Parmar Samantsinh Umedsinh vs State Of Gujarat on 24 February, 2021


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Supreme Court of India

Parmar Samantsinh Umedsinh vs State Of Gujarat on 24 February, 2021

Author: Ashok Bhushan

Bench: Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy

                                                                              1

                                                                 REPORTABLE

                              IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                               CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                              CIVIL APPEAL NO. 706 OF 2021
                         (ARISING OUT OF SLP(C)NO.24950 OF 2015)

  PARMAR SAMANTSINH UMEDSINH                                  … APPELLANT

                                           VS.

  STATE OF GUJARAT & ORS.                                     … RESPONDENTS

                                          WITH

                              CIVIL APPEAL NO. 707 OF 2021
                         (ARISING OUT OF SLP(C)NO.30635 OF 2015)

  STATE ELECTION COMMISSION                                   … APPELLANT

                                           VS.

  VIRENDRASINH MAFAJI VAGHELA & ORS.                          … RESPONDENTS

                                          WITH

                             WRIT PETITION (C)NO.786 OF 2020

  NARENDRA KUMAR AMBALAL RAVAT                            … APPELLANT

                                           VS.

  STATE OF GUJARAT & ORS.                                 … RESPONDENTS

                                     J U D G M E N T

ASHOK BHUSHAN, J.

Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
MEENAKSHI KOHLI
Date: 2021.02.24
Leave granted.

15:11:12 IST
Reason:

2. The civil appeals and writ petition, being tagged,

all three matters have been heard together.
2

3. We need to notice the facts and pleadings in the

first matter, i.e., Civil Appeal (arising out of

SLP(C)No.24950 of 2015-Parmar Samantsinh Umedsinh vs.

State of Gujarat & Ors.). The abovesaid appeal has been

filed against the judgment of Gujarat High Court dated

29.07.2015 in Special Civil Application No.12084 of 2015

dismissing the writ petition following an earlier

Division Bench judgment dated 13.08.2010 in Pankajsinh

Waghela v. State Election Commission through Election

Commissioner & others. The writ petition was filed by the

appellant herein challenging the vires of Section 5(3)

(iii)(a) and Section 29A of the Gujarat Provincial

Municipal Corporation Act, 1949 (hereinafter referred to

as “Act, 1949”) and other statutory provisions including

Rules framed thereunder and the notifications. In the

writ petition following reliefs were claimed:

“(A) Issue a writ of declaration, declaring
that:

a) Section 5(3)(iii)(a) and 29A of the
Gujarat Provincial Municipal Corporation Act,
1949 and

b) Sections 2 and 3 of the Gujarat Local
Authorities Laws (Amendment) Act, 2009 as
being ultra vires the Constitution of India
as it violates one member one ward mandate.

3

(B) Issue a writ of declaration, declaring
that Rule 4 and Rule 5 of the Bombay
Provincial Municipal Corporation
(Delimittaion of Wards in the City and
Allocations of Reserved Seats) Rules, 1994
(including amendment of 2015) as being ultra
vires the Constitution of India.

(C) Issue a writ of declaration, declaring
Notification No.KV-194 of 2014-ELE-102014-
17010P dated 04.12.2014 as well as other
Notification dated 15.01.2015 issued by State
of Gujarat as ultra vires the Constitution of
India and/or Gujarat Local Authorities Laws
(Amendment)Act, 2009 and/or Gujarat
Provincial Municipal Corporation Act, 1949.

(D) Quash and set aside the order dated
11.12.2014 passed by the State Election
Commission under Section 5(3)(iii)(b) of the
Gujarat Provincial Municipal Corporation Act,
1949.

(E) Pending admission, hearing and final
hearing, be pleased to stay Notification
No.KV-194 of 2014-ELE-102014-1701-P dated
04.12.2014 issued by the State of Gujarat as
well as order dated 11.12.2014 passed by the
State Election Commission under Section 5(3)

(iii)(b) of the Gujarat Provincial Municipal
Corporation Act, 1949.

(F) Pending admission, hearing and final
hearing, be pleased to stay the election
process for the election due in October 2015
for Municipality in the State of Gujarat.

(G) Costs.

(H) Such other and further relief or
relieves as may be deem fit, just and proper,
in the facts and circumstances of the case.”

4. The Division Bench of the High Court dismissed the
4

writ petition noticing that earlier the vires of Section

5(3)(iii)(a) and Sections 29A(2)(a) and 29A(3)(a) of the

Act, 1949 as well as Rule 4 of the Bombay Provincial

Municipal Corporations (the Delimitation of Wards in the

City and Allocation of Reserved Seats) Rules, 1994 were

challenged and were upheld and the issues in the writ

petition being covered by the earlier Division Bench

judgment of the High Court in the case of Pankajsinh

Waghela v. State Election Commission and others, the writ

petition is to be dismissed.

5. Aggrieved against the judgment of the Division Bench

dated 29.07.2015 Civil Appeal (arising out of

SLP(C)No.24950 of 2015) has been filed.

6. The Civil Appeal (arising out of SLP(C)No.30635 of

2015) has been filed against the Division Bench judgment

of the High Court dated 21.10.2015 by which judgment

Special Civil Application No.16313 of 2015 filed by the

respondents has been allowed. In the writ petition

Clauses (3), (4) and (5) of Ordinance No.3 of 2015

promulgated by the Governor of Gujarat were under

challenge. A mandamus was also sought seeking a direction
5

to the State Election Commission to declare the dates of

holding Elections of Panchayats in the State of Gujarat

forthwith. On 03.10.2015 on the same date when Ordinance

No.3 of 2015 was issued by which Section 7A of the

Gujarat Provincial Municipal Corporations Act, 1949,

Section 8A of Gujarat Municipalities Act, 1963 and

Section 257 of the Gujarat Panchayats Act, 1993 have been

substituted an order was issued by the State Election

Commission that the Elections of 6 Municipal

Corporations, 53 Municipalities, 3 newly constituted

Munipalities, 23 Taluka Panchayats and 31 District

Panchayats which were to be held in October/November,

2015 were decided not to be held at present. The Division

Bench had disposed of the writ petition by recording its

conclusion in paragraph 72 which was to the following

effect:

“72.In view of the above observations and
discussions, the following conclusions:-

(a) Section 15(1) of the Gujarat Panchayats
Act inserted by Ordinance No.2 of 2015 is
read down in a manner that the Election
Commissioner must initiate the process of
election at least 45 days prior to the expiry
of the term of the respective Panchayats so
as to enable the newly elected body to hold
the first meeting and assume the power by
replacing the outgoing elected body. If
6

Section 15(1) is not interpreted and read
accordingly, Section 15(1) would
unconstitutional and void.

