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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

whether respondent no. 1 - Mahanagar Sudhar Samiti, Akola, an "aghadi" or "front" formed by some of the elected councillors of respondent no. 5 -Akola Municipal Corporation in March, 2013, without its registration under second proviso to Section 31A(2) of the Maharashtra Municipal Corporations Act, 1949 (for short "1949 Act") stood registered and recognized as a party or group for the purposes of representation, and as such whether the petition filed by respondent no.1 before the High Court challenging the Standing Committee constituted under the 1949 Act was maintainable.

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                        CIVIL APPEAL NO.1388 OF 2015
              (Arising out of S.L.P. (Civil) No. 28853 of 2013)

Ajay Ramdas Ramteke and Anr.            ... Appellants

                                   Versus

Mahanagar Sudhar Samiti, Akola & Ors.   ...Respondents


                               J U D G M E N T

Prafulla C. Pant, J.


             Leave granted.





2.    The question involved in this appeal is whether  respondent  no.  1  -
Mahanagar Sudhar Samiti, Akola, an "aghadi" or "front"  formed  by  some  of
the elected councillors of respondent no. 5 -Akola Municipal Corporation  in
March, 2013, without its  registration  under  second  proviso  to   Section
31A(2) of the  Maharashtra  Municipal  Corporations  Act,  1949  (for  short
"1949 Act") stood registered and recognized as a  party  or  group  for  the
purposes of representation, and  as  such  whether  the  petition  filed  by
respondent no.1 before the High Court challenging  the   Standing  Committee
constituted  under the 1949 Act  was maintainable.


3.       Brief facts of the case are that  elections  were  held  for  Akola
Municipal  Corporation  in  February,  2012,  wherein  73  councillors  were
elected to the House.  From amongst elected members, initially  23  members,
and thereafter in all 26 members claimed to  have formed an "aghadi"  (group
of persons) with the name "Mahanagar Sudhar Samiti".   On  5.3.2012,  within
one  month  of  the  election,  leader  of  the  said  group  submitted   an
application before the Divisional Commissioner for  its  registration  under
second proviso to Section 31A(2) of the 1949 Act.  It appears  that  in  the
meantime there was a controversy as to whether two of  the  elected  members
projected to be part of the  group  were  actually  members  of  the  aghadi
(respondent  no.1)  or  another  group  Akola  Vikas   Mahaaghadi   (present
respondent no.6).  The said issue  was  decided  by  the  High  court  by  a
detailed judgment dated 08.05.2012 passed in writ petition no. 1426 of  2012
holding that the aforesaid two members were not part  of  either  respondent
no. 1 or 6.  Thereafter,  the  Divisional  Commissioner  passed  a  detailed
order on 28.08.2012 whereby the application for registration  of  respondent
no.1 as aghadi filed in  March  2012  was  rejected.   Said  order  was  not
challenged by any party.  However,  meanwhile  Resolution  dated  29.04.2013
was  passed  by  the  Akola  Municipal  Corporation  whereby   the   present
appellants and six others (present respondent nos. 9 to 14)  were  nominated
in  the  Standing  Committee  as  members  thereof.   The   Resolution   was
challenged by respondent nos. 1 to 3 by filing a Writ Petition no.  2571  of
2013 before the Nagpur Bench of the High Court of Judicature at  Bombay.   A
preliminary objection was raised on  behalf  of  Mayor  (respondent  no.  4)
before  the  High  Court  that  the  writ  petition  was  not  maintainable.
Defending the Resolution dated 29.04.2013, it was stated that there  was  no
illegality in nominating the members whose names  figured  in  the  Standing
Committee constituted vide Resolution dated 29.04.2013.

