IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS DATED : 1-9-2009 CORAM THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE M.CHOCKALINGAM AND THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE R.SUBBIAH OSA Nos.138 and 183 to 186 of 2009 Andal Venkat Rajaram .. Appellant in OSA 138/2009 & 2nd Appellant in OSA 183 to 186/2009 vs 1.Capt.G.N. Venkatrajaram .. 1st Respondent in OSA 138/2009 & 1st Appellant in OSA 183 to 186/2009 2.All India Nayudu Sangam rep. By its General Secretary 1, Sarangapani Street T.Nagar, Chennai 600 017. 3.P.S.Jagannathababu Past President 4.T.Badradri President All India Nayudu Sangam 5.Janaka Kotiah Vice President All India Nayudu Sangam 6.R.Ravinder Vice President All India Nayudu Sangam No.1 Sarangpani Street T.Nagar, Chennai 600 017. 7.P.S.Hemachalam Vice President All India Nayudu Sangam 8.B.Bhuvaneswararao Vice President All India Nayudu Sangam 9.W.S.Jayaprakash Vice President All India Nayudu Sangam 10.K.Sreenath, General Secretary All India Nayudu Sangam 11.L.Grahalakshmi Joint Secretary All India Nayudu Sangam 12.P.S.Jayaprakash All India Nayudu Sangam 13.R.Krishnamurthy Treasurer All India Nayudu Sangam No.1 Sarangapani Street T.Nagar, Chennai 600 017. 14.T.Narayana Rao Committee Member All India Nayudu Sangam 15.M.J.Damodaran Committee Member All India Nayudu Sangam 16.Jonna Kotiah Committee Member All India Nayudu Sangam 17.P.R.Venkatasubba Rao Committee Member All India Nayudu Sangam 18.P.S.Suresh Babu Committee Member All India Nayudu Sangam 19.M.Venkatesan Committee Member All India Nayudu Sangam No.1 Sarangapani Street T.Nagar, Chennai 17. 20.K.Balaiah Committee Member All India Nayudu Sangam 21.V.V.Ravichakravarthi Committee Member All India Nayudu Sangam 22.C.K.Suryamurty Committee Member All India Nayudu Sangam 23.G.Dhananjayam Committee Member All India Nayudu Sangam 24.N.A.Karunakaran Committee Member All India Nayudu Sangam 25.K.K.Govindarajulu Committee Member All India Nayudu Sangam 26.Chengai Padmanabhan Member .. Respondents 2 to 26 in OSA 138/2009 & Respondents in OSA 183 to 186/2009 Original side appeals preferred under Order XXXVI Rule 1 of Original Side Rules read with Clause 15 of Letters Patent against the order of this Court made in O.A.No.1329 to 1332/2008 and Application No.5883 of 2008 in C.S.No.1181 of 2008 dated 29.4.2009. For Appellants : Mr.A.V.K.Ezhil Mani for M/s.Sasee Devi in OSA 138/2009 Mr.N.Kannan for M/s.Sasee Devi in OSA 183 to 186/2009 For Respondents : Mr.R.Parthasarathy for respondents 2 to 26 in OSA 138/2009 and for 1st respondent in OSA 183 to 186/2009 COMMON JUDGMENT (Judgment of this Court was delivered by M.CHOCKALINGAM, J.) This judgment shall govern all these five appeals in OSA Nos.138 and 183 to 186 of 2009. 2.All these appeals have arisen from the common order of the learned Single Judge of this Court made in the above said applications pending the suit in which the plaintiffs sought the following reliefs: (a) For a declaration that the removal of the first and second plaintiffs as primary members of the first defendant sangam pursuant to the communications dated 24.06.2008 and 06.10.2008 to the first and second plaintiffs respectively is illegal, invalid and non-est in the eyes of law and consequently, it shall not bind the plaintiffs 1 and 2; (b) For a declaration that the election of the office bearers to the first defendant sangam purported to have been held on 26.10.2008 is illegal, invalid and non-est in the eyes of law and consequently declare I bad in law; (c) For a permanent injunction restraining the defendants 2 to 25, their men, agents and servants or any one claiming through them from functioning or discharging their duties and obligations as office bearers of the first defendant sangam pursuant to the illegal election held on 26.10.2008; (d) For a mandatory injunction directing the first defendant sangam to prepare a valid Electorate of the first defendant sangam after reviewing of the entire voters list; (e) For a mandatory injunction directing the first defendant sangam to conduct an election of the office bearers to the first defendant sangam in accordance with the Rules and Articles of the All India Nayudu Sangam by appointing an officer of this Court. 3.The plaintiffs while asking the above reliefs, have made these applications for interim reliefs stating that the functions of the first defendant Sangam should be in accordance with the rules framed by the Sangam; that the plaintiffs are not only the members of the first defendant Sangam, but also functioning in their official capacity; that the Executive committee has the power to suspend or dismiss a member, if that member is found to have acted against the interest of the Sangam; that the second defendant issued show cause notices dated 14.6.2008 and 18.5.2008 respectively, as to why they should not be removed from the first defendant sangam for the alleged illegal and prejudicial activities; that detailed replies were given on 26.6.2008 and 28.5.2008 respectively; that without following the principles of natural justice, the plaintiffs have been removed not only from their post, but also from their primary membership for a period of five years which was illegal and arbitrary; that it was also in violation of the constitution of the sangam; that apart from that, the