If there is failure on the part of the State
Election Commission to initiate the process
for elections 45 days in advance, any citizen
affected thereby would be at liberty to
approach this Court under Article 226 of the
Constitution for seeking appropriate
direction against the State Election
Commission.

(b) Section 7A of the GPMC Act, Section 8A of
Page 86 of 89 Downloaded on : Sat Feb 20
15:44:28 IST 2021 C/SCA/16313/2015 CAV
JUDGMENT Municipalities Act and Section 257
of the Act brought about by Ordinance No.3
of 2015 are held to be unconstitutional and
void.

(c) The action of the State Election
Commission for postponement of the election
of all local bodies in the State is held to
be illegal and is set aside. Respondent No.2
Election Commission is directed to initiate
process of holding the election of the local
bodies forthwith.

Respondent No.1 State Government is directed
to render all cooperation and assistance,
including providing necessary police force
and reserved force or any other force as may
be requisitioned by the Election Commission
for ensuring the election at the earliest in
a free and fair atmosphere.”

7. The State Election Commission aggrieved by the

judgment of the High Court has come up in this appeal.

8. Writ Petition(C)No.786 of 2020 has been filed
7

challenging the notifications dated 08.07.2020 issued by

the Governor of Gujarat in exercise of power under

Section 5(3)(iii)(a) of the Act, 1949 determining the

number of Wards, seats including the seats reserved for

Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward Classes and

women of Vadodara Provincial Corporation, Ahmedabad

Provincial Corporation, Bhavnagar Provincial

Corporation, Ghandhinagar Provincial Corporation,

Jamnagar Provincial Corporation, Rajkot Provincial

Corporation and Surat Provincial Corporation. Writ order

or declaration declaring Section 5(3)(iii)(a) and 29A of

Act, 1949 as unconstitutional was also prayed for.

Section 5(3)(iii)(a) and 29A, Rule 4 and Rule 5 of Rules,

1994 as amended in 2015 has also been challenged.

Notification dated 04.12.2015 as well as 15.01.2015 was

also sought to be challenged including challenge to

Sections 2 and 3 of the Gujarat Local Authorities Laws

(Amendment) Act, 2009. By order of this Court dated

25.08.2020 the writ petition has been tagged with Civil

Appeal arising out of SLP(C) No.24950/2015.

9. We have heard Shri Kapil Sibal, learned senior
8

counsel and Shri Harin P. Raval, learned senior counsel

appearing in the first appeal and writ petition for the

appellants and petitioner.

10. We have heard Shri Maninder Singh, learned senior

counsel appearing for the appellant in the appeal filed

by the State Election Commission. Shri Tushar Mehta,

learned Solicitor General and Ms. Manisha Lavkumar,

learned senior counsel have been heard for the State of

Gujarat.

11. Shri Kapil Sibal has led the arguments on behalf of

the appellants in the first matter. Referring to

provisions of Article 243R and 243S of the Constitution

of India, Shri Sibal submits that the constitutional

scheme does not permit multi member representation from a

Ward in the Municipal Corporation/Municipality. Shri

Sibal submits that Article 243S sub-clause (3) and sub-

clause (4) uses expression “a member and the member”,

which indicates that from one Ward there can only be one

member in the Municipality. Similarly, Section 29A sub-

clause 2 of the Act, 1949 is inconsistent with Article
9

243S of the Constitution. He submits that Article 243R

does not contemplate/mandate a multi member Ward.

12. Shri Sibal submits that in the case of Lok Sabha it

is rule of election of one Member of Parliament is to be

from one unit of representation from one constituency.

Similarly, is the case of Vidhan Sabha only one member is

to be elected from one constituency. It is submitted that

Article 243S of the Constitution mandates that only one

member be elected from one Ward and it does not allow for

more than one member to be elected from the same Ward and

the impugned provisions and notifications are in

contravention of this cardinal constitutional principle

enshrined in Article 243S of the Constitution. It is

submitted that the election to a Municipal Corporation

ought to be conducted in the same manner as State

Legislative Assembly, wherein different constituencies

are represented by one member and no more. Further,

Article 243R cannot be interpreted to give wide, unguided

and uncontrolled powers to the State Legislature ignoring

other Constitutional provisions enshrined in the

Constitution of India. The State Legislature is empowered
10

to make laws with regard to representation in a

Municipality and also composition and territorial area of

Wards Committees and the manner in which the seats are to

be filled. However, in its exercise of legislative

powers, the State Legislature cannot make laws violative

of the Constitutional principles and mandate.

13. Shri Sibal submits that there has to be thematic

consistency while interpreting the provisions of Part IXA

of the Constitution. The thematic flow of the

Constitution is of election of only one member from one

Ward constituency/unit of representation. Multi member

representation from a Ward is against the principle of

empowerment of down-trodden and woman. One member Ward

enables exclusive representation of the women/other

backward classes/Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes

resulting therein empowerment which cannot be achieved by

a multi member Ward. Shri Sibal further submits that a

holistic schematic interpretation of the Constitution has

to be advanced. Shri Sibal submits that words occurring

in the Constitution should be read in their ordinary,

natural and grammatical meaning. Wordings of Article
11

243S(4) would mean adding words to the plain language and

intent to Article 243S(4) of the Constitution of India.

14. It is submitted that singular cannot be read plural

in Article 243S. Applicability of the General Clauses Act

is restricted to the interpretation of the Constitution

of India by Article 367 itself. One of the submissions of

Shri Sibal is that Draft Rules for Amendment of

Delimitation Rules, 1994 were issued on 27.11.2014

inviting objections within 30 days of the publication of

Draft Rules, 1994. However, before expiry of 30 days

notification was issued on 04.12.2014 which is not in

accordance with law.

15. Shri Sibal submits that the Municipal Laws which are

prevalent in 28 States provide for one representation

from one Ward whereas Municipal Laws in Gujarat provide

for multi member Ward. It is submitted that in the

Municipal Laws of Bombay which provide for multi member

Ward now in 2019 it has reverted back to one member

representation.

16. Shri Harin P. Raval adopting the arguments of Shri
12

Kapil Sibal submits that if the words are clear Rule of

literal interpretation shall apply. He submits that

Section 29A of Act, 1949 is inconsistent with Article

243S of the Constitution. Shri Raval further submits that

without reference to notification dated 27.11.2014, the

notification dated 04.12.2014 was published which is a

colourable exercise of power.

17. Shri Tushar Mehta, learned Solicitor General submits

that in Gujarat there were always multi member Wards.

