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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Z.P.Elections to Chair Person - Whip of TDP to vote certain person - The appellant, however, contested the election to the office of Chairperson, ZPP, Prakasam District as an“independent candidate” and cast his vote in his own favour and in favour of one Shri N. Balaji, an independent candidate for the office of Vice-Chairperson. The appellant won the election and was accordingly declared elected as the Chairperson by one vote defeating Sri Manne Ravindra, the candidate proposed by the TDP as a candidate to the post of Chairperson.- Complaint by Whip of TDP - District Collector - By order disqualified the appellant as the member of ZPTC, and directed him to vacate the office of the Chairperson, ZPP, Prakasam Dist., Ongole.- Election O.P. to District Court - I.A. for interim suspension of Collector order - declined - writ - Single judge order for resume of office - By impugned interim order dated 10.12.2014 passed in W.A.M.P. No.3416 of 2014 in W.A. No. 1386 of 2014 and W.A.M.P. No. 3418 of 2014 in W.A.No. 1388 of 2014, the Division Bench directed the Vice-Chairperson to discharge the functions of the Chairperson until further orders and further restrained the respondents from filling up the vacancy of Chairperson. The Division Bench also directed the District Judge to decide the pending Election Petitions within three months and posted the appeals for hearing after two months.- Apex court held that 51. Now coming to the issue, we find that indisputably though the District Court declined to grant any injunction to the appellant for grant of any interim order in his favour but the learned Single Judge by order dated 7.11.2014 in W.P.Nos. 30790 of 2014 had stayed the operation of thedisqualification order dated 11.8.2014 passed by the District Collector. In our considered opinion, the effect of the suspension order dated 07.11.2014 of the learned Single Judge was that the appellant's disqualification from the post of member of ZPTC and the Chairperson of ZPP was kept in abeyance till the disposal of the election petitions. In as member and the Chairperson till the disposal of the election petitions.= In our considered o other words, no effect was to be given to the appellant's disqualification in relation to his status pinion, the impugned order of the Division Bench in directing removal of the appellant from the post of Chairperson and asking the Vice-Chairperson to take over the charge of the Chairperson in his place is not only untenable in law but also perverse

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                                                              REPORTABLE
                            IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                         CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                         CIVIL APPEAL No.7115 OF 2015
                      (ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) No. 36764/2014)

Edara Haribabu                    …….Appellant(s)


                             VERSUS


Tulluri Venkata Narasimham
& Ors.                                  ……Respondent(s)

                             WITH

                        CIVIL APPEAL No.7116 OF 2015
        (ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) No. 36773/2014)
                             AND

               SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (C) Nos. 5896-5897/2015

Mudavath Manthru Naik             …….Petitioner(s)


                             VERSUS


Edara Haribabu & Ors.             ……Respondent(s)


