved at all, then no fresh motion could be brought before the Council during the tenure of that President, as provided by clause (b) of sub-section (6) of Section 55 of the Act. In view of this, we do not find any reason to interfere with the order passed by the Collector. The petition stands rejected.
N.P. CHAPALGAONKAR, J.:- In view of our order passed in Writ Petition No. 3467 of 1998 (Vijay V. Raut, Chandrapur Vs. The Collector, Chandrapur and two others), which is decided today, this petition also stands disposed of.