Shri Mehta submits that an Act can be challenged on the

grounds of (1) substantive ultra vires, i.e, competence;

(2) procedural ultra vires; (3) ultra vires and

arbitrariness and (4) runs contrary to the constitutional

provisions. He submits that under Entry 5 List II of

Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, “the State

Legislature is competent to legislate local on

Governments. Shri Tushar Mehta submits that the

expression “the member” used in sub-clause (4) of Article

243S is used in reference to the Chairperson. Article

243S does not contain any provision that there shall be

only one member for one Ward. He submits that Article
13

243S deals with constitution and composition of Wards

Committees and the provisions therein have to be confined

to constitution and composition of Wards Committees and

cannot be read in reference to constitution and

composition of a Municipality. He submits that the

constitutional provision of Article 243T contemplates

reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and the

Scheduled Tribes has to be seat wise and not Ward wise.

Reservation of 50% is the object of empowering the women.

Increase of seats for reserved category is a step towards

empowering the SC/ST and these provisions cannot be read,

in any manner, to hamper the empowerment of women, SC/ST.

By the amendments made in 2015 in each Ward two seats are

to be reserved for women which is with the intent and

purpose of empowerment of women and increasing women

representation in a Municipality.

18. Elaborating on Article 243R, Shri Mehta submits that

it is Article 243R which provides for composition of

Municipalities and there is no prohibition in the

constitutional provision in providing representation of

more than one member from one Ward. In interpretation of
14

provision of the Constitution by virtue of Article 357 of

the Constitution a singular can also be read as plural.

He submits that Constitution does not provide for any

thematic mode and manner, the election to Lok Sabha and

Rajya Sabha is entirely different. In Lok Sabha members

are elected by direct Election whereas in Rajya Sabha

members are elected by indirect Election. There is

complete different mode of election of President of

India. Even in Parliament there is no thematic schematic.

19. The power of competent Legislature, i.e., State

Legislature in the light of enabling provisions provided

in the Constitution with regard to framing of laws

concerning Legislature cannot be whittled down by way of

restrictive interpretation as contended by the

appellants. The State Legislature in federal set up

specially in the matter of local Government are to enable

enough seats to adopt the reservation based on local

body.

20. The overarching scheme of Article 243D and 243T is to

ensure the fair representation of social diversity in the

composition of elected local bodies so as to contribute
15

to the empowerment of the traditional weaker sections in

Society. The preferred means for pursuing this policy is

the reservation of seats and Chairperson positions in

favour of SC/ST, women and Backward Class candidates.

21. Learned counsel for the parties have also placed

reliance on various judgments of this Court which shall

be referred while considering the submission in detail.

22. From the submissions of the learned counsel for the

parties following questions arise for consideration:

(1) Whether Article 243R and Article 243S of the Consti-

tution of India contains any limitation to the ef-

fect that there shall be only one member from one

Ward?

(2) Whether the provisions of Sections 5(3)(iii)(a), 29A

of the Gujarat Provincial Municipal Corporations

Act, 1949 and Rules 4 and 5 of Bombay Provincial Mu-

nicipal Corporations (the delimitation of wards and

allocation of reserved seats) Rules, 1994 and Rule

2(b) of Gujarat Municipal Corporation’s Ward Commit-

tees Functions, Duties, Territorial Areas and Proce-

dure for Transaction of Business Rules, 2007 are ul-

16

tra virus to the provisions of Articles 243R and

243S of the Constitution?

(3) Whether having more than one representative from a

Ward negates the empowerment of weaker sections,

i.e., women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes?
(4) Whether when the draft rules for amendment of Bombay

Provincial Municipal Corporations (the delimitation

of wards and allocation of reserved seats) Rules,

1994 were issued on 27.11.2014 which were to be pub-

lished after noting of objections on or expiry of

thirty days, the State Government could have issued

notification dated 04.12.2014 before expiry of

thirty days?

Question Nos. 1 and 2

23. Both these questions being interrelated are being

taken together. We need to first notice the relevant

constitutional as well as statutory provisions which are

up for consideration before us. The provisions of the

Gujarat Provincial Municipal Corporations Act, 1949 and

the rules framed thereunder are under challenge. The

Legislation under challenge is referable to Entry 5 of

List II, i.e., State List under Seventh Schedule of the
17

Constitution. Entry 5 is as follows:-

“5. Local government, that is to say, the
constitution and powers of municipal
corporations, improvement trusts, districts
boards, mining settlement authorities and
other local authorities for the purpose of
local self-government or village
administration.”

24. By Constitution (Seventy-fourth Amendment) Act, 1992,

Part IXA “The Municipalities” have been inserted in the

Constitution of India. Bill No.159 of 1991 was

introduced in the Lok Sabha for inserting new Part IXA.

The Bill, which was published in the gazette on

16.09.1991, contains the Statement of Objects and Reasons

for insertion of Part IXA in the Constitution. Paragraph

3(b) of the Statement of Objects and Reasons provides as

follows:-

“3. XXXXXXXXXXXXX

b) composition of Municipalities, which will
be decided by the Legislature of a State,
having the following features:

(i) persons to be chosen by direct election;

(ii) representation of Chairpersons of Com-
mittees, if any, at ward or other levels in
the Municipalities;

18

(iii) representation of persons having spe-
cial knowledge or experience of Municipal Ad-
ministration in Municipalities (without vot-
ing rights);

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX”

25. The provisions of Part IXA of the Constitution, which

are relevant for the present case are Articles 243P,

243R, 243S, 243ZA and 243ZG, which shall be noticed

hereinafter. The appellant has also laid challenge to

Section 5(3)(iii) sub-clause(a) of the Act, 1949, which

is to the following effect:-

“5. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

(3) Where general election is to be held
immediately after,—

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

(iii) the limits of a City are altered,—

(a) the State Government shall, by
notification in the Official gazette,
determine the number of wards into which the
City shall be divided, the number of
councillors to be elected to the Corporation
and the number of seats to be reserved in
favour of the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled
Tribes, the Backward Classes and Women as
provided in this section, and

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX”
19

26. Section 29A of the Act, 1949, which is also under

challenge, is to the following effect:-

“29A. Composition of Wards Committee.-
(1) Where the population of the City is three
lakhs or more, there shall be constituted by
the Municipal Corporation, Subject to the
rules made by the State Government Wards
Committee or Committees consisting of one or
more wards within the territorial area of a
Corporation.

(2) Each Wards Committee shall consist
of –

(a) Councillors of the
Corporation representing a ward
within the territorial area of the
Ward Committee;

[ * * * * * * * * *]:

Provided that a person shall be
disqualified for being appointed, and for
being a member of the Wards Committee, if
under the provisions of this Act or any other
law for the time being in force, he would be
disqualified for being elected as, and for
being, a councillor.

