The petition being devoid of merits is hereby dismissed by HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH AT INDORE in the case of NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF INSURANCE OFFICER V. THE STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH through HON’BLE JUSTICE SUBODH ABHYANKAR
FACTS OF THE CASE
The facts of the case are that the petitioner is a registered trade union under the provisions of Trade Unions Act, 1926 having a sizable membership of LIC (Life Insurance Corporation) employees as its members. The registration certificate of the petitioner union is also placed on record with averment that every member of the union is bound by every order passed by this Court. Further, the case of the petitioner is that LIC is a Government of India undertaking and is governed by the Life Insurance Corporation Act, 1956 which is a central act and the State Government has no control over the affairs of the LIC and its employees, however, the District Election Officer/respondent No.3 has issued a letter to the Divisional Office of LIC, M.G. Road, Indore with the names of as many as 76 of its employees for their participation in the forthcoming Panchayat/municipal election and it has been directed that for training purposes, the presence of such employees be ensured on the given date and time.
In this case, it is found that so far as the earlier order dated 24/04/2010 passed by this Court in WP No.336/2010 is concerned, there is no reference of any provision of law on the basis of which it is decided or that it can be said that there was infraction of any law leading to passing of the aforesaid order under Art.226. In such circumstances, it cannot be said that order dated 24/04/2010 has any binding effect. So far as the locus of the petitioner to file the petition is concerned, looking to the fact that the petitioner is a National Organization of Insurance Officers and it is averred in the petition that any order passed by this Court would be binding on the members of the petitioner union, this Court is also of the opinion that the petition would be maintainable when the petitioner is also a registered trade union under the provisions of Trade Unions Act, 1926. It is apparent that it is a primary duty of the State Government to provide such officers and staff as may be necessary for the discharge of functions conferred on Commission under the Act and these rules, however, it is also apparent that Rule 17-A provides for requisition of vehicles, namely the private vehicles which makes it clear that it is not the sole responsibility of the Government to provide the government vehicles also for the conduct of elections and as such vehicles from private citizen can also be requisitioned, and as provided under Rule 18, the Commission may also issue such special or general orders or directions which may not be inconsistent with the provisions of the Act for fair and free elections. Adopting the similar analogy, in the considered opinion of this court, if the Returning Officer has directed the presence of the officers of LIC which is a Government of India undertaking, to make themselves available for the election duty, it cannot be said to be without jurisdiction or inconsistent with the provisions of the Act and the Rules of 1995 for fair and free election. This court is also of the opinion that it is the primary duty of the State Government to provide the manpower, however, it cannot be said that if the manpower cannot be so procured from the State Government, election should not be held and that is why Rule 18 gives additional power to the Commission specifically observing “notwithstanding anything contained in these rules”. In the considered opinion of this Court, the impugned order needs no interference and the petition being devoid of merits is hereby dismissed. The interim relief granted earlier by this Court vide orders dated 09/06/2022 and 15/06/2022 shall stand vacated.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY SHREYA NIDHI