                               J U D G M E N T
Abhay Manohar Sapre, J.
In S.L.P.(c)Nos. 36764/2014 & 36773/2014
1.    Leave granted.
2.    These appeals  are  filed  against  the  common  interim  order  dated
10.12.2014 passed by the High Court  of  Judicature  at  Hyderabad  for  the
State of Telangana and the State of Andhra Pradesh in W.A.M.P. No.  3416  of
2014 in W.A. No.1386 of 2014 and W.A.M.P. No. 3418 of 2014 in  W.A.  No.1388
of 2014 whereby while disposing of the applications filed in these  appeals,
the High Court directed the Vice-Chairperson of  Zilla  Praja  Parishad  (in
short “ZPP”), Prakasam District, ongole to discharge the  functions  of  the
Chairperson for the office  of  Zilla  Praja  Parishad,  Prakasam  District,
Ongole until further orders.
3.    In order to appreciate the issue involved in these appeals, which  lie
in a narrow compass, it is necessary to state a  few  relevant  facts  which
were taken from the record of the S.L.Ps.
4.     The  appellant  is  the  duly  elected  member  of   Zilla   Parishad
Territorial Constituency (in short “ZPTC”)  of  Ponnaluru  Mandal,  Prakasam
District.  He had contested this election as a  candidate  of  Telugu  Desam
Party (in short “TDP”) for Prakasam District,  Ongole.  On  26.06.2014,  the
Election Commission for the State of Andhra Pradesh  (in  short  “the  State
Election  Commission”)-respondent  No.3  herein  issued   orders   directing
various District Collectors including the  District  Collector-cum-Presiding
Officer, Prakasam District (Respondent No.2 herein) to conduct  election  to
the office of Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the Zilla Praja  Parishads
(in short ‘ZPP’) on 05.07.2014.
5.    However, the  elections  to  the  offices  of  Chairperson  and  Vice-
Chairperson of ZPP,  Prakasam District could not be held on the  said  date,
i.e. 05.07.2014, and were accordingly postponed to a later date.
6.    On  07.07.2014,  an  order  was  issued  by  the  District  Collector,
Prakasam District (respondent No.4 herein)  requesting  the  State  Election
Commission (respondent No.3 herein) to hold the election on 13.07.2014.
7.    On 09.07.2014, the State President of the TDP addressed  a  letter  to
the State Election Commission (respondent  No.3)  informing  that  one  Shri
Bonda Uma Maheswara Rao, General Secretary of  the  TDP,  is  authorized  to
issue Form-A and Form-B as prescribed in Rule 22(1) of  the  Andhra  Pradesh
Conduct of Election of Member (Co-opted), President  and  Vice-President  of
Mandal Parishad and Members (Co-opted), Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson  of
Zila Parishad Rules, 2006  (hereinafter referred to as “The Rules”)  and  is
also authorized to issue the appointment of whip for the said  elections  in
the State of Andhra Pradesh.  Shri Bonda Uma Maheswara Rao then issued Form-
A dated 10.07.2014 authorizing one Shri  D.  Janardhana  Rao,  the  District
President of the Prakasam District TDP to issue  Form-B  to  the  candidates
set up by the TDP  in  the  aforesaid  election  insofar  as  ZPP,  Prakasam
district was concerned and on the same day he also informed the same to  the
District Collector-cum-Presiding Officer, Prakasam District, Ongole.
8.    On 12.07.2014, Shri D. Janardhana Rao informed the District Collector-
cum-Presiding  Officer  (respondent  No.2)   that   Shri   Tulluri   Venkata
Narasimham (respondent No.1) has been appointed as whip  on  behalf  of  the
TDP in relation to the election to  the  office  of  Chairperson  and  Vice-
Chairperson of ZPP, of Prakasam District. Shri  Tulluri  Venkata  Narasimham
(Respondent No.1) then issued a whip on 12.07.2014 directing  all  the  ZPTC
members belonging to the TDP to vote in favour of Shri  Manne  Ravindra  for