sangam is purported to have convened a general body meeting on 26.10.2008 in which the election of the office bearers of the first defendant sangam was conducted; but, no such election was conducted at all; that the election is invalid since the mode of service of notice as contemplated under the bylaws was not adhered to; that 405 new members who were enrolled as eligible electorates to participate in the election were not allowed; that the election process is vitiated on account of non-issuance of 21 days of prior notice to the members of the Sangam as envisaged in the bylaws; that since there was no valid election in the eye of law, the defendants 2 to 25 who are said to be the office bearers, should be restrained from acting so; that the first respondent should be directed to prepare a valid electorate as per the rules of the sangam; that the first respondent should also be directed to conduct an election of the office bearers of the first defendant sangam in accordance with the rules and regulations of All India Nayudu Sangam by appointing an Officer of this Court to oversee the election; that the first respondent should be restrained from giving effect to the order of suspension and removal as against the first plaintiff and the order of suspension as against the second plaintiff; and a retired Judge has got to be appointed as Administrator pendente lite to discharge the functions and duties of the first defendant. 4.All the above applications were inter alia contested by stating that the Executive Committee of the first defendant sangam was vested with powers to initiate action and take decision, and the same is final and binding on the matters of discipline; that the then General Secretary Mr.K.Santhanam accepted the applications for admission of new members into the sangam arbitrarily which could be done only on scrutiny by the Executive Committee; that the receipt of the said applications were not brought to the notice of the Executive Committee; that contrarily, a resolution was passed by the Executive Committee on 24.4.2008; that the said Secretary Santhanam wrote a letter on 8.5.2008, to the Registrar of Societies about the alleged induction of 405 new members for a period ending with 30.4.2008; that he has also despatched Form VII to the Registrar of Societies even without approval of the Executive Committee; that under the circumstances, a show cause notice dated 10.5.2008, was served upon him calling for his explanation; that it was noticed that the plaintiffs began to deal with the properties of the sangam as their personal properties; that the plaintiffs have misused their official position and copied certain vital information of the sangam in a compact disk even without the prior permission or knowledge of the office bearers of the sangam; that the compact disk was also taken away; that under the circumstances, a show cause notice dated 18.5.2008 was served upon the second plaintiff followed by another show cause notice dated 14.6.2008 to the first plaintiff pursuant to a decision taken by the Executive Committee; that the second plaintiff who is the wife of the first plaintiff, has taken away the notices pasted in the sangam office with regard to the suspension of the General Secretary; that both the plaintiffs sent replies to the show cause notices; that after receiving the same, it was decided by the Executive Committee to remove the second plaintiff from the post of the treasurer and also from the primary membership of the sangam for a period of five years; that the sangam convened a meeting on 24.6.2008; that since there was no reply from the first defendant, it was resolved to remove the first plaintiff from the primary membership of the sangam for a period of five years as per the bylaws; that without the consent and approval of the sangam, the plaintiffs proceeded to open a website and collected money from outsiders towards matrimonial services registration fees; that it was noticed that the conduct of the plaintiffs were against the interest of the sangam; that an emergent meeting was conducted on 2.10.2008 wherein it was decided to conduct the annual general body meeting on 26.10.2008; that in the Executive Committee meeting held on 10.10.2008, a decision was taken to the effect that the applications received from 405 new persons were to be scrutinised by a committee to be formed for that purpose; that the Annual General Body meeting was held on 26.10.2008; that the office bearers were elected unopposed and the Executive Committee was formed; that the General Body unanimously approved the suspension of the plaintiffs from the respective posts in the Executive Committee as well as from their primary membership; that notices were given by publication, courier and also by registered post and under the circumstances, all the applications filed by the plaintiffs for the above reliefs have got to be dismissed. 5.The learned Single on enquiry, dismissed OA Nos.1329 to 1331 and A.No.5883 of 2008. In respect of O.A.No.1332/2008, the injunction sought for by the second plaintiff was denied, and injunction restraining the first defendant from giving effect to the order of suspension and removal as against the first plaintiff was granted. Hence, the above appeals. 