27 April 2023 8:18 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court has held that erstwhile office members of a private club cannot process an election on the ground that the Administrator so appointed by the Government, has not taken charge. A single judge bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj allowed the petition filed by B L Adishesh and others who are members of the Vontikoppal Club, in Mysore. It quashed the...
The Karnataka High Court has held that erstwhile office members of a private club cannot process an election on the ground that the Administrator so appointed by the Government, has not taken charge.
A single judge bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj allowed the petition filed by B L Adishesh and others who are members of the Vontikoppal Club, in Mysore. It quashed the final list circulated by the erstwhile office bearers and restrained the erstwhile office bearers from conducting election to the executive committee.
The petitioners who are members of the club had contended that the club and its office bearers (erstwhile office bearers) had after an administrator was appointed by the Government of Karnataka on 28.7.2022, issued a calendar events on 8.8.2022, accepted the nominations, issued the final list of the eligible candidates and had also issued final list of candidates for the post of office bearers which could not have been so done after an administrator had been appointed.
Thus they had sought quashing of the final list of candidates issued to contest in the upcoming election for the period from 2022-23 to 2023-24 by the club.
The office bearers V S Prakash and others contended that though the administrator was appointed on 28.7.2022, he did not take charge of the club until 12.8.2022 and it is in the interregnum that on 27.7.2022 a meeting was called for by the office bearers, calling for election and fixing the dates of events.
It was contended that the process of election having commenced prior to the administrator taking charge of the affairs of the club, the said process ought not to be stopped.
The bench on going through the records noted that an administrator was appointed on 28.7.2022 on the ground that the club had not conducted its elections. The said communication was apparently received by the office bearers and immediately thereafter on 8.8.2022 a calendar of events was circulated in pursuance of which all further action of calling for nomination, scrutiny of nomination papers and finalisation of list of eligible candidates was made.
“The calendar of the events having been issued on 8.8.2022 being subsequent to a resolution passed on 27.7.2022, being subsequent to the Government order dated 28.7.2022 the entire process of election was virtually commenced after the appointment of an administrator,” the bench remarked at the outset.
It held that merely because the administrator actually took charge on 12.8.2022 cannot be a ground for the club to contend that the erstwhile office bearers would go ahead with the election process and/or management of the club.
Referring to the letter dated 15.8.2022 addressed by the administrator to the Registrar of Co-operative Societies, wherein it was indicated that administrator wanted to take charge but he was prevented from doing so and finally charge was handed over on 12.8.2022 by the erstwhile office bearers, the bench said “It is a trite law no one can take advantage of his own wrongs.”
Rejecting the contention that money has been spent on the election process and therefore the election should not be stopped, the bench said “The erstwhile office bearers want to take advantage of their own wrongs and now contend that since they committed those acts the amounts spent has to be saved.”
It held “When the erstwhile office bearers could not have spent that money this contention is no longer available to them, they have sought to overcome the order of the appointment of an administrator on 28.7.2022, all actions were taken pursuant thereto and money spent thereon was so done by them at their sole risk and peril and they cannot now contend that this money is to be saved.”
The bench clarified that it is for the club to recover the said money from the erstwhile office bearers since the said money has been spent by them without authorization or by way of self authorization contrary to the order of appointment of an administrator.
Accordingly it allowed the petition and directed the administrator to carry out the election process in accordance with law and charter of the club within a period of three months from the date of receipt of copy of this order.
Case Title: B L Adishesh & Others v. State of Karnataka & Others
Case No: WRIT PETITION NO. 16906 OF 2022 (CS-EL/M) C/W WRIT PETITION NO. 18949 OF 2022
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Kar) 164
Date of Order: 23-03-2023
Appearance: Advocate Srinivasa Reddy R V for petitioner.
Advocate Pruthvi Wodiyar for R6 TO R9.
AGA A.R. Shardamba for R1 TO R3.
Click Here To Read/Download The Order