the office of Chairperson. On the  next  day,  i.e.  13.07.2014,  respondent
No.1 issued another whip directing all the TDP members of the ZPTC  to  vote
in favour of Smt. P. Koteswaramma for the office of Vice-Chairperson.
9.    According to the appellant, when the whip was  issued,  the  appellant
was not  present  in  Ongole  but   was  at  Hyderabad  from  07.07.2014  to
12.07.2014. It was for this reason, the appellant alleged  that  he  neither
received nor served with the copy of two whips which were  alleged  to  have
been issued. He also alleged that his  signature  acknowledging  receipt  of
the said whips were either forged or fabricated.
10.   On 13.07.2014, the said  elections  were  conducted  by  the  District
Collector-cum-Presiding Officer.   The  appellant,  however,  contested  the
election to  the  office  of  Chairperson,  ZPP,  Prakasam  District  as  an
“independent candidate” and cast his vote in his own favour  and  in  favour
of one Shri N. Balaji, an independent candidate  for  the  office  of  Vice-
Chairperson.  The appellant won the election and  was  accordingly  declared
elected as the Chairperson by one vote defeating  Sri  Manne  Ravindra,  the
candidate proposed by the TDP as a candidate to the post of Chairperson.
11.   This led to filing of a complaint by Shri Tulluri  Venkata  Narasimham
(respondent No.1) against the appellant on 14.07.2014  before  the  District
Collector-cum-Presiding Officer (respondent No.2) alleging inter  alia  that
he was appointed as a whip by the TDP in relation to the said election  held
on 13.07.2014 and that the appellant cast his vote in the said  election  in
violation of the whips issued by the TDP on 12.07.2014 and 13.07.2014.
12.   On 16.07.2014, a  show  cause  notice  was  issued  to  the  appellant
calling upon him to show cause as to why action should not be taken  against
him for violating the directions issued in the whips and why he  should  not
be disqualified as per G.O.Ms. No. 173 dated 10.05.2014  and  Section  22(5)
of the Andhra Pradesh Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 (hereinafter  referred  to  as
“the Act”).
13.   The appellant submitted his explanation on  04.08.2014  stating  inter
alia that he had not violated the whips.  It was also his case that  he  had
not received any whip and his signatures on the whips’ receipts were  either
fake or fabricated by someone.  He also stated  that  he  was  at  Hyderabad
from 07.07.2014 to 12.07.2014 and hence did not receive  the  alleged  whips
even if issued. He, therefore, prayed the  District  Collector-cum-Presiding
Officer (respondent No.2) to conduct a detailed inquiry in the matter.
14.   By order dated 11.08.2014 in Rc.No. P1/4598-Indirect election/13,  the
Presiding  Officer  &  District   Collector,   Prakasam   District,   Ongole
disqualified the appellant as the member of  ZPTC,  Ponnaluru  and  directed
him to vacate the office of the Chairperson, ZPP, Prakasam Dist., Ongole.
15.   On 12.08.2014, the Chief Executive  Officer  (in  short  “CEO”),  ZPP,
Ongole by proceedings in Rc.No.P1/4959/2014, directed Shri N. Balaji,  Vice-
Chairperson  to  temporarily  take  over  the  charge  of  the   office   of
Chairperson until a new Chairperson is duly elected.
16.   Challenging  the  order  dated  11.08.2014  passed  by  the  Presiding
Officer & District  Collector,  Prakasam  District,  Ongole,  the  appellant
filed W.P.No. 23541 of 2014  before  the  High  Court.    Vide  order  dated
22.08.2014, the High Court dismissed the petition granting  liberty  to  the
petitioner therein to approach the District Court by taking recourse to  the
remedy available under Section 181-A of the Act.
17.   The appellant accordingly filed E.O.P. No. 8 of 2014 and E.O.P. No.  9
of 2014 before the Ist Additional District Judge, Ongole against  the  order