(3) The Wards Committee shall at its
first meeting after its constitution under
subsection (1) and at its first meeting in
the same month in each succeeding year shall
elect,-

where the Wards Committee consists of-

(a) one ward, the Councillor
representing that ward in the
Corporation; or

(b) two or more wards, one of
the Councillors representing such
20

wards in the Corporation elected by
the members of the Wards Committee,
to be the Chairperson of that
Committee.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX”

27. Rules 4 and 5 of Bombay Provincial Municipal

Corporations (the Delimitation of wards in the city and

allocation of Reserved Seats) Rules, 1994, as it existed

prior to 2015 amendment are as follows:-

“4. All wards shall be multi-member
wards with three councilors to be elected
from each ward.

5. In each and every ward one seat
shall be reserved for women (including seats
to be reserved for women belonging to
Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and
Backward Classes) and one seat shall remain
unreserved. The remaining third seat may be
reserved, depending upon the requirement of
reservation as notified by the State
Government under Section 5 of the said Act.”

28. Another rule challenged before us is the Gujarat

Municipal Wards Committees Functions, Duties, Territorial

Areas and Procedure for Transaction of Business Rules,

2007. Rule 2(b) provides:-

“2(b) “Chairperson” means the persons
elected by the members of the Wards Committee
as the Chairperson of that Committee;”
21

29. The notifications issued in exercise of powers under

Section 5(3) as well as the Rules, 1994 have also been

challenged. The ambit and scope of legislative power of

the State being under consideration, we need to first

notice the rules of interpretation of a legislative

entry.

30. It is well settled that legislative entries as

contained in Lists under Seventh Schedule of the

Constitution have not to be read in a narrow or

restricted manner and each general word occurring in the

entries should be held to extend to all ancillary or

subsidiary matters, which can fairly and reasonably be

said to be comprehended in it. In construing an entry

in a List conferring legislative power, the widest

possible construction according to their ordinary meaning

must be put upon the words used therein.

31. We may refer to the Constitution Bench judgment of

this Court in Ch. Tika Ramji and Others, etc. Vs. The

State of Uttar Pradesh and Others, AIR 1956 SC 676where

the principles for interpretation of a legislative entry
22

has been enumerated in following words:-

“Each entry in the Lists which is a
category or head of the subject-matter of
legislation must be construed not in a narrow
or restricted sense but as widely as possible
so as to extend to all ancillary or
subsidiary matters which can fairly and
reasonably be said to be comprehended in
it………………”

32. Article 245, which deals with distribution of

legislative powers, begins with the words “subject to the

provisions of this Constitution”. Thus, laws made by the

Parliament and by the Legislature of the State, have to

be subject to the provisions of the Constitution.

Article 245(1) is as follows:-

“245. Extent of laws made by Parliament and
by the Legislatures of States.-(1) Subject to
the provisions of this Constitution,
Parliament may make laws for the whole or any
part of the territory of India, and the
Legislature of a State may make laws for the
whole or any part of the State.”

33. Article 246 deals with subject-matter of the laws

made by the Parliament and by the Legislature of the

State. Reading Articles 245 and 246 together, it is

abundantly clear that the legislative power to be

exercised by the Parliament and the State Legislatures as

enumerated in List I, List II and List III of Seventh
23

Schedule are subject to the provisions of the

Constitution. Thus, when the Constitution expressly or

impliedly contains a limitation in exercise of

legislative power, the legislative power is subject to

such Constitution limitations. For example, Article

13(2) contains a limitation that State shall not make any

law which takes away or abridges the rights conferred by

Part III and any law made in contravention of this clause

shall, to the extent of the contravention, be void. A

Constitution Bench of this Court in Maharaj Umeg Singh

and Ors. Vs. State of Bombay and Ors., AIR 1955 SC 540

had categorically laid down that the legislative

competence of the State Legislature can only be

circumscribed by express prohibition contained in the

Constitution itself. In paragraphs 12 and 13 following

was laid down:-

“12. …………………..The legislative competence
of the State Legislature can only be circum-
scribed by express prohibition contained in
the Constitution itself and unless and until
there is any provision in the Constitution
expressly prohibiting legislation on the sub-
ject either absolutely or conditionally,
there is no fetter or limitation on the ple-
nary powers which the State Legislature en-
joys to legislate on the topics enumerated in
the Lists 2 and 3 of the Seventh Schedule to
the Constitution.

24

13. The fetter or limitation upon the leg-

islative power of the State Legislature which
had plenary powers of legislation within the
ambit of the legislative heads specified in
the Lists 2 and 3 of the Seventh Schedule to
the Constitution could only be imposed by the
Constitution itself and not by any obligation
which had been undertaken by either the Do-
minion Government or the Province of Bombay
or even the State of Bombay. Under Article
246
the State Legislature was invested with
the power to legislate on the topics enumer-
ated in Lists 2 and 3 of the Seventh Schedule
to the Constitution and this power was by
virtue of Article 245(1) subject to the pro-
visions of the Constitution.

The Constitution itself laid down the fet-
ters or limitations on this power e.g. in Ar-
ticle 303 or Article 286(2). But unless and
until the court came to the conclusion that
the Constitution itself had expressly prohib-
ited legislation on the subject either abso-
lutely or conditionally the power of the
State Legislature to enact legislation within
its legislative competence was plenary. Once
the topic of legislation was comprised within
any of the entries in the Lists 2 and 3 of
the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution the
fetter or limitation on such legislative
power had to be found within the Constitution
itself and if there was no such fetter or
limitation to be found there the State Legis-
lature had full competence to enact the im-
pugned Act no matter whether such enactment
was contrary to the guarantee given, or the
obligation undertaken by the Dominion Govern-
ment or the Province of Bombay or even the
State of Bombay.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX”

34. Justice R. Banumathi in her separate opinion in a
25

Constitution Bench in Jindal Stainless Limited and Anr.

Vs. State of Haryana and Ors., (2017) 12 SCC 1 laid down

following in paragraph 316:-

“316. In Umeg Singh v. State of
Bombay
[AIR 1955 SC 540], this Court held
that since the power of the State to
legislate within its legislative competence
is plenary and the same cannot be curtailed
in the absence of an express limitation
placed on such power in the Constitution
itself, there is no express prohibition on
the legislative powers of the State to levy
taxes on the goods entering into a local area
for consumption, use or sale therein. Taxes
being the lifeblood of the State, they cannot
be decimated by implication.”

35. The ratio which can be culled out from the above

judgment is that power of the State to legislate within

its legislative competence is plenary and the same cannot

be curtailed in the absence of an express limitation

placed on such power in the Constitution itself.