6.All these appeals center round upon the two questions: (1)Whether the removal of the plaintiffs from their respective posts and also from the primary membership made by the first defendant sangam is valid? (2)Whether the plaintiffs have made out a prima facie case for grant of interim injunction to restrain the office bearers namely the defendants 2 to 25, since there was no valid election as contended by the plaintiffs? 7.The Court heard the learned Counsel on either side who reiterated the very same contention that were raised before the learned Single Judge, paid its anxious consideration on the submissions made and also looked into the materials available. 8.Admittedly, the first plaintiff and the second plaintiff who are husband and wife respectively, were not only the members of the first defendant sangam, but also functioning in their official capacity during the relevant time. The first defendant All India Nayudu Sangam was governed by rules and regulations framed by it. It is also not in controversy that 405 new members were inducted by the General Secretary which was found to be contrary to the rules since as per the rules, the Executive Committee only on scrutiny could approve the same. Even without the approval of the Executive Committee, the said General Secretary has sent Form VII to the Registrar of Societies. A suit came to be filed before the City Civil Court for the conduct of an election. Though an Advocate Commissioner was appointed for the purpose of election, it was the subject matter of civil revision petition in this Court where the Court held that the induction of 405 new members was one without approval. 9.The case of the plaintiffs was that the show cause notices issued to the plaintiffs were without any basis; that they were untenable allegations; that while they have given proper replies, without following the principles of natural justice, they have been removed not only from the respective posts, but also from the primary membership which was illegal. On the contrary, it was urged by the first defendant sangam that all procedural formalities were observed; that the principles of natural justice were strictly followed and their removal has been properly done. 10.From the available materials, it could be seen that a show cause notice was issued to the first plaintiff on 14.6.2008, wherein it has been clearly stated that a decision was taken in the Executive Committee meeting which was called emergently on 15.6.2008. The suspension order was issued to the first plaintiff on 24.6.2008. From the order of suspension communicated to the first plaintiff, it could be seen that the Executive Committee meeting was held only on 14.6.2008 and not on 15.6.2008 and the show cause notice was also sent on 18.6.2008 and not on 14.6.2008. Though it was contended by the defendants' side that there were mistakes crept in, such a contention cannot be countenanced for the reason that when the show cause notice was issued, emergent Executive Committee meeting was shown to have been convened on 15.6.2008. But in the order of suspension, both the date of show cause notice and also the date of the meeting were found to be different. As far as the first plaintiff is concerned, it is stated that the show cause notice dated 26.5.2008 was received after the order of suspension was issued by the first defendant on 24.6.2008. But the case of the defendants was that the General Body has unanimously approved on 26.10.2008 the suspension of the plaintiffs from their posts in the Executive Committee as well as the expulsion from the primary membership of the sangam. Further, a show cause notice issued on 14.6.2008 was served upon him on 25.6.2008. But the claim of the respondents is that an order of suspension was issued to the first plaintiff by a decision taken on 24.6.2008. Under such circumstances, it can be well stated that no opportunity of being heard was given to the first plaintiff enabling him to put forth his case. Therefore, as regards the decision taken by the first defendant sangam in respect of the first plaintiff, it cannot stand in view of the violations of the principles of natural justice. 11.As far as the second plaintiff is concerned, this Court is unable to notice any infirmity or illegality in the order of the learned Single Judge as put forth by the appellant's side. It is not in controversy that a show cause notice was issued on 18.5.2008 to the second plaintiff. On receipt of the same, she has sent a reply on 28.5.2008. The grave allegations made against the second plaintiff was misuse of the official position and copying certain vital information of the sangam in a compact disk apart from alleging that the disks were taken away without permission or knowledge, and she was making money out of the same. Now the contention put forth on the side of the appellant/second plaintiff is that it was a denial of opportunity; that it was a case where the second plaintiff was not given sufficient opportunity to put forth her case; that even after receiving the reply denying the allegations made therein, even without any enquiry, the Executive Committee could not remove the second plaintiff either from the post of treasurer or from the primary membership of the sangam. It was further urged that as per the bylaws, the Executive Committee in exercise of its powers, can suspend, but cannot remove the second plaintiff either from the post holding or from the primary membership. It would be more apt and appropriate to reproduce Rule 15(xvi) of Chapter I of the Rules and Articles of the Association as follows: "15(xvi): Powers to suspend/dismiss the members: 1.If any member is found to have acted against the interest of the Sangam the Executive Committee is vested with powers to suspend such a member for a period of not exceeding five years. Such suspended member or members may be readmitted only on their request and by the approval of General Body. 2.If any member is found to be non-nayudu he/she shall be expelled. This provision shall not have retrospective effect. 