dated 11.08.2014 passed by the Presiding  Officer  on  the  grounds  pleaded
therein.  He also filed  I.A.Nos.1697  of  2014  in  E.O.P  No.  8/2014  and
I.A.No.1684 of 2014 in E.O.P No. 9/2014 to grant ad  interim  injunction  by
suspending the order dated  11.08.2014  passed  by  the  Presiding  Officer,
Ongole in Rc. No. P1/4598-Indirect Election/B.  By orders dated  07.10.2014,
the Ist Additional District Judge dismissed the said I.As. and  declined  to
grant injunction prayed by the appellant.
18.   Questioning the order dated 07.10.2014  passed by the  Ist  Additional
District Judge, Ongole, in I.A. No. 1697 of 2014 in E.O.P. No. 8 of  2014  &
I.A.No. 1684 of 2014 in E.O.P. No. 9 of 2014, the appellant filed W.P.  Nos.
30790 and  30791 of 2014 before the High Court of  Judicature  at  Hyderabad
for the State of Telangana and the State of Andhra Pradesh.
19.    In  view  of  the  disqualification  of  the  appellant   herein,   a
representation was submitted by  Mr.  Garinipudi  Steeven  &  24  others  on
28.08.2014 to the State Election Commission and the District  Collector-cum-
Presiding  Officer  for  conducting  fresh  elections.    Since   the   said
application was not being considered by the State Election  Commission,  the
abovesaid petitioners filed W.P. No. 30799 of 2014 before the High Court.
20.   The learned Single Judge of  the  High  Court  heard  W.P.Nos.  30790,
30791 and 30799 of 2014 together  and  by  common  order  dated  07.11.2014,
allowed  W.P. Nos. 39790 and 30791 of 2014 filed  by  the  appellant  herein
and quashed  the  order  dated  07.10.2014  passed  by  the  Ist  Additional
District Judge.  The learned Single Judge  then  suspended  the  proceedings
dated 11.08.2014 by which the appellant was disqualified as ZPTC member  and
consequently as Chairperson of ZPP.  So far as W.P. No.30799 of 2014,  which
was filed for conducting fresh election in view of the  disqualification  of
the appellant herein, was concerned,  it was dismissed.
21.   On 08.11.2014, the appellant addressed a  letter  to  the  CEO,  ZPPs,
Prakasam District, Ongole informing him  that  the  order  dated  11.08.2014
passed by the District Collector-cum-Presiding  Officer,  Prakasam  District
regarding disqualification of his membership as ZPTC  and  also  Chairperson
of ZPP was suspended vide order  dated  07.11.2014  passed  by  the  learned
Single Judge of the High Court in W.P. Nos. 39790  and  30791  of  2014  and
hence the appellant be allowed to resume the  office  of   the  Chairperson,
ZPP. Prakasam District.
22.   The  appellant  accordingly   on  08.11.2014  resumed  the  office  of
Chairperson and took over the charge of the office of the Chairperson,  ZPP,
Prakasam District and started conducting various meetings and  took  various
decisions.
23.   To complete the narration of the facts, it may here be mentioned  that
one Rajendra Prasad, felt aggrieved of the order dated 12.08.2014 passed  by
the CEO in Rc.No.P1/4959/2014, by which Mr. N. Balaji  Vice-Chairperson  was
temporarily allowed to take over the charge of  the  office  of  Chairperson
consequent upon declaration of appellant’s disqualification for the post  of
Chairperson and filed a writ petition bearing W.P.No.31113  of  2014  before
the High Court.
24.   Vide order dated 12.11.2014, the learned  Single  Judge  of  the  High
Court allowed W.P.No.31113 of 2014 filed by M.Rajendra Prasad and  suspended
the proceedings dated 12.08.2014 subject to further orders.
25.   In the meantime, Shri  Tulluri  Venkata  Narasimham-  respondent  No.1
herein filed W.A.M.P. No.  3416  of  2014  in  W.A.No.  1386  of  2014   and
W.A.M.P. No. 3418 of 2014 in W.A. No. 1388 of 2014  before  the  High  Court
challenging the order dated 07.11.2014 passed by the learned  Single  Judge.