4.          After hearing the parties, the High Court  took  the  view  that
since the application for registration, in the register maintained  in  Form
IV as per Rule 5 of Maharashtra Local  Authority  Members'  Disqualification
Rules, 1987 (for short "1987 Rules"), was made within time,  the  respondent
no.1 should have been treated as separate aghadi, and as such  non-inclusion
of names of its members for  proportional  representation  in  the  Standing
Committee invalidates the Resolution dated  29.04.2013.    Accordingly,  the
High Court quashed the Resolution dated  29.04.2013  and  allowed  the  writ
petition.

5.        Aggrieved, by the above order  dated  14.08.2013,  passed  by  the
High Court, in Writ Petition No. 2571 of 2013, this appeal is filed  by  the
appellants who were respondent nos. 6 and 7 before the High  Court,  through
special leave.

6.             It is pleaded on behalf  of  the  appellants  that  the  High
Court has erred in law by accepting the writ petition  filed  by  respondent
nos. 1 to 3 which was not maintainable.  It is stated that  the  High  Court
ignored  the  fact  that  vide  order  dated  28.08.2012,   the   Divisional
Commissioner  had  rejected  the  application  for  registration  moved   by
respondent  No.  1  as  separate  aghadi.   It  is  further   pleaded   that
registration of post-poll group or alliance was mandatory under Section  31A
of  1949  Act  read  with  1987  Rules.    It  is  argued  before  us   that
unregistered aghadi is not an aghadi in  the  eyes  of  law,  and  as  such,
neither the same could have been recognized for its  representation  in  the
Standing Committee nor maintain the writ petition in the High Court.

7.           On the other hand, on behalf of the respondent  nos.  1  to  3,
who were the writ petitioners before the High Court,  contended  that  since
there was no rule or procedure prescribed for  registration  as  such  their
only duty was to   intimate the Divisional  Commissioner  under  Rule  3  of
1987 Rules about the formation of aghadi, and the rest was  the  ministerial
work to be completed. The contesting respondent nos. 1  to  3  placed  their
reliance   in  the  case  of  Jeevan  Chandrabhan  Idnani  and  Another  vs.
Divisional Commissioner, Konkar Bhawan and others (2012) 2 SCC 794.

8.    Before further discussion, we think it just and proper to  mention  as
to what is the meaning  of  word  'Aghadi',  and  for  what  purpose  it  is
constituted by the councillors of Corporation.  Word 'aghadi' is defined  in
Clause  (a)  of  Section  2  of   Maharashtra   Local   Authority   Members'
Disqualification Act, 1986 (for short "1986 Act") which reads as under:
"2.  In this Act unless the context otherwise requires,-

 "aghadi" or "front" means a group of persons  who  have  formed  themselves
into party for the purpose of setting up candidates for election to a  local
authority."

9.      Object of allowing elected members to form an  aghadi  as  post-poll
alliance is to give  proportional  representation  of  its  members  to  the
various   standing   committees   constituted   for   functioning   of   the
Corporations.

10.         Second proviso to sub-section (2) of Section  31A  of  1949  Act
allows the concillors to form an aghadi after the election  to  a  Municipal
Corporation.  Section 31A reads as under:
"31A.  Appointment  by  nomination  on  Committees  to  be  by  proportional
representation - (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act  or  the
rules or bye-laws made thereunder, in the case of the following  committees,
except where it  is  provided  by  this  Act,  that  the  appointment  of  a
Councillor to any Committee shall be by virtue of his  holding  any  office,
appointment of Councillors  to  these  Committees,  whether  in  regular  or
casual  vacancies,  shall  be  made  by  the   Corporation   by   nominating
Councillors in accordance with the provisions of sub-section(2):-

      Standing Committee;

      Transport Committee;

      Any special Committee appointed under section 30;

     Any ad hoc Committee appointed under section 31"


(2)    In nominating the  Councillors  on  the  Committee,  the  Corporation
shall take into account the relative strength of the recognized  parties  or
registered parties or groups and nominate members, as nearly as may  be,  in
proportion to the strength of such parties or  groups  in  the  Corporation,
after consulting the Leader of the House, the Leader of Opposition  and  the
leader of each such party or group:



Provided  that,  the  relative  strength  of  the  recognized   parties   or
registered parties or groups or aghadi  or  front  shall  be  calculated  by
first dividing the total number of Councillors  by  the  total  strength  of
members of the Committee.  The  number  of  Councillors  of  the  recognized
parties or registered parties or groups or aghadi or front shall be  further
divided by the quotient of this division.  The figures so arrived  at  shall
be the relative strength of the respective recognized parties or  registered
parties  or groups or aghadi or front.  The seats shall be allotted  to  the
recognized parties or registered parties or groups or  aghadi  or  front  by
first considering the whole number of their respective relative strength  so
ascertained.   After allotting the seats in this  manner,  if  one  or  more
seats remain to be allotted, the same shall be  allotted  one  each  to  the
recognized parties or registered parties or groups or  aghadi  or  front  in
the descending order of the  fraction  number  in  the  respective  relative
strength  starting  from  the  highest  fraction  number  in  the   relative
strength, till all the seats are allotted:



Provided further that, for the purpose of deciding the relative strength  of
the recognized parties or registered parties or groups under this  Act,  the
recognized parties or registered parties or groups, or  elected  Councillors
not belonging to any such  party  or  group  may,  notwithstanding  anything
contained in the Maharashtra Local Authority Members' Disqualification  Act,
1986 (Mah. XX of 1987), within a period  of  one  month  from  the  date  of
notification of election results, from the  aghadi  or  front  and,  on  its
registration, the provisions of the said Act shall apply to the  members  of
such aghadi or front, as if it is a registered pre-poll aghadi or front.



(3)   If any question arises as regards the  number  of  Councillors  to  be
nominated on behalf of such party or group, the decision of the  Corporation
shall be final".



11.   In Jeevan Chandrabhan Idnani (supra), this Court  has  made  following
observations interpreting the second proviso of  sub-section  2  of  Section
31A:
"26. The second proviso to sub-section  (2)  of  Section  31-A  enables  the
formation of an aghadi or front within a period of one month from  the  date
of notification of the election results. Such an  aghadi  or  front  can  be
formed by various possible combinations of Councillors belonging  to  either
two  or  more  registered  parties  or  recognised  parties  or  independent
Councillors. The proviso categorically stipulates that such a  formation  of
an "aghadi" or "front" is possible  notwithstanding  anything  contained  in
the Disqualification Act. Because an "aghadi" or "front", as  defined  under
the Disqualification Act, clearly, can only be the combination  of  a  group
of persons forming themselves  into  a  party  prior  to  the  election  for
setting up candidates at  an  election  to  a  local  authority  but  not  a
combination of political parties or political parties and individuals.

27. Therefore, the second  proviso  to  Section  31-A(2)  of  the  Municipal
Corporations Act which is a later expression of the will of  the  sovereign,
in contrast to the stipulation as contained under Sections 2(a) and 3(2)  of
the Disqualification Act,  would  enable  the  formation  of  post-electoral
aghadis or fronts. However, such a formation is only  meant  for  a  limited
purpose of enabling such aghadis to  secure  better  representation  in  the
various categories of the  Committees  specified  under  Section  31-A.  The
component parties or individual independent Councillors,  as  the  case  may
be, in the case  of  a  given  front/aghadi  do  not  lose  their  political
identity and merge into the aghadi/front  or  bring  into  existence  a  new
political party. There is no merger  such  as  the  one  contemplated  under
Section 5 of the Disqualification Act.  It  is  further  apparent  from  the
language of the second proviso that on the formation of such  an  aghadi  or
front, the same is  required  to  be  registered.  The  procedure  for  such
registration is  contained  in  the  Maharashtra  Local  Authority  Members'
Disqualification Rules, 1987.