36. Article 243ZF provides that any law relating to

municipalities in force in a State immediately before the

commencement of the Constitution (Seventy-fourth

Amendment) Act, 1992, which is inconsistent with the

provisions of Part IXA, shall not continue beyond

expiration of one year from commencement of the
26

constitutional amendment. Thus, Part IXA of the

Constitution categorically contemplated that any law made

by State Legislature, which is inconsistent with the

provisions of Part IXA shall cease to operate on the

expiration of one year or till amended or repealed by a

competent Legislature, whichever is earlier. The

Constitution provisions, thus, mandates that any law of

the State, which is inconsistent, cannot continue. Thus,

this limitation shall also govern any law made after

enforcement of Constitution (Seventy-fourth Amendment)

Act. Thus, a law, which is inconsistent with Part IXA

cannot be framed by the State Legislature.

37. Explaining the expression “inconsistent”, this Court

in Basti Sugar Mills Co. Ltd. Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh

and Anr., (1979) 2 SCC 88where following was laid down in

paragraph 23:-

“23. …………………………………….“Inconsistent”, according
to Black’s Legal Dictionary, means “mutually
repugnant or contradictory; contrary, the one
to the other so that both cannot stand, but
the acceptance or establishment of the one
implies the abrogation or abandonment of the
other”………………………”

38. One of the meanings of expression “inconsistent” as

approved by this Court is mutually repugnant or
27

contradictory. Article 254 of the Constitution contains

a heading “inconsistency between laws made by the

Parliament and the laws made by the Legislature of the

State” whereas under Article 254(1) and Article 254(2)

the words used are repugnant. The Constitution itself,

thus, has used the words inconsistency and repugnancy

interchangeably. To find out as to whether a law made by

State Legislature is inconsistent with provisions of Part

IXA of the Constitution, the principles which have been

laid down by this Court to determine the repugnancy

between the law made by the Legislature of a State and

law made by Parliament can be profitably relied on. We,

thus, need to notice the principles on which the

repugnancy of law made by State and law made by the

Parliament is found out.

39. The Constitution of India is a paramount law to which

all other laws are subject. One of the important tests

to find out as to whether or not there is repugnancy is

to ascertain the intention of the Legislature regarding

the fact that the dominant Legislature allowed the

subordinate Legislature to operate in the same field
28

paripasu the State Act and there will be no inconsistency

when the State Act and Central Act are supplemental to

each other. Things are inconsistent when they cannot

stand together at the same time and one law is

inconsistent with another law, when the command or power

or provision in the law conflicts directly with the

command or power or provision in the other law. While

legislating on a particular subject matter, the paramount

Legislature may evince the intention to cover only

certain specific matters leaving it to the State

Legislature to deal with the rest. One more preposition

need to be noticed is that there is always a presumption

that Legislature does not exceed its jurisdiction and

Court should make every attempt to reconcile the

provisions of apparently conflicting enactment. This

Court in Ch. Tika Ramji and Others, Etc. Vs. The State of

Uttar Pradesh and Others, AIR 1956 SC 676 had occasion to

consider the repugnancy between a State legislation, U.P.

Sugarcane (Regulation of Supply and Purchase) Act, 1953

and the Central Legislation namely the Industries

(Development and Regulation) Act, 1951 as well as the

Essential Commodities Act, 1955. It was held by this
29

Court that repugnancy falls to be considered when the law

made by the Parliament and the law made by the State

Legislature occupies the same field. This Court quoted

with approval three tests as referred by Nicholas in his

Australian Constitution and one test referred by Isaacs,

J. in paragraphs 27 and 28 of the judgment, which are to

the following effect:-

“27. Nicholas in his Australian Consti-
tution, 2nd Ed., p. 303, refers to three
tests of inconsistency or repugnancy:—

(1) There may be inconsistency in the
actual terms of the competing statutes
(R. v. Brisbane Licensing Court, [1920] 28
CLR 23).

(2) Though there may be no direct con-
flict, a State law may be inoperative because
the Commonwealth law, or the award of the
Commonwealth Court, is intended to be a com-
plete exhaustive code (Clyde Engineering Co.
Ltd. v. Cowburn, [1926] 37 CLR 466).
(3) Even in the absence of intention, a
conflict may arise when both State and Com-
monwealth seek to exercise their powers over
the same subject-matter (Victoria v. Common-
wealth, [1937] 58 CLR 618; Wenn v. Attorney-
General (Vict.), [1948] 77 CLR 84)

28. Isaacs, J. in Clyde Engineering Com-
pany, Limited v. Cowburn [(1926) 37 CLR 466,
489] laid down one test of inconsistency as
conclusive: “If, however, a competent legis-
lature expressly or implicitly evinces its
intention to cover the whole field, that is a
conclusive test of inconsistency where an-

30

other Legislature assumes to enter to any ex-
tent upon the same field”.”

40. This Court after referring to the provisions of State

Legislation as well as Central Legislation held that none

of these provisions do overlap, the Centre being silent

with regard to some of the provisions, which have been

enacted by the State, hence no repugnancy was found.

Following was laid down in paragraph 36:-

”(36). XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Suffice it to say that none of these
provisions do overlap, the Centre being
silent with regard to some of the provisions
which have been enacted by the State and the
State being silent with regard to some of the
provisions which have been enacted by the
Centre. There is no repugnancy whatever
between these provisions and the impugned Act
and the Rules framed thereunder as also the
U.P. Sugarcane Regulation of Supply and
Purchase Order, 1954 do not trench upon the
field covered by Act 10 of 1955.”

41. Another Constitution Bench in Deep Chand and Ors. Vs.

The State of Uttar Pradesh and Ors., AIR 1959 SC 648

speaking through K. Subba Rao, J. after referring to the

earlier judgments of this Court and other precedents laid

down following three principles for ascertaining the

repugnancy between two statutes:-

31

“(29). XXXXXXXXXXXX

Repugnancy between two statutes may thus
be ascertained on the basis of the following
three principles:

(1) Whether there is direct con-
flict between the two provisions;

(2) Whether Parliament intended
to lay down an exhaustive code in
respect of the subject-matter re-
placing the Act of the State Legis-
lature and

(3) Whether the law made by Par-
liament and the law made by the
State Legislature occupy the same
field.”

42. Again a Constitution Bench of this Court in

M.Karunanidhi Vs.Union of India and Anr., (1979) 3 SCC

431 reiterated the principles to determine the

inconsistency between two Statutes. In paragraph 35,

following prepositions were laid down:-

“35. On a careful consideration, there-
fore, of the authorities referred to above,
the following propositions emerge:

1. That in order to decide the
question of repugnancy it must be
shown that the two enactments con-
tain inconsistent and irreconcil-
able provisions, so that they can-
not stand together or operate in
the same field.