26.   On 12.11.2014, the Chief Executive  Officer  (CEO),  ZPP  addressed  a
letter  in  Rc.  No.P1/4598/High  Court  Cases/2013  to  the   Commissioner,
Panchayat Raj & Rural Development stating that pursuant to the  order  dated
07.11.2014 passed by the High Court, the appellant has  resumed  the  office
of  the  Chairperson,  ZPP,  Prakasam  District  on  08.11.2014.    However,
respondent No.1, on his part  informed  that  he  had  preferred  an  appeal
against the order dated 07.11.2014 before the  High  Court.    Though  there
was no interim order passed in the writ appeals  filed  by  respondent  No.1
herein before the High Court yet the  CEO  sought  clarifications  from  the
Commissioner on this issue as to what should be done in the case.
27.   On 13.11.2014, the appellant, was constrained to send a  legal  notice
to the CEO to ensure compliance of the order dated 07.11.2014 passed by  the
learned Single Judge and co-operate with the  appellant  to  enable  him  to
discharge  the  duties   as   Chairperson   and   forthwith   withdraw   the
clarification letter dated 12.11.2014  sent  by  him  to  the  Commissioner,
which according to appellant was not at all necessary.
28.    On  14.11.2014,  the  appellant  also  addressed  a  letter  to   the
Commissioner against the CEO and  Dy.  C.E.O.  and  requested  him  to  take
disciplinary  action  against  them.   By  letter  dated   15.11.2014,   the
Commissioner informed to the Secretary to the Government that the  appellant
has resumed the office of the Chairperson from 08.11.2014.
29.   On 25.11.2014, one Shri Lakshminarayana filed W.P. No. 36421  of  2014
seeking suspension of proceedings dated 12.08.2014 of the CEO directing  the
Vice-Chairperson to act as the Chairperson which  was  already  the  subject
matter  of  pending  Writ  Petition  No.  31113/2014.  On  26.11.2014,   the
appellant filed an application for bringing on record the documents to  show
that he has already resumed the office as the Chairperson  pursuant  to  the
final order dated 07.11.2014 passed by the learned  Single  Judge   in  W.P.
Nos. 30790 & 30791 of 2014 and has been functioning since  08.11.2014.   He,
therefore, contended that there arise no occasion to allow anyone to  resume
the post of Chairperson and secondly, no vacancy  arises  for  the  post  of
Chairperson at least till the final disposal of the main election  petitions
pending before the District Court.
30.   The High Court, in the meantime, by order  dated  28.11.2014  in  W.P.
No. 36241 of 2014 suspended the proceedings dated 12.08.2014 of the  CEO  by
which he had directed the Vice- Chairperson to act as  Chairperson,  as  was
already done in identical  Writ  Petition  No.  31113/2014  by  order  dated
12.11.2014.
31.   Against the  said  orders,  i.e.  order  dated  12.11.2014  passed  in
W.P.No. 31113 of 2014 and order dated 28.11.2014  passed  in  Writ  Petition
No. 36241/2014, two writ appeals bearing W.A. Nos. 1484  and  1485  of  2014
were preferred.
32.   On 01.12.2014, the appellant filed application bearing WAMP  No.  3690
of 2014 in W.A. No. 1386/2014 and W.A.M.P. No. 3691  of  2014  in  W.A.  No.
1388 of 2014 inter alia praying for considering the additional documents  in
support of his  contention  that  there  is  no  vacancy  for  the  post  of
Chairperson.
33.   By impugned interim order dated  10.12.2014  passed  in  W.A.M.P.  No.
3416 of 2014 in W.A. No. 1386 of 2014 and W.A.M.P. No. 3418 of 2014 in  W.A.
No. 1388 of 2014,  the  Division  Bench  directed  the  Vice-Chairperson  to
discharge the functions of the Chairperson until further orders and  further
restrained the respondents from filling up the vacancy of  Chairperson.  The
Division Bench also directed  the  District  Judge  to  decide  the  pending
Election Petitions within three months and posted the  appeals  for  hearing
after two months.
34.   Against the aforesaid interim order, the  appellant  has  filed  these
appeals by way of special leave before this Court.
35.   Mr. P.P. Rao, learned senior  counsel,  appearing  for  the  appellant
while  assailing  the  legality  and  correctness  of  the  impugned   order
contended that the Division Bench of the High Court erred  in  allowing  the
interlocutory applications  filed  by  respondent  No.1  herein  and  giving
impugned directions. He submitted that in the light of well  reasoned  order
passed by the learned Single Judge allowing the writ petitions filed by  the
appellant     herein     and     keeping     his     disqualification     of
membership/Chairpersonship under suspension till disposal  of  the  election
petitions, both intra court appeals and applications  had  virtually  become
infructuous and hence were liable to be dismissed as such.
36.   Learned senior counsel then contended that no  prima  facie  case  was
made out for passing the impugned order because  the  appellant  herein  had
already resumed the office of the Chairperson on 08.11.2014 pursuant to  the
order dated 07.11.2014 passed by the learned Single Judge.
37.   Learned counsel pointed out that once the appellant resumed  the  post
of the Chairperson pursuant to order passed by  the  learned  Single  Judge,
the only direction that should  have  been  given  while  disposing  of  the
appeal/application by the Division  Bench  was  to  decide  the  appellant's
election petitions by the Ist Additional District Judge,  Ongole  on  merits
expeditiously.
38.   Learned Counsel further contended that even  assuming  that  the  High
Court could go into the merits of the  controversy,  though  it  should  not
have, yet it was the appellant who was able to make out prima facie case  as
was rightly held by the learned Single Judge in his favour when  he  allowed
appellant's  writ  petition  arising  out  of  the  interim  order  of   the
Additional District Judge.
39.   Referring to Rules 21 and  22,  learned  Counsel  contended  that  the
alleged whips issued by the TDP in relation  to  the  election  in  question
were not legal because it did not  satisfy  the  requirements  of  the  twin
rules. Learned Counsel while criticizing the manner in  which  the  Division
Bench recorded certain findings against the well settled principles  of  law
and contended that the impugned order besides being  interim  in  nature  is
wholly legally unsustainable and hence deserves to be set aside.
40.   In contra, Mr. A.K. Ganguli,  learned  senior  counsel  appearing  for
respondent No.1, while supporting the  impugned  order  contended  that  the
same being interim in nature, no interference is called  for  under  Article
136 of the Constitution of India.
41.   Having heard the learned Counsel for the parties  and  on  perusal  of
the record of the case and the written submissions, we  find  force  in  the
submissions of the learned senior counsel for the appellant.
42.   The short question, which arises for consideration in  these  appeals,
is whether the Division Bench was justified  in  allowing  the  applications
filed in pending writ appeals  and  was,  therefore,  justified  in  issuing
mandatory directions?
43.   The impugned directions read as under:
“We, therefore, direct the Vice-Chairperson, until further  orders  of  this
Court, to discharge the  functions  of  the  Chairperson  in  terms  of  the
aforesaid  legal  provision.   However,  we  restrain   all   the   official
respondents from taking any steps or further steps to fill  up  the  vacancy
which resulted because of the disqualification order.

      It would be ideal if the District Judge decides the matter pending  on
his file within three  months  instead  of  six  months  from  the  date  of
communication of this order.

      These two appeals will come up for hearing two months hence.

      WAMPs are ordered accordingly.”

 The aforementioned directions are based on following two findings  recorded
by the High Court:
       “We  are  of  the  opinion  that  until  and  unless  the  order   of
disqualification is set aside, it remains operative.  Unlike the Court,  the
Collector has no power to grant an order of injunction.   In  our  view,  of
course, prima facie, the order of suspension of the learned Trial  Judge  in
the  above  legal  and  factual  scenario  is  futile  and  cannot  even  be
implemented.”

      “…..We think that some sort  of  workable  interim  order  was  passed
keeping in view the balance  of  convenience,  as  under  the  Constitution,
there is no express provision that in case  of  vacancy  in  the  office  of
Prime Minister, anyone will function as a Prime Minister, as a Head  of  the
Council of Ministers.  On the contrary, on the vacancy, the  entire  Cabinet
would stand dissolved.”

44.   In our considered opinion, the aforementioned  two  findings  are  not
legally sustainable for the reasons mentioned infra.
45.   It is a well settled principle of  law  that  the  Courts  are  always
vested with inherent and statutory power to stay/restrain the  execution  of
the action impugned in the lis during pendency of the lis. These powers  are
contained in Order 39 Rules 1and 2, and Order 41  Rule  5  of  the  Code  of
Civil Procedure, 1908.
46.   This Court in Mulraj vs. Murti Raghunathji Maharaj,  AIR 1967 SC  1386
 had the occasion to take  note  of  this  well  settled  principle  wherein
Justice  K.N.  Wanchoo  speaking  for  the  Bench   explained   the   subtle
distinction between the grant of  injunction  and  stay  and  explained  the
effect of both including consequence after their termination.
47.   Keeping in view  this  well  settled  principle,  which  we  need  not
elaborate herein, we are of the view that the Division Bench was  not  right
in observing that so long as the  order  of  disqualification  was  not  set
aside, it remained operative.
48.   In our considered view, the Division Bench failed to see that so  long
as the final adjudication is not done in accordance with law  on  merits  in
the election petitions, the District Court was  vested  with  the  power  to
pass appropriate interim orders in relation to  the  impugned  action  under
Section 22-A of the Act which reads as under:

“22-A Bar of jurisdiction: No order passed or proceedings  taken  under  the
provisions of this Act, shall be called in question in  any  Court,  in  any
suit, or application, and no  injunction  shall  be  granted  by  any  Court
except District Court in respect of any action taken or about  to  be  taken
in  pursuance  of   any   power   conferred   by   or   under   this   Act.”
                       (Emphasis supplied)