28. Once such an aghadi is registered by a legal fiction created  under  the
proviso, such an aghadi is treated as  if  it  were  a  pre-poll  aghadi  or
front. The proviso further declares that once such a registration  is  made,
the provisions of the Disqualification Act apply  to  the  members  of  such
post-poll aghadi. We do not propose to examine  the  legal  consequences  of
such a declaration as it appears  from  the  record  that  a  complaint  has
already been lodged against Respondents 6 to 13 herein under the  provisions
of the Disqualification Act. [pic]The limited question before us is  whether
the first respondent was legally right in registering  an  aghadi  or  front
formed after the lapse of one month from the date  of  the  notification  of
the election results.

                  XXX           XXX             XXX           XXX

30. In substance, the High Court held that the interpretation of Section 31-
A depends upon the tenor and scheme of the subordinate legislation.  Such  a
principle of statutory construction is not normally resorted to save in  the
case of interpretation of an old enactment where the language is  ambiguous.
We are conscious of the fact that there is some  difference  of  opinion  on
this principle but for the purpose of the present case we do  not  think  it
necessary to examine the  proposition  in  detail  as  in  our  opinion  the
language of Section 31-A is too explicit to require any other  external  aid
for the interpretation of the same.  Subordinate  legislation  made  by  the
executive in exercise of the powers delegated by the legislature,  at  best,
may reflect the understanding of the executive of the scope  of  the  powers
delegated. But there is no inherent guarantee that such an understanding  is
consistent with the true meaning and purport of the parent enactment.

31. Such variations of the relative strength of aghadis would  have  various
legal consequences provided under the Disqualification Act.  Depending  upon
the fact situation in a given  case,  the  variation  might  result  in  the
consequence  of  rendering  some  of  the   Councillors   disqualified   for
continuing as Councillors. Section 31-A of  the  Municipal  Corporation  Act
only enables the formation of an aghadi or front within  a  month  from  the
date of the notification of the results of the  election  to  the  Municipal
Corporation. To permit recognition of variations in  the  relative  strength
of the political parties [pic]beyond the abovementioned period of one  month
would be plainly in violation of the  language  of  the  second  proviso  to
Section 31-A."


12.     We have already discussed that an aghadi formed  after  election  is
required to be registered as provided in sub-section (2) of Section  31A  of
1940 Act. Rule 5 of 1987 Rules, which relates to maintaining a  register  of
information as to councilors and members, provides as under:



"Register of information as to councilors or members.- (1) The  Commissioner
in the case of a councilor of a Municipal Corporation and the Collector,  in
the case of any other councilor or member, shall  maintain  in  Form  IV,  a
register based on the information furnished under rules 4 and 5 in  relation
to the councilor of a municipal party, Zilla Parishad party or, as the  case
may be, member of a Panchayat Samiti Party."


13.          There is no detailed procedure prescribed for  registration  of
an aghadi.  It is evident from Rule 5 quoted above, that power  to  register
vests with the Commissioner.  The word "Commissioner" is defined  in  clause
(c) of Rule 2 of 1986 Act   and the same is reproduced below:

"(c) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of a revenue  division  appointed
under Section 6 of the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code, 1966".

14.         In earlier round, respondent no. 1 filed writ petition no.  1426
of 2012 challenging Resolution dated 20.03.2012 passed in the  General  Body
Meeting of Akola Municipal Corporation which was decided by the  High  Court
with the following two concluding paragraphs:
"30.   This discussion leads to conclusion that Respondent Nos. 5 & 6  could
not have been treated as members either of Respondent No. 4 or then  of  the
petitioner.    The  proportionate  representation  of   the   Petitioner   &
Respondent No. 4 on Standing Committee needed to be worked out  by  ignoring
them.  The Petitioner therefore, is  rightly  given  5  members.   But  then
there has to  be  proportionate  reduction  in  representation  allotted  to
Respondent 4.  Strength of Respondent No. 4 in general body  of  73  is  33.
It therefore gets 7.23 seats in Standing Committee i.e. 7 seats.   One  seat
remains vacant and decision about it cannot be taken  as  Respondent  No.  3
Divisional  Commissioner  has  still   not   completed   his   exercise   of
verification.   First  proviso  to  Section   31A(2)   does   not   prohibit
Corporation  from filling in such vacancy by  nominating  on  the  Committee
any member not belonging to any such party or group.  If no such  member  is
available, Respondent Nos. 1 to 4 as also Petitioner have to  start  working
with Standing Committee of 15 members only & continue  till  the  Respondent
No. 3 decides on the validity of change or then status of Respondent Nos.  5
& 6.  It is settled position that law does not expect  compliance  with  the
impossibilities.  Holding  of  a  General  Body  Meeting  for  this  limited
purpose is essential.  If Respondent 3 finds  Respondent  Nos.  5  &  6  not
disqualified, Corporation can thereafter, proceed to fill in  the  sixteenth
vacancy.

31.   Accordingly, Respondent No. 4 Aghadi as also Respondent  Nos.  1  &  2
are directed to bring down representation of Respondent No.  4  on  Standing
Committee from 8 to 7.  Proceedings and meeting conducted on 20.03.2012  are
quashed & set-aside to that extent.  Respondent Nos.  1,2  &  4  to  hold  a
general body meeting to  bring  down  the  strength  of  representatives  of
Respondent No. 4 from 8 to 7.  Respondent 1 Corporation is free to  fill  in
resulting vacancy by nominating on the Standing Committee  a  Councillor  as
per first proviso to Section 31A(2) of the Corporation Act in this  meeting.
 Said general body meeting be  held  within   period  of  three  weeks  from
today.  If 16th seat in  Standing  Committee  can  not  be  filled  in,  the
Respondent Nos. 1 to 4 shall function with Standing Committee of 15  members
only.   Petition is thus partly allowed.  Rule is  made  absolute  in  above
terms.  However, there shall be no order as to costs."

But in that round of  litigation,  Divisional  Commissioner  was  neither  a
party, nor any direction was sought against him.

15.         Shri Nikhil Nayyar, learned counsel for  the  respondent  no.  1
referred  to a copy of letter  dated  06.05.2013   (Annexure  R1/5)  annexed
with  the reply on behalf of respondent no. 1 and contended that  respondent
1 was  registered.   Per  contra  on  behalf  of  appellants,  Shri  Shekhar
Naphade, learned senior counsel drew our attention to  the   copy  of  order
dated 28.8.2012 (Annexure  P-5)  whereby  application  for  registration  of
Mahanagar Sudhar Samiti - respondent no. 1 as an aghadi was rejected by  the
Divisional Commissioner, Amravati.

16.         Copy of  communication dated 06.05.2013 (Annexure R-1/5)  issued
by  Municipal Secretary,  Akola  earlier  informing  that  Mahanagar  Sudhar
Samiti as one of the registered aghadi is re-produced below:
                             "O.N.AMNC/NS/25/12
                        Office of Municipal Secretary
                         Akola Municipal Corporation
                             Akola Dated.6/5/13
To  Shri Sunil Meshram
Member, MNC
Ward no.8-A

Subject - Regarding the list of Gatneta and Aghadi  which  are  approved  by
Divisional Commissioner, Amravati.

|S. No |            Name of          |Gatneta                   |
|      |Party/Aghadi/Gat             |                          |
|1)    |Akola Vikas Mahaaghadi       |Shri Madan Babulal Bhargad|
|2)    |Mahanagar Sudhar Samiti      |Shri Harish Ratanlal      |
|      |                             |Alimchandani              |
|3)    |Shivsena                     |Smt. Manusha Sanjay Shelke|
|4)    |Akola Shahar Vikas Aghadi    |Shri Beni Sh. Ganga       |
|      |                             |Beniwale.                 |

The Divisional  Commissioner  Amravati  had  issued  a  letter  bearing  no.
MNC/Namuna 5/akola/MNC/12/2012 Dtd.7/6/2012 by which it is  communicated  to
Municipal Corporation that four Aghadi and Gatneta are registered under  the
provisions of Maharashtra Local  Authorities  Members  Disqualification  Act
and the list of the same is appended herewith

                                             Sd/-
                                     Municipal Secretary Akola"


17.   Before above communication  the  Divisional  Commissioner  had  passed
order dated 28.08.2012, relevant extracts of  the  same  are  reproduced  as
under:
"BEFORE SHRI GANESH  THAKUR,  DIVISIONAL  COMMISSIONER,  AMRAVATI  DIVISION,
AMRAVATI.