32

2. That there can be no repeal by
implication unless the inconsis-
tency appears on the face of the
two statutes.

3. That where the two statutes
occupy a particular field, but
there is room or possibility of
both the statutes operating in the
same field without coming into col-
lision with each other, no repug-
nancy results.

4. That where there is no incon-
sistency but a statute occupying
the same field seeks to create dis-
tinct and separate offences, no
question of repugnancy arises and
both the statutes continue to oper-
ate in the same field.”

43. Thakkar, J. speaking for himself and Fazal Ali, J.

in M/s. Ram Chandra Mawa Lal, Varanasi and Ors. Vs. State

of Uttar Pradesh and Ors., 1984 (Supp.) SCC 28 had

occasion to elaborately consider the principles to

determine inconsistency between two Statutes. The

principles were stated in following words in paragraph

47:-

47. ……………………………..The principle may be
stated thus. The Centre and the State both
cannot speak on the same channel and create
disharmony. If both speak, the voice of the
Centre will drown the voice of the State.
The State has to remain “silent” or it will
be “silenced”. But the State has the right
33

to “speak” and can “speak” (with
unquestionable authority) where the Centre
is “silent, without introducing
disharmony……………………………..”

44. The last judgment which needs to be noticed is

another Constitution Bench judgment in K.T. Plantation

Private Limited and Anr. Vs. State of Karanataka, (2011)

9 SCC 1 where on repugnancy, following was laid down in

paragraph 108:-

“108. The question of repugnancy under
Article 254 of the Constitution arises when
the provisions of both laws are fully
inconsistent or are absolutely irreconcilable
and it is impossible without disturbing the
other, or conflicting results are produced,
when both the statutes covering the same
field are applied to a given set of facts.
Repugnancy between the two statutes would
arise if there is a direct conflict between
the two provisions and the law made by
Parliament and the law made by the State
Legislature occupy the same field. Reference
may be made to the decisions of this Court
in Deep Chand v. State of U.P. [AIR 1959 SC
648], Prem Nath Kaul v. State of J&K [AIR
1959 SC 749], UkhaKolhe v. State of
Maharashtra [AIR 1963 SC 1531], Bar Council
of U.P. v. State of U.P
. [(1973) 1 SCC
261] , T. Barai v. Henry Ah Hoe [(1983) 1 SCC
177], Hoechst Pharmaceuticals Ltd. v. State
of Bihar
[(1983) 4 SCC
45], LingappaPochannaAppelwar v. State of
Maharashtra [(1985) 1 SCC 479] and Vijay
Kumar Sharma v. State of Karnataka
[(1990) 2
SCC 562].”
34

45. After noticing the principles laid down by this Court

in above noted cases to find out repugnancy between law

made by State Legislature and that of Parliament, we need

to apply the above prepositions to find out as to whether

the provisions of Act, 1949 and the Rules framed

thereunder are inconsistent with constitutional

provisions as contained in Part IXA of the Constitution

of India.

46. We, now, proceed to notice the relevant

constitutional provisions contained in Part IXA. Article

243P is a definition clause. Article 243P(a) defines the

“Committee” in following words:-

“(a)”Committee” means a Committee constituted
under Article 243S;

47. Article 243(e) defines “Municipality” in following

words:-

“(e) “Municipality” means an institution of
self-government constituted under
Article 243Q;”

48. Article 243Q provides for constitution of
35

Municipalities. Article 243R deals with composition of

Municipalities, which is as follows:-

“243R. Composition of Municipalities—(1)
Save as provided in Clause (2), all the seats
in a Municipality shall be filled by persons
chosen by direct election from the
territorial constituencies in the Municipal
area and for this purpose each Municipal area
shall be divided into territorial
constituencies to be known as wards.

(2) The Legislature of a State may, by
law, provide –

(a) for the representation in a
Municipality of –

i. persons having special
knowledge or experience in Munici-
pal administration;

ii. the members of the House of
the People and the members of the
Legislative Assembly of the State
representing constituencies which
comprise wholly or partly the Mu-
nicipal area;

iii. the members of the Council
of States and the members of the
Legislative Council of the State
registered as electors within the
Municipal area;

iv. the Chairpersons of the Com-

mittees constituted under Clause
(5) of Article 243S:

Provided that the persons referred to in
paragraph (i) shall not have the right to
vote in the meeting of the Municipality;

36

b. the manner of election of the Chair-
person of a Municipality.”

49. Sub-article(1) of Article 243R contains two

constitutional requirements:- (i) all the seats in a

Municipality shall be filled by persons chosen by direct

election and (ii) from the territorial constituencies in

the Municipal area and for this purpose each Municipal

area shall be divided into territorial constituencies to

be known as wards. Sub-article (2) of Article 243R

provided for the representation in a municipality of four

categories of persons which is a constitutional

requirement required to be adopted by State Legislature.

It may be noted that sub-article(2) of Article 243R does

not deal with seats in the Municipalities, which shall be

filed up by persons chosen by direct election. Article

243ZA deals with elections to the Municipalities, thus,

direct election, as contemplated under Article 243R has

to be as per Article 243ZA. 243ZA(2) provides as

follows:-

“243ZA Elections to the Municipalities—

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
37

(2) Subject to the provisions of the Consti-

tution, the Legislature of a State may,
by law, make provision with respect to
all matters relating to, or in connec-
tion with, elections to the Municipali-
ties.”

50. Thus, the Legislature of a State may by lay has to

provide all matters relating to or in connection with

election to the Municipalities, which includes filling of

the seats in the Municipality by person chosen by direct

election. Articles 243R and 243ZA does not give any

indication as to whether from territorial constituency,

i.e., the Wards, whether only one member has to be

elected in the Municipality or it can be multiple member

constituency. The constitutional provisions of Article

243R, which provides for composition of Municipalities

and that of Article 243ZA does not give any indication to

the above. The provisions of Article 243ZG, which deals

with bar to interference by courts in electoral matters

throws some light. Article 243ZG is as follows:-

“243ZG Bar to interference by Courts in
electoral matters-Notwithstanding anything in
this Constitution,-

a. the validity of any law relating to
the delimitation of constituencies
38

or the allotment of seats to such
constituencies made or purporting to
be made under Article 243ZA shall
not be called in question in any
Court;

b. ………”

51. Article 243ZG(a) used two expressions: “any law

relating to the delimitation of constituencies or the

allotment of seats to such constituencies” may be read as

allotment of more than one seat to one constituency but

it can be said that the above provision also do not

provide that in one constituency, there may be more than

one seats.