49.   The Division Bench also failed to appreciate that once writ  petitions
filed by the appellant herein were allowed on 07.11.2014 by  suspending  the
proceedings dated 11.08.2014, the respondents had no  option  but  to  allow
the appellant to function as the Chairman of ZPP.
50.   Similarly  the  Division  Bench  was  also  not  right  in  giving  an
illustration quoted above in support of the impugned order. In our  opinion,
the illustration is wholly misplaced and has nothing to do  with  the  short
question involved herein.
51.   Now coming  to  the  issue,  we  find  that  indisputably  though  the
District Court declined to grant any injunction to the appellant  for  grant
of any interim order in his favour but the learned  Single  Judge  by  order
dated 7.11.2014 in W.P.Nos. 30790 of 2014 had stayed the  operation  of  the
disqualification order dated 11.8.2014 passed by the District Collector.
52.   In our considered opinion, the effect of the  suspension  order  dated
07.11.2014  of  the  learned  Single  Judge   was   that   the   appellant's
disqualification from the post of member of ZPTC and the Chairperson of  ZPP
was kept in abeyance till the disposal of the election petitions.  In  other
words, no effect was to be given  to  the  appellant's  disqualification  in
relation to his status as member and the Chairperson till  the  disposal  of
the election petitions.
53.    It  is  also  not  in  dispute  that   the   learned   Single   Judge
simultaneously in other two pending writ  petitions  (W.P.No.31113  of  2014
and W.P.No.36421 of 2014) by separate interim orders  one  dated  12.11.2014
and other dated 28.11.2014  had stayed the order dated 12.08.2014  by  which
the Vice- Chairperson of the ZPP was asked to assume the charge of the  post
of Chairperson and this stay was in operation.
54.   In the light of these undisputed facts, we are of the view that  there
was no legal impediment for the appellant to have assumed the  post  of  the
Chairperson, ZPP, Prakasam District,  which  he  did  assume  on  08.11.2014
pursuant to the order dated 07.11.2014 of the  learned  Single  Judge.  Once
the appellant assumed the office of  the  Chairperson,  the  Division  Bench
should have dismissed the  interlocutory  applications  as  having  rendered
infructuous because  the  prayer  made  therein,  namely,  to  restrain  the
appellant from assuming the office of the Chairperson and asking  the  vice-
Chairperson to assume the charge of the Chairperson was already  implemented
prior to consideration  of  the  applications  and  there  was  no  apparent
justification to oust  the  appellant  from  the  post  of   Chairperson  by
another interim order.
55.   In our considered opinion, the impugned order of  the  Division  Bench
in directing removal of the appellant  from  the  post  of  Chairperson  and
asking the Vice-Chairperson to take over the charge of  the  Chairperson  in
his place is not only untenable in law but also perverse.
56.   Though learned senior counsel for the appellant also urged the  issues
relating to legality of the whip issued by the  TDP  contending  inter  alia
that it was not in conformity with the requirements of  Rules  etc.  but  we
refrain from going into this question at this stage  in  these  appeals  for
the simple reason  that  these  issues  are  sub  judiced  in  the  election
petitions and hence need to be tried by the District   Judge  on  merits  in
accordance with law as directed by  the  learned  Single  Judge  vide  order
dated 7.11.2014.
57.   This takes us to the last  submission  urged  by  the  learned  senior
counsel for respondent No.1 that impugned order  being  interim  in  nature,
this Court should not interfere  in  the  same  under  Article  136  of  the
Constitution of India. We do not agree with this submission.
58.   In our considered view, if we find that the  reasoning  given  by  the
High Court  while  passing  the  interim  order   is  perverse  and  legally
unsustainable being against the settled principle of law laid down  by  this
Court  then  interference  of  this  Court  in  such  order  is  called  for
regardless of the nature of the order impugned in appeal.
59.   In this case, having noticed that the two reasonings  extracted  above
are wholly unsustainable being against the well settled  principle  of  law,
it is necessary for this Court to interfere.
60.   The fate of the appellant about  his  membership  and  Chairpersonship
would depend upon the outcome of the election petitions.
61.   Let the election petitions be decided within  3  months  as  an  outer
limit from the date of this Court.
62.    In  view  of  foregoing  discussion,  the  appeals  succeed  and  are
accordingly allowed. Impugned order is set aside. As a consequence, all  the
pending appeals/petitions before the High Court also stand finally  disposed
of in the light of this judgment because there remains nothing for the  High
Court now to decide in pending appeals/writ petitions.
 S.L.P.(c) Nos. 5896-5897 of 2015
In view of the detailed judgment passed in  the  appeals  @  S.L.P.(c)  Nos.
36764 of 2014 and  36773  of  2014,  these  special  leave  petitions  stand
disposed of accordingly.

                     ………...................................J.
                                  [J. CHELAMESWAR]


                  …...……..................................J.
                               [ABHAY MANOHAR SAPRE]     New Delhi;
September 15, 2015.
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