Patel Kaushik Manharbhai vs Vallabh Industries on 13 April, 2023
Bench: Honourable Justice Biren Vaishnav
R/LETTERS PATENT APPEAL NO.435 of 2023
The present case is a case of appeal against the judgement of the learned Single Judge accepting the petition filed by the private respondent and quashing the order passed by the Authorized Officer and Cooperation Officer (Markets), by which names of the respondents as voters of Traders Constituency for the elections of Agriculture Produce Market Committee were removed from the voters’ list on the ground that they have not paid the cess fees periodically but have paid in lump sum.
That Director of Agricultural Marketing & Rural Finance, published the election programme of Agriculture Produce Market Committee. Part III of the Gujarat Agricultural Produce Market Rules, 1965 (hereinafter referred to as ‘APMC Rules’) provides the procedure for election of Market Committee. Under Rule 10 of the said APMC Rules, stages of election were declared in the said election programme issued by the Director of Agricultural Marketing & Rural Finance. As provided under Rule 8 (1) of APMC Rules, objectors may submit their reservations about inclusion and/or exclusion of the names in the preliminary voters’ list.
The names of the private respondents were included in the preliminary voters’ list and, therefore, the present appellants raised objections against inclusion of their names before the Authorized Officer and Co- operation Officer (Markets). The Authorized Officer and Co-operation Officer (Markets) by an order considered and accepted the objection by deleting the names of these persons which was the subject matter of challenge before the learned Single Judge.
The learned single Judge after hearing the respective parties, accepted each petitions and quashed the order passed by the Authorized Officer and Co- operation Officer (Markets) and directed to include the names of the members in the voter’s list.
The advocate appearing for the appellants contended that the learned Single Judge had committed an error in quashing and setting aside the order passed by Authorized Officer and Co-operation Officer (Markets), who has after due consideration, found that those persons have not paid cess fees periodically and, therefore, learned Single Judge ought not to have interfered with the said order at the stage when the election process was going on.
He further contended that the inclusion or exclusion in the voters’ list during the entire election process may be questioned only subsequent to declaration of results of the election and not during the election process.
The advocate for the appellant contended that the inclusion of the members in the Society was never questioned by any of the objectors and, therefore, Authorized Officer and Co-operation Officer (Markets) had no jurisdiction to examine the correctness of inclusion of those members in the Society and, therefore, the learned Single Judge had rightly quashed and set aside the order passed by the officer.
The Court went through the facts and circumstances of the case and after hearing both the parties it held that a challenge of a membership of an individual as a member of the Society may be the subject matter of other proceedings, but that issue cannot be decided by the Election Officer at the time of scrutiny of the nomination.
Hence, the Court was in complete agreement with the observations made by the learned Single Judge and failed to find any relevant no in the appeal and hence dismissed it.
JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY AMIT ARAVIND
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