                 Case No. 3/Akola M.C/2011-12

   Shri Harish Ratanlalji Alimchandani, Party
   leader, Mahanagar Sudhar Committee,
   Akola, Municipal Corporation, Akola, R/o.
   Aalsi Plots, Tq & Distt. Akola       ....Applicant


  Shri Madan Bodulal Bhargad,
  Party Leader, Akola Vikas
  Mahaaghadi, Municipal Corporation,
  Akola, R/o. Geeta Nagar, Tq &
  Distt. Akola                          ...Applicant


Adv. Milind Vaishnav.... On behalf of Applicant No. 1

                             O R D E R

      As per Maharashtra Local Authority  Membership  Disqualification  Act,
1986 (hereinafter referred to as "Disqualification Act")  and Rule  3(a)  of
the Maharashtra Local  Authority  Membership  Disqualification  Rules,  1987
(hereinafter  referred  to  as  "Disqualification  Rules")  thereunder,   on
05/03/2012 Shri Harish  Ratanlalji  Alimchandani,  Party  Leader,  Mahanagar
Sudhar Samiti, Akola, Municipal Corporation,  Akola  submitted  proposal  in
prescribed form  for  registration  of  "Mahanagar  Sudhar  Samiti,  Akola",
sponsored  by  "  Bhartiya  Janata  Party"  in  the  registration  book   of
Divisional Commissioner  Office.   Alongwith  the  present  application  the
applicant no.1 has  filed  list  of  members  (List  of  Councillors).   The
applicant no.2, Shri  Madan  Bodulal  Bhargad,  Party  Leader,  Akola  Vikas
Aghadi, Municipal Corporation, Akola on  16/03/2012  submitted  proposal  in
prescribed form as per provisions of Disqualification Act  for  registration
of Akola Vikas  Mahaaghadi  sponsored  by  Bhartiya  Rashtriya  Congress  in
registration book of the office of Divisional Commissioner.   Alongwith  the
proposal in prescribed form the applicant has submitted  list  of  total  35
members (List of Councillors).

On scrutiny of both the proposals, it comes  to  the  notice  that,  in  the
proposal submitted by applicant no.1 the name of Shri Sanjay Babulal  Badone
is at Sr.no.20 and name of Sau. Madhuri Sanjay Badone  is  at  Sr.no.21.  So
also, in the proposal filed by applicant no.  2  the  name  of  Shri  Sanjay
Babulal Badone is at Sr.no.(Five)  (2)  and  name  of  Sau.  Madhuri  Sanjay
Badone is at Sr.no.(Five)(3).  As the names of Shri  Sanjay  Babulal  Badone
and Sau. Madhuri Sanjay Badone are mentioned in both  the  lists,  confusion
has been created as to which vanguard/front they  are  members.   Therefore,
by  notice  dt.  23/03/2012  both  the  applicants  and  City  Secretary  of
Municipal Corporation  were  informed  to  remain  present  for  hearing  on
27/03/2012 alongwith original documents and proof.

On 27/03/2012  both  the  applicants  alongwith  their  Advocates  and  City
Secretary of Municipal Corporation Shri Gajanan  Madhusudan  Pande  remained
present for hearing.  In the said case, Adv. G.B. Lohiya  advanced  argument
on behalf of  Municipal Corporation, Akola.  Adv.  Santosh  Rahate  advanced
his argument on behalf of  Shri  Sanjay  Babulal  Badone  and  Sau.  Madhuri
Sanjay Badone.

           _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

           _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


In the affidavit dt. 14/03/2012 sworn by  Shri  Sanjay  Babulal  Badone  and
Sau. Madhuri Sanjay Badone there is no name  and   signatures  of  witnesses
and on 14/03/2012 the said affidavit has been recorded  at  Sr.no.174/12  by
Notary Shri R.R. Deshpande, Adv.  As per provisions of Indian Evidence  Act,
the said affidavit cannot be held as complete unless  attested.   Therefore,
there is no sufficient scope to treat the  said  affidavit  of  Shri  Sanjay
Babulal Badone and Sau. Madhuri Sanjay Badone as valid.

After considering all the aspects above in totality and on  careful  perusal
of concerned documents filed in the case it comes to the notice  that,  from
the entry made by Stamp Vendor on the stamp papers, the stamp papers  appear
to have been purchased on  23/02/2012  for  the  affidavit  of  Shri  Sanjay
Babulal Badone and Sau. Madhuri Sanjay Badone attached to the  proposal  dt.
05/03/2012 submitted by applicant  no.1  Shri  Harish  Alimchandani  to  the
Divisional  Commissioner  for  registering  the  Mahanagar   Sudhar   Samiti
sponsored by Bhartiya Janta Party  as  per  provisions  of  rule  3  of  the
Disqualification  Rules.    Yet  the  date  of  attestation  being  not   as
'23/02/2012' it is "22/02/2012".   How  the  affidavit  has  been  sworn  on
22/02/2012 by purchasing stamp papers on 23/02/2012 is  an  incomprehensible
aspect.  He filed Xerox copies of said affidavit after receipt of notice  in
the case before the Divisional Commissioner.  It is a notable  aspect  that,
Shri Harish Alimchandani has not submitted  original  copies  of  affidavits
during hearing of present case.


Shri Sanjay Babulal Badone and Sau. Madhuri Sanjay Badone have been  elected
from Prabhag no.  34-A  and  no.34-B  in  the  Akola  Municipal  Corporation
elections as independent candidates.  As the applicant  no.1  and  applicant
no.2 have failed to file any kind of reliable documents in regard as  to  in
which front created in the Akola Municipal Corporation Shri  Sanjay  Babulal
Badone and Sau. Madhuri Sanjay Badone have participated, I have come to  the
conclusion  that  it  does  not  become  clear  that  definitely  to   which
vanguard/Committee/front out of  Mahanagar  Sudhar  Committee  sponsored  by
Bhartiya Janta  Party  or  Akola  Vikas  Mahaaghadi  sponsored  by  Bhartiya
Rashtriya Congress, Shri Sanjay  Babulal  Badone  and  Sau.  Madhuri  Sanjay
Badone are attached.

Therefore, the following order is being passed.

                       ORDER

   As   per   provisions   of   Maharashtra   Local   Authority   Membership
Disqualification Act 1986  and Rule 3(a) of the Maharashtra Local  Authority
Membership Disqualification Rules, 1987,  the  proposal  submitted  by  Shri
Harish Ratanlalji  Alimchandani,  Party  Leader,  Mahanagar  Sudhar  Samiti,
Akola, Municipal Corporation, Akola in prescribed form for  registration  of
"Mahanagar Sudhar Samiti, Akola", sponsored by   Bhartiya  Janata  Party  on
05/03/2012  for  registration  in  the  Register  Book  of  the  office   of
Divisional Commissioner, is hereby rejected.

   As   per   provisions   of   Maharashtra   Local   Authority   Membership
Disqualification Act 1986  and Rule 3(a) of the Maharashtra Local  Authority
Membership Disqualification Rules, 1987,  the  proposal  submitted  by  Shri
Madan  Bodulal  Bhargad,  Party  Leader,   Akola  Vikas  Mahaaghadi,  Akola,
Municipal Corporation, Akola in prescribed form for registration of "  Akola
Vikas Mahaaghadi Akola", sponsored by  Bhartiya Rashtriya Congress Party  on
16/03/2012  for  registration  in  the  Register  Book  of  the  office   of
Divisional Commissioner, is hereby rejected.

The said order passed today on 28th August,  2012  under  my  signature  and
seal.

                              Sd/- 28.08.2012
                              (Ganesh Thakur)
                 Divisional Commissioner, Amravati"

18.         We have gone through  the  above  two  documents.   Order  dated
28.08.2012  passed  by  Divisional  Commissioner,  Amravati,   whereby   the
application for registration was disposed of, shows that the application  of
the writ petitioners was rejected as affidavits  of  Sanjay  Babulal  Badone
(respondent no. 14) and Smt. Madhuri Sanjay Badone were not  complete.   The
two,  who  were  elected  from  Prabhag  no.31  and  Prabhag  no.  34-B   as
independent candidates, failed to file any document  to  show  as  to  which
group they belonged.  Their names figured in two groups.

19.         In the order dated 28.08.2012 the Divisional  Commissioner  also
referred to a serious infirmity in accepting the proposal, as he found  that
the affidavit was sworn to and attested on 22.02.2012,  whereas  the  stamps
were purchased on 23.02.2012 which the Divisional Commissioner  held  to  be
an incomprehensible act of the proposer.   Such  serious  infirmities  which
weighed with the Divisional Commissioner in passing the order  of  rejection
dated 28.08.2012 cannot be found fault with.  Considering the Scheme of  the
1987 Rules, we are convinced that  it  was  incumbent  upon  the  Divisional
Commissioner to hold a meaningful exercise of scrutinizing the proposal  for
registration and pass a positive order of registration and  then  alone  the
exception carved out under Section 31A(2) of the  1949  Act,  even  for  the
limited purpose to get rid of disqualification under the 1987 Rules  can  be
allowed to operate.  Viewed in that respect also the order dated  28.08.2012
assumes greater significance and,  therefore,  unless  and  until  the  said
order was set aside in the manner known to law, the formation of the  aghadi
as claimed by the first respondent could not have come into effect.

20.         It is not disputed  that  no  one  challenged  the  order  dated
28.08.2012 passed by the Divisional  Commissioner,  as  such  the  same  has
attained finality.  That  being  so,  the  Mahanagar  Sudhar  Samiti,  Akola
(respondent no.1) cannot be said to be a registered group as required  under
second proviso of sub-section (2) of Section 31A of the  Act  of  1949.   In
our opinion, the High Court has erred in law by ignoring the above order  of
the Divisional  Commissioner,  and  holding  that  respondent  no.  1  stood
registered.   If there was objection to registration of an  aghadi,  on  the
ground that names of certain members were falsely or wrongly  shown  in  the
list, the Commissioner had no option but to verify the same.  And,  in  such
cases, unless the verification is done, an aghadi can not be  said  to  have
got registered, by merely submitting an  application  within  one  month  of
election to Municipal Corporation.   Had  the  writ  petitioners  challenged
order dated 28.08.2012 passed  by  the  Divisional  Commissioner,  with  the
Resolution dated 29.04.2013, the situation would have been  different.   But
in the present case, order of Divisional Commissioner rejecting  application
for registration has attained finality, and  same  cannot  be  ignored.   As
such, writ petition filed by respondent nos. 1 to 3 questioning validity  of
resolution dated 29.04.2013 was liable to be dismissed.
21.         Therefore, this appeal deserves to be allowed. Accordingly,  the
appeal is allowed and impugned order dated  14.8.2013  passed  by  the  High
Court in Writ Petition no. 2571  of  2013  is  hereby  set  aside,  and  the
Resolution dated 29.04.2013 shall stand restored.  No orders as to costs.


           .....................................................J.
                     [Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla]

   ......................................................J.
                               [Prafulla C. Pant]

New Delhi;
February 02, 2015.

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