Bajirao Patil & Ors Vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors  INSC 349 (16 September 1999)
Delay condoned in SLP(C)No14075/99 (CC.5231/96).
granted in SLP ( C ) 14075/99( CC 5231/96 ) and SLP ( C ) No.21615/96.
to the constitutional validity' of Section 144-T of the Maharashtra
Co-operative Societies Act, 1960 (hereinafter referred to as the 'Act') failed
before the Division Bench of the Bombay High Court and the Writ Petition filed
by tlie petitioner was dismissed vide order dated January 10, 1996. These
appeals by special leave put that judgment of the Bombay High Court in issue
144-T of the Act lays down:
Disputes relating to elections to be submitted to the Commissioner or other
specified officer. - (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in Section 91 or
any other provisions of tills Act, any dispute relating to an election shall be
referred to the Commissioner of the Division in which such election is held or
to an officer not below the rank of Additional Commissioner of a Division authorised
by the State Government in this behalf (hereinafter in this Section either of
them as the context mav require is referred to as "the specified
Officer" (2) Such reference may be made by an aggrieved party by
presenting an election petition to the specified officer.. within a period of
two months from the date ofdeclaration of the result ofthe election;
that, the specified officer may admit any petition after the expiry of that
period, if the petitioner satisfies the specified officer that he had
sufficient cause for not preferring the petition within he said period.
exercising tlie functions conferred on him by or under this Chapter, tlie
specified officer shall have the same powers as are vested in a Court in
respect of- (a) proof offacts by affidavit;
and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath ;
compelling discover of the production of documents; and (d) issuing commissions
for the examination of witnesses.
case of any such affidavit, an officer appointed by the specified officer in
this behalf may administer the oath to the deponent.
Subject to any rules made by the State Government in this behalf, any such
petition shall be heard and disposed of by the specified officer as
expeditiously as possible. An order made by the specified officer on such
petition shall be final and conclusive and shall not be called in question in
basic grounds on which the challenge was made to the constitutional validity of
the aforesaid provisions were; (a) that there is no corrective machinery by way
of appeal or revision provided against the order of the Commissioner under
Section 144-T and (b) that it was violative of Article 14 ofthe Constitution of
perusal of the Scheme of the A.ct. it appears that Section 144-T was enacted
with a view to provide for a separate machinery tor adjudication of election
disputes relating to big institutions. This Section confers only limited powers
for adjudicating election disputes qua specific societies only and there is a
clear nexus with the .object sought to be achieved by Chapter XI A of the Act. our
opinion the provision does not suffer from the vice of arbitrariness or
Division Bench of the Bombay High Court in Chapadgaon Vividh Karyakari
Seva Sahakari Society Ltd. And L.J.. 872 considered the constitutional validity
of Section 144-T of the Act. The precise argument raised in the present case
were also raised before the High Court in that case. The same were considered
at great length and repelled. The Division Bench noticed that the area and
field covered by the provisions were distinct and separate and by process of
comparative study of distinct and separate provisions. Section 144-T of the Act
could not be struck down as violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. It was
also opined that the classification made was reasonable and had a clear nexus
with the object sought to be achieved by Chapter-XIA of the Act, namely, that
the elections be conducted under the control of the Collector.
reasoning given by the Bombay High Court in Chapadgaon Vividh Karvakari Seva Sahakari
Society Ltd. And Others (supra) is correct and appeals to us. That judgment of
the Division Bench has been relied upon in the instant case by the High Court.
In the view that we have taken, no fault can be found with the impugned
judgment of the High Court, repelling the challenge to the constitutional
validity of Section 144-T of the Act.
appeals have thus no merits and are dismissed.