3.If any member is found to be convicted in a criminal proceedings he/she shall be expelled from the primary membership of the Sangam. 4.For 1 and 2 as above, a show cause notice shall be served." 12.From the very reading of the above rules, it would be quite clear that the Executive Committee in exercise of its powers can suspend a member for a period of not exceeding five years. As per the said Rule, what are all required is a show cause notice to be served on such members calling for explanation to the charges levelled against. In the instant case, admittedly a show cause notice was served on her, and a reply was also received. 13.The contention put forth by the appellant's side that there was no sufficient opportunity of being heard cannot be accepted. The contention put forth by the first defendant's side was that since not only a show cause notice as envisaged under Rule 15(xvi) was served levelling the charges, but also the same was replied, it cannot be stated that the principles of natural justice were offended, and apart from that, it is a case pertaining to the affairs of the sangam, and the scope of interference by the Court is limited. In support of his contention, the learned Counsel relied on a decision of the Apex Court reported in AIR 1963 SC 1144 (T.P.DAVER V. LODGE VICTORIA) wherein the Apex Court had formulated the following principles: "1.The court is not entitled to sit as court of appeal over the decisions of the club or society. 2.The club/society or domestic tribunal are entitled to decide all matters as it thinks right. 3.They shall not exceed their jurisdiction or act dishonestly or in bad faith. 4.The court is not supposed to interfere in their decision even if, in its opinion, the penalty imposed on the member is severe or that a very strict standard has been applied. 5.A person, who joins an association governed by rules, has no legal right of redress if he is expelled from the association according to the rules however unfair or unjust the rules or the actions of expulsion may be, provided it has acted in good faith. But, it should be borne in mind that chance of defence and explanation should be afforded to the member as required by the principles of natural justice beforeever a decision is taken by association." 14.A Division Bench of this Court had an occasion to consider the scope of interference by the Court in the disciplinary proceedings initiated by the club against its members and also the principles of natural justice required to be followed in such proceedings in a case reported in 2001 (3) CTC 349 (CHENNAI KANCHEEPURAM TIRUVELORE DISTRICT FILM DISTRIBUTORS ASSOCIATION V. CHINTHAMANI S.MURUGESAN AND OTHERS) and has held thus: "5.The Executive Committee of a voluntary association cannot be put on par with a Court or a Tribunal when dealing with the disciplinary matters concerning the membership of the Body. They have a very wide latitude in deciding as to when disciplinary action is warranted, and the extent to which the powers vested in them under the Rules or byelaws should be exercised while penalizing the members for the misconduct which the appropriate Body within the association empowered to decide that question, considers him to be guilty. The procedure to be followed by such an association also cannot be that which is normally expected to be followed in a Court, or a Tribunal. Every letter written by the Executive Committee of an association to it's member calling for an explanation is not to be judge under a lens to find out the possible defects therein for the purpose of holding that the action that followed was not in consonance with the principles of natural justice. Even principles of natural justice are not required to be applied with the same degree of rigour as they would be in the case of adjudication before a Court or a Tribunal. 6.What is required of such bodies is that they act fairly in a broad way without having to imitate the Courts and Tribunals, with regard to the rigour and the formality of the procedures. Such bodies are of course expected to act in accordance with their own Rules, and stay within the limits imposed by those Rules. If the Body vested with the power under the Rules, exercise that power within the ambit of the Rule, after having afforded an opportunity to the member concern to have his say in the matter, the decision rendered by such Committee cannot be regarded as illegal, or violative of natural justice, or as arbitrary. The Courts will not sit in appeal over the decisions of such Committees, subject to such decision being broadly in consonance with the general standard of fairness. ...
9.The plaintiff has, in this case clearly, failed to establish the case of mala fides. The Executive Committee has acted in good faith and taken a decision with which the Court may, or may not agree. The standard adopted by that Executive Committee may have been far more strict then what the Court in the given circumstances may have adopted. But those considerations are not irrelevant for the purpose of deciding as to whether the Court can, or cannot interfere with a bona fide decision taken by the Executive Committee.
10.As regards the alleged violation of the principles of natural justice, the Court, if satisfied that there has been broad fairness must refrain from interfering with the action taken by the voluntary association of which the plaintiff chose to become a member of his own volition. Natural justice in the conduct of such associations would not have the same degree of rigour, as those principles would have in matters which are required to be adjudicated upon before Courts and Tribunals. In this case, the charges against the plaintiff were made known. The list contains several charges, to most of which, the plaintiff did not feel the need to ask for any further documentation. He had been put on notice that there had been complaints, for which he merely asked for the copy of the complaints. Even if that charges were to be ignored on the ground that the documents had not been made available, nevertheless, the other charges have not been found to be vague even by the learned trial Judge. If the Executive Committee felt persuaded to take action against the plaintiff on the basis of what was before it in the form of the charges made known to him and the reply received from him, it cannot be faulted on the ground that it should have proceeded to hold an enquiry as if it were an adjudicatory forum. We are satisfied that in this case broad fairness has been observed. A voluntary association is entitled to carry on it’s affairs in accordance with its own rules. A person becoming member of such a body contracts to be bound by those rules and by the actions taken by those in whom power is vested under the Rules.”
15.From the above decisions, it would be quite clear that when a person choses to become a member of a voluntary association of his own volition, and charges were levelled against him, and it is also made known as to the charges, and the reply was also received from him, it cannot be found with fault on the ground that it should have conducted an enquiry, and the natural justice in the conduct of such association would not have the same degree of rigour, as those principles would have in matters which were required to be adjudicated upon before Courts and Tribunals. In the instant case, the second plaintiff was made known of the charges levelled against her by serving the show cause notice, and she has also replied. As per the rules seen above, the Executive Committee which was empowered, has taken a decision to expel her for a period of five years and thus in the instant case, broad fairness has been observed. The first defendant sangam was entitled to carry on its affairs in accordance with its own rules referred to above. Hence the contention of the appellant/second plaintiff’s side that the principles of natural justice were not followed strictly by not holding an enquiry cannot be countenanced. In such circumstances, the second plaintiff is not entitled for the interim relief as asked for.
16.At this juncture, the contention put forth by the learned Counsel for the respondents that since both the appellants have been removed not only from their official position, but also from the primary membership, they have no locus standi to conduct the suit cannot be countenanced for the simple reason that the Court has pointed out above that the removal of the first plaintiff was not only in contravention of the rules, but also offending the principles of natural justice, and thus he can well maintain the suit.
17.The plaintiffs have attacked the election dated 26.10.2008 on the grounds that even before the election was conducted, the result was communicated to the Registrar of Societies on 23.10.2008 itself; that 405 fresh members were not allowed to participate in the election; that 21 days notice as envisaged by the bylaw was not given, and thus there was no proper election, and the defendants 2 to 25 should be restrained from functioning or discharging their duties and obligations as office bearers of the first defendant sangam. All these allegations are denied by the respondents. On scrutiny of the available materials, this Court is of the considered opinion that the appellants have made out a prima face case to indicate that the election has not been conducted as contemplated under the bylaws. Rule 9(b) of Chapter 1 of the Rules and Articles of Association reads thus:
“9.Meetings of the General Body
9-b) Notice of such meeting with time date and place shall be sent to all the members of General Body at least 21 days before the date of meeting along with the Agenda.
(i) The notice shall be sent by one or more of the following modes viz.,
1.By local delivery; or
2.By post; or
3.By circulating among the members; or
4.By publication through press.
(ii)The notice shall also be affixed to the notice board of the Sangam.”
18.From the very reading of the above rule, it would be quite clear that all the members should be put on notice at least 21 days prior to the meeting, and the notice must be sent by any one of the following modes namely by local delivery, by post, by circulating among the members or by publication through press. In the instant case, a publication made in Dinathanthi dated 4.10.2008, whereby a public notice was given stating that the election for the first defendant sangam would be held upto 2.00 P.M. on 26.10.2008. Relying upon this publication, it is urged by the first defendant sangam that the publication through press was one of the modes through which notice could be given, and since the publication was made on 4.10.2008 for the election to be held on 26.10.2008, it was a proper notice. It is pertinent to point out that the said publication in Dinathanthi was made in Tamil. This Court has to agree with the learned Counsel for the appellants that while it was an association of Telugu speaking persons, the publication should have been made in Telugu language also. Hence making a publication in Dinathanthi on 4.10.2008, in the considered opinion of this Court, would not be sufficient. That apart, the defendants have stated that all the members were served with the notice through courier. But no material was placed before the Court to accept the said contention. Thus it would be quite clear that no notice was actually served upon all the members for the said election.
19.Apart from the above, the alleged election also suffers by an incurable defect. According to the respondents, the Executive Committee meeting was held on 4.10.2008 wherein a decision was taken unanimously to hold General Body Meeting on 26.10.2008. Even in the paper publication made on 4.10.2008 in Dinathanthi, the election date is shown as 26.10.2008. The agenda for the General Body meeting dated 4.10.2008, would clearly indicate as to the conduct of election, and this also would clearly indicate that the election was to be held on 26.10.2008. It is brought to the notice of the Court that the nominations were to be made on or before 21.10.2008, and they were to be scrutinised on 22.10.2008. The last date for withdrawal of the nomination was 23.10.2008. It is also a matter of surprise to note that even on 23.10.2008, a communication was addressed by the President Mr.P.S.Jagannath Babu to the Registrar of Societies (South Chennai) wherein it is stated as follows:
“Sub: 85th Annual General Body Meeting 2008 and election to the post of Office Bearers and Executive Committee Meeting reg.
We are pleased to inform you that we have proposed to hold the Annual General Body Meeting 2008 on 26.10.2008 in our premises at 9.00 am as per the notification issued and enclosed herewith for your kind information.
We have issued notification in the Tamil newspaper Dina thanthi on 4th Oct 2008 and also put on the notice board of our premises giving clear 21 days notice period for the Annual General Body Meeting.
We have also sent Annual General Body Meeting notices and the Report to all the members concerned with due acknowledgement.
We also wish to submit that the election process of issuing nomination forms were commenced on 19.10.2008 by the election officers and completed on 21.10.2008 as per the Agenda of the Annual General Body notice.
We also wish to inform you that the scrutiny of the applications were completed on 22.10.2008 and the necessary formalities were completed by the election officers.
IN this connection we wish to submit that the election for the period 2008-2011 for the post of Office Bearers and Executive Committee were duly completed and all the members were elected unopposed.
We are enclosing herewith the certificate issued by the election officers for the completion of election process and also enclosed herewith the final list of the office bearers and Executive Committee Members elected unopposed for your kind information and record.
We are also enclosing herewith the form no VII duly filled in intimating the election of the office bearers and the Executive Committee Members for the period 2008-2001 in connection with the 85th Annual General Body Meeting for your kind information and record.”
20.In the case on hand, no notice was issued to the new members, and no publication was made in the language to which the members were conversant and that too, when the election was scheduled to take place. Even as per the case of the first defendant sangam, on 26.10.2008 even before three days that was on 23.10.2008, a communication along with the Form VII was sent as if the Executive Committee members and all office bearers were elected unopposed. All would go to show that the election could not have been conducted in a fair manner as expected in law, and it was neither in accordance with the Rules framed nor in accordance with law. As pointed out by the appellant’s side, “elected unopposed” would also indicate an unfair play. Under the circumstances, the plaintiffs have made out a case that the defendants 2 to 25 who, according to the first respondent sangam, were office bearers, elected as unopposed and declared cannot be permitted to carry on the affairs of the sangam.
21.At this juncture, the Court has to take into consideration the larger interest of the community for which the Sangam came into existence. The term of office of the office bearers came to an end. Under such circumstances, there arose a necessity for new election of Executive Committee and office bearers. This Court is of the considered opinion that in order to carry on the administration and affairs of the sangam till a new Executive Committee and the office bearers are elected by a proper and fair election, it becomes necessary an interim Administrator has got to be appointed. Accordingly, Mr.Justice J.A.K. Sampath Kumar (retired) is appointed as interim Administrator to look after the administration and affairs of the first defendant sangam, and the remuneration is fixed at Rs.25,000/- per month. The interim Administrator so appointed here is permitted to take charge of the administration forthwith from the defendants and carry on the administration and affairs of the sangam as per the bylaws and in accordance with law till the new Executive Committee and office bearers take charge in an election to be held. The defendants 2 to 25 are directed to hand over the administration and affairs of the sangam and its properties to the interim Administrator appointed above. The interim Administrator can approach the trial Court for necessary directions for the preparation of the electoral roll and for induction of new members in order to conduct an election of the sangam in a fair and proper manner.
22.In the result, OSA Nos.183 and 186 of 2009 are accordingly allowed setting aside the order of the learned Single Judge. OSA Nos.184 and 185 of 2009 are dismissed confirming the order of the learned Single Judge. OSA 138 of 2009 is dismissed, confirming the order of the learned Single Judge, and insofar as the first plaintiff, the order of the learned Single Judge granting injunction, is affirmed. The parties shall bear their own costs.
(Order of the Court was made by M.CHOCKALINGAM, J.)
The matter appears for being mentioned.
2.The learned Counsel for the respondents brought to the notice of the Court that at the time when the order was passed appointing an Administrator for conduct of election of the Sangam, no time limit has been fixed, and apart from that, there is a direction to the Administrator to get necessary orders from the trial Court, and since the matter is pending before this Court and also before the City Civil Court, a clarification is required in that regard.
3.After hearing both sides, this Court is of the considered opinion that since it is a matter pertaining to a Sangam, the election has got to be conducted within a reasonable time. Taking into consideration the cumulative facts and circumstances, this Court feels that it would be fit and proper to fix six months’ time within which election has got to be conducted. Accordingly, six months’ time is fixed for that purpose.
4.Insofar as the second contention put forth, no clarification is required in the considered opinion of the Court, since the appeals have arisen challenging the order of the learned Single Judge pending the proceedings in the original side. Under the circumstances, “trial Court” would mean only this Court where the proceedings are pending and where the Administrator is to get directions accordingly.
5.It is also further brought to the notice of the Court that in order to assist the Administrator appointed by this Court, Advocates could be appointed so that work could be done conveniently and also it would be easier. The same is considered by the Court. Accordingly, the following Advocates are appointed whose remuneration is fixed at Rs.10000/- (Rupees ten thousand only) per month each payable by the Sangam directly to them.
1.Mrs.Girija Velmurugan, Advocate
No.166, Thambu Chetty Street
1st Floor, E11, E12,
Room No.10, 3rd Floor
Armenian Street, Chennai 600 104.
Bhaggyam Sathya Nivas
Gill Nagar Ist Street Extn.,
Choolaimedu, Chennai 600 094.
295, Addl. Law Chambers
High Court, Chennai 600 104.
Addl. Law Chambers
High Court, Chennai 600 104.
6.The above Advocates can take instructions from the Administrator appointed by this Court, and assist him for the purpose of election as observed in the order.