Samuel Vs. Tukaram Laxman Sable & Ors  INSC 370 (9 August 1995)
Reddy, B.P. (J) Jeevan Reddy, B.P. (J) Sen, S.C. (J) B.P.Jeevan Reddy.J.
1995 SCC Supl. (4) 215 JT 1995 (6) 78 1995 SCALE (4)684
9TH DAY OF AUGUST,1995 Present Hon'ble Mr.Justice B.P.Jeevan Reddy Hon'ble Mr.Justice
Suhas C.Sen Mr.C.S.Vaidyanathan, Sr. Adv. Mr.Shiv Ram, Mr.L.C.Tolat, Mr.S.J.Khatawala
and Mr. S.R. Setia, Advs. with him for the Appellant. Dr. N.M. Ghatate, Sr.
Adv. Mr.G.B.Sathe, Mr. S.M. Jadhav, Mr.A.K.Goel, Ms.Sheela Goel,Advs. with him
for the Respondents.
following Judgment of the Court was delivered:
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 7059-60
OF 1995 (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (C) Nos.8579-8580 of 1995) BABY
SAMUEL V. TUKARAM LAXMAN SABLE & ORS.
counsel for the parties.
appellant was? elected as a Councillor of the Khopoli Municipal Council in
December 1991. The contesting respondent Shri Sable was also elected as a Councillor.
On account of a vacancy occurring in the office of the President of
Municipality, an election was held to that office wherein the appellant was
elected as the President.
to becoming the President, the appellant was the Chairman of a Committee
in-charge of awarding contracts. On the basis of certain complaints pertaining
to the period he was the Chairman of the said Committee, a notice was issued to
the appellant by the Collector calling upon him to show cause why he should not
be removed from the officer of the Councillor under Section 44 of the Maharashtra
Municipal Corporation Act, 1965. The appellant showed cause, whereafter the
Collector removed him from the office of the Councillor by his order dated
4.10.1994. The operative portion of the order reads:
I, G.T.Bandri, Collector, Raigad-Alibag, hereby, am disqualifying Shri Baby
Samuel, present Chairman Khopoli Municipal Council, as member of the Municipal
Council, under Sections 44(1) (b) and 44(3) of Maharashtra Municipal Council
Act, 1965, and I am declaring that his post as member of the Municipal Council
has become vacant from the date 5.10.1994." Against the said order of
removal/disqualification the appellant filed an appeal before the Government
under Section 44(5) of the Act alongwith an application for stay.
no orders were passed on his stay petition, the appellant approached the Bombay
High Court by way of Writ Petition (C) No.4465 of 1994. The High Court directed
the Government to dispose of the stay petition within one week and the appeal
within three months from the date of its order. The order of the High Court was
made on October 26, 1994. Inspite of the orders of the High Court, the State
Government did not pass any orders on the stay petition.
view of the vacancy occuring in the office of the President of the Municipality
on account of the order disqualifying the appellant, the Collector convened a
meeting on November 8, 1994 to elect the President of the Municipality, whereas
the respondent Shri Sable was elected as the President.
January 7, 1995 the Government allowed the appeal filed by the appellant and
set aside the order of the Collector dated 4th October, 1994. The operative
portion of the Government's Order reads:
exercise of the powers conferred by Section 44(4) in Maharashtra Municipal
Councils, Nagar Panchayats and Industrial Towns Act 1965, the Government
cancels the Order bearing No.M.A.1/28444/M.No. 41/94, dated 4/10/94 passed by the Collector to disqualify Shri Baby
Samuel as the member of the Municipal Council." Questioning the aforesaid
order of the Government, Shri Sable filed Writ Petition (c) No. 675 of 1995
contending mainly that before allowing the appeal he should have been heard and
that not doing so vitiates the order. In this writ petition he applied for stay
of implementation of the Government order. Simultaneously the appellant filed a
writ petition being 1124 of 1995 for a direction to the authorities to
reinstate him in the office of the President of the Municipality as a
consequence of the Government's order. Both the interlocutory applications in
the two writ petitions came up for hearing before a Division Bench on 20th March, 1995. The Division Bench granted stay of
the operation of the Government's order dated 7.1.1995 as prayed for by Shri
Sable and rejected the application filed by the appellant to reinstate him in
the office of the President.
said two orders are questioned in these appeals.
facts stated above disclose that the appellant was removed from the office of
the Councillor and as a consequence he lost the office of the President of the
Municipality. The Collector's order reads: "I.....am disqualifying Shri
Baby Samuel, present Chairman Khopoli Municipal council, as member of the
Municipal Council." Because the State Government did not pass any orders
on the stay petition filed by the appellant in his appeal preferred against the
orders of removal/disqualification, the Collector notified and held an election
to the office of the President whereat Shri Sable was elected as President.
election was again a consequence of the removal/disqualification of the
appellant by the Collector.
once the order of removal/disqualification is set aside by the Government, the
appellant is entitled to be put back in the same position which he was in
before he was removed. In other words not only should he be restored to the
Councillorship but also to the office of the President.
Sable was elected as the President in the vacancy caused by the
removal/disqualification of the appellant and once the said
removal/disqualification of the appellant goes, the consequential action cannot
stand; it falls to ground alongwith the order of removal. Shri Sable must
therefore yield ground to the appellant.
learned counsel for Shri Sable submitted that since the impugned orders are
interlocutory in nature, this Court should not interfere under Article 136 of
the Constitution. He suggested that the writ petitions may be directed to be
heard expeditiously. To this Shri Vaidyanathan, learned counsel for the
appellant demurred stating that the term of the appellant will be coming to an
end in the year 1996 (next year) and since there is no real possibility of the
aforesaid writ petitions being heard in the near future, denial of relief in
this appeal could cause grave prejudice to the appellant. He submitted that the
impugned orders in effect amount to dismissal of the appellant's writ petition
and to allowing of Shri Sable's writ petition. We are of the opinion that in
the facts and circumstances of this case and keeping in mind the respective
rights of the parties, this is a proper case where we should interfere under
Article 136. It is also admitted that as on today, no fresh or other
proceedings have been initiated for removal/disqualification of the appellant
for any alleged irregularities. In the circumstances, denying him the office of
President would amount to punishing him for no fault of his. It cannot be that
he is not guilty and yet he is removed from the offices held by him. Shri
Sable's writ petition is yet to be decided. Accordingly the appeals are allowed
and the interim orders dated 20.3.1995 made in Writ Petition (C) No. 675 of
1995 and writ Petition (C) No.1124 of 1995 on 20th March, 1995, impugned
herein, are set aside. The appellant shall be restored forthwith to the office
of the Councillor of Khopoli Municipality as well as to the office of the
President of the said Municipality. Shri Sable shall have no right to continue
in the said office with effect from this date. There shall be no order as to
Bombay High Court may consider the expeditious disposal of the aforesaid writ