52. Now, we turn to Article 243S, which is sheet anchor

of the argument of Shri Kapil Sibal, learned senior

counsel. Article 243S deals with Constitution and

Composition of Wards Committees. Article 243S is as

follows:-

“243S Constitution and composition of Wards
Committees, etc.—(1) There shall be
constituted Wards Committees, consisting of
one or more Wards, within the territorial
area of a Municipality having a population of
three lakhs or more.

(2) The Legislature of a State may, by law,
39

make provision with respect to –

a. the composition and the terri-

torial area of a Wards Commit-

tee;

b. the manner in which the seats
in a Wards Committee shall be
filled.

(3) A member of a Municipality representing a
ward within the territorial area of the Wards
Committee shall be a member of that
Committee.

(4) Where a Wards Committee consists of –

a. one ward, the member repre-

senting that ward in the Mu-

               nicipality; or


          b.   two or more wards, one of the
               members    representing    such
               wards   in   the   Municipality
               elected by the members of the
               Wards Committee,

               shall be the Chairperson    of
               that Committee.


(5) Nothing in this article shall be deemed
to prevent the Legislature of a State from
making any provision for the Constitution of
Committees in addition to the Wards
Committees.”

53. On sub-article(3) and sub-article (4) of Article 243S

great emphasis has been laid down. It is submitted by

Shri Sibal that sub-article (3) uses the expression “a
40

member of a Municipality representing a ward”. It is

submitted that the expression “a member” clearly means

that only one member shall represent a ward. He further

submits that sub-article (4) sub-clause(a) uses the

expression “the member representing that ward” which

again reinforces that one ward shall be represented by

only one member. On a first blush, the argument appears

to be attractive but when we carefully analysed the

extent and purpose of Article 243S, we do not find any

such limitation in provision of Article 243S, which

limits the State Legislature for requiring multi-member

seats in a Ward. Reverting to sub-article (3) of Article

243S, the requirement is that a member of the

Municipality representing a Ward shall be a member of the

Ward Committee. Thus, constitutional requirement or

limitation engrafted in sub-article(3) is that a member

of the Municipality representing a Ward shall be a member

of the Ward Committee. The provision of Article 243S(3)

is not a provision regarding composition of Municipality

rather the provision is for constitution and composition

of Wards Committee. In Wards Committee, a member

representing a Ward in Municipality has to be the member
41

sub-article(3) of Article 243S cannot be read to mean

that it mandates that from one Ward more than one members

cannot be made representatives. In cases, where there

are more than one member from one Ward all will become

the member of the Committee. When all the members of the

Municipality representing a Ward are members of the

Committee, there is no breach of Article 243S(3).

54. Now, we come to sub-article (4) of Article 243S.

Article 243S(4) is a provision indicating as to who shall

be the Chairperson of Wards Committee. Sub-article(4)

says that where Wards committee consists of one ward, the

when it consists of two or more wards, one of the members

representing such wards in the Municipality elected by

the members of the Wards Committee. Shri Sibal submits

that sub-article(4) of Article 243S uses the expression

“the member” which means that with regard to one Ward

only one member has to represent in the Municipality and

in case of multi-member Ward, no election is contemplated

to elect Chairperson with regard to one Ward and election

is contemplated to elect one person only when there are

two or more Wards. It is true that under sub-article (4)
42

(a), in case of one Ward member representing that Ward

shall be the Chairperson.

55. We may now examine, if there are multi-members in one

ward, whether Constitutional provisions of Article

243S(4) are breached when Chairperson is to be elected.

The requirement is that member representing the Ward

shall be the Chairperson of the Committee and if there

are more than one members and one member out of multi-

member Ward is elected as Chairperson, the provision of

Article 243S(4) shall be applied. When the

constitutional provisions under Article 243S(4)(a) does

not provide for election for electing Chairperson in case

of a multi-member Ward, the same is supplemented by the

State legislation. In the present case, we have noticed

that Rule 2(b) of Rules, 2007, which provides that

Chairperson of a Ward Committee is the person elected by

the members of the Wards Committee. The Rule, thus,

contemplate an election of Chairperson amongst the

members of the Wards Committee, which shall also be

applicable in a case where there are more than one

members from one Ward. When out of multiple members in a
43

Ward, one member is elected as Chairperson, the mandate

of Article 243S(4)(a) is complied with. The requirement

is that member representing the ward in the Municipality

shall be the Chairperson. The above provision cannot be

read in providing any prohibition or limitation that in

one Ward, there cannot be more than one member. The

composition of Municipality has been dealt separately by

Article 243R and for composition of Municipality, the

provisions of Article 243S cannot be said to be

applicable or intended to provide any limitation or

prohibition with regard to composition of the

Municipalities. The Rule 2(b) of Rules, 2007 which

provides for election of Chairperson, by following which

rule, in case of multi-member Ward, Chairperson can be

elected, which may apply both to Article 243S(4) as well

as Rule 2(b) of the Rules, 2007. Thus, Rules 4 and 5 of

Rules, 1994 as well as Rule 2(b) of Rules, 2007 does in

no manner disobey the mandate of Article 243S(4), both

can be complied with without any conflict between the two

different provisions. We, thus, come to the conclusion

that provisions of Section 5(3)(iii)(a) as well as Rules

4 and 5 of Rules, 1994 and Rule 2(b) of Rules, 2007 are
44

not inconsistent with provisions of Article 243S.

56. Now, we come to the cases, which have been relied by

Shri Kapil Sibal in support of his submissions. Shri

Sibal has placed reliance on judgment of this Court in

Manoj Narula Vs. Union of India, (2014) 9 SCC 1 for the

preposition that doctrine of implication has to be

applied to explain the constitutional concepts. He has

referred to paragraph 17 of the judgment, which is to the

following effect:-

“17. Recently, in Subramanian
Swamy v. CBI
[(2014) 8 SCC 682], the Consti-
tution Bench, speaking through R.M. Lodha,
C.J., while declaring Section 6-A of the
Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946,
which was inserted by Act 45 of 2003, as un-
constitutional, has opined that: (SCC pp.
725-26, para 59)

“59. It seems to us that clas-

sification which is made in Section
6-A
on the basis of status in the
government service is not permissi-

ble under Article 14 as it defeats
the purpose of finding prima facie
truth into the allegations of
graft, which amount to an offence
under the PC Act, 1988. Can there
be sound differentiation between
corrupt public servants based on
their status? Surely not, because
irrespective of their status or po-

sition, corrupt public servants are
45

corrupters of public power. The
corrupt public servants, whether
high or low, are birds of the same
feather and must be confronted with
the process of investigation and
inquiry equally. Based on the posi-

tion or status in service, no dis-

tinction can be made between public
servants against whom there are al-

legations amounting to an offence
under the PC Act, 1988.”

And thereafter, the larger Bench further
said: (SCC p. 726, para 60)

“60. Corruption is an enemy of
the nation and tracking down cor-

rupt public servants and punishing
such persons is a necessary mandate
of the PC Act, 1988. It is diffi-

cult to justify the classification
which has been made in Section 6-A
because the goal of law in the PC
Act
, 1988 is to meet corruption
cases with a very strong hand and
all public servants are warned
through such a legislative measure
that corrupt public servants have
to face very serious consequences.”
And again: (SCC pp. 730-31, paras 71-72)

“71. Office of public power
cannot be the workshop of personal
gain. The probity in public life is
of great importance. How can two
public servants against whom there
are allegations of corruption of
graft or bribe-taking or criminal
misconduct under the PC Act, 1988
can be made to be treated differ-

ently because one happens to be a
junior officer and the other, a se-

nior decision maker.

46

72. Corruption is an enemy of
nation and tracking down corrupt
public servant, howsoever high he
may be, and punishing such person
is a necessary mandate under the PC
Act
, 1988. The status or position
of public servant does not qualify
such public servant from exemption
from equal treatment. The decision-

making power does not segregate
corrupt officers into two classes
as they are common crimedoers and
have to be tracked down by the same
process of inquiry and investiga-

tion.”

57. No exception can be taken to the preposition laid

down by this Court as above. But this Court in

subsequent paragraph 71 while explaining the doctrine of

implication has held that this doctrine has its own

limitations. Interpretation has to have a base in the

Constitution. The relevant observations made in

Paragraph 71 are as follows:-

“71. …………………….Thus, the said principle
can be taken aid of for the purpose of inter-
preting constitutional provision in an expan-
sive manner. But, it has its own limitations.
The interpretation has to have a base in the
Constitution. The Court cannot rewrite a con-
stitutional provision. In this context, we
may fruitfully refer to Kuldip Nayar
case [Kuldip Nayar v. Union of India, (2006)
7 SCC 1] wherein the Court repelled the con-
tention that a right to vote invariably car-
ries an implied term i.e. the right to vote
in secrecy. The Court observed that where the
47

Constitution thought it fit to do so, it has
itself provided for elections by secret bal-
lot e.g. in the case of election of the Pres-
ident of India and the Vice-President of In-
dia. ……………………………………….”

58. In paragraph 72, the Court rejected the submission of

petitioner that while interpreting the words “advise of

the Prime Minister” a prohibition to think of a person as

a Minister, if charges have been framed against him

cannot be inferred. In paragraph 72, following has been

laid down:-

“72. Thus analysed, it is not possible
to accept the submission of Mr Dwivedi that
while interpreting the words “advice of the
Prime Minister” it can legitimately be
inferred that there is a prohibition to think
of a person as a Minister if charges have
been framed against him in respect of heinous
and serious offences including corruption
cases under the criminal law.

59. We have analysed the provisions of Article 243R, 243S

and have come to the definite conclusion that no

limitation in Article 243S can be found of which contains

any prohibition of having more than one member for a

Ward.

60. Next judgment relied by Shri Kapil Sibal is Chief

Justice of Andhra Pradesh and Others Vs. L.V.A. Dixitulu
48

and Ors., (1979) 2 SCC 34. In the above case, this Court

has reiterated the principles of interpretation of a

constitutional provision. In paragraphs 66 and 67

following has been laid down:-

“66. The primary principle of
interpretation is that a Constitutional or
statutory provision should be construed
“according to the intent of they that made
it” (Coke). Normally, such intent is gathered
from the language of the provision. If the
language or the phraseology employed by the
legislation is precise and plain and thus by
itself proclaims the legislative intent in
unequivocal terms, the same must be given
effect to, regardless of the consequences
that may follow. But if the words used in the
provision are imprecise, protean or evocative
or can reasonably bear meanings more than
one, the Rule of strict grammatical
construction ceases to be a sure guide to
reach at the real legislative intent. In such
a case, in order to ascertain the true
meaning of the terms and phrases employed, it
is legitimate for the Court to go beyond the
and literal confines of the provision and to
call in aid other well recognised rules of
construction, such as its
legislative/history, the basic scheme and
framework of the statute as a whole, each
portion throwing light on the rest, the
purpose of the legislation, the object sought
to be achieved, and the consequences that may
flow from the adoption of one in preference
to the other possible interpretation.

67. Where two alternative constructions
are possible, the court must choose the one
which will be in accord with the other parts
of the statute and ensure its smooth,
49

harmonious working, and eschew the other
which leads to absurdity, confusion, or
friction, contradiction and conflict between
its various provisions, or undermines, or
tends to defeat or destroy the basic scheme
and purpose of the enactment. These canons of
construction apply to the interpretation of
our Constitution with greater force, because
the Constitution is a living, integrated
organism having a soul and consciousness of
its own……………………………………”

61. There can be no dispute to the above preposition

which has been laid down for interpretation of a

constitutional provision. Applying the above principle

of interpretation on the Constitution, we may notice that

when the State Legislature has been given preliminary

power of legislation with regard to composition of the

Municipalities, there has to be express or implied

limitation, which may prohibit the State Legislature to

make a law providing for multi-member Ward.

62. Another judgment relied by Shri Sibal is M.T. Khan

and Ors. Vs. Govt. of A.P. and Ors., (2004) 2 SCC 267.

This Court in the above case had occasion to consider

Articles 165 and 367 of the Constitution. Article 367

provides that the General Clauses Act could be applied in

dealing with interpretation unless the context otherwise
50

requires. This Court held that the Advocate General

referred to in Article 165 cannot be read in plural

sense. The Advocate General discharges the

constitutional functions and if more than one person is

appointed to discharge the constitutional functions,

different Advocate Generals may act differently,

resulting in a chaos. The office of Advocate General is

a public office, hence, Additional Advocate General

appointed by the State cannot be said to have been

appointed under Article 165 but that appointment has to

be traced to the source of the State’s power under

Article 162 of the Constitution of India. No exception

can be taken to the preposition as laid down by this

Court in the above judgment. Similarly, in Karnataka

Bank Ltd. Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh and Ors., (2008) 2

SCC 254. This Court held that the definition of person

under Section 3(42) of the General Clauses Act is not

applicable automatically to interpret the provision of

the Constitution unless the context so requires and makes

the definition applicable. Again, there can be no

dispute to the preposition as laid down in the above

case.

51

63. We, in the present case, after analysing the relevant

provisions of Part IXA of the Constitution has come to

the conclusion that there is no prohibition or limitation

in Part IXA of the Constitution prohibiting the State

Legislature from making a law providing for election of

more than one member from one territorial constituency,

i.e., Ward.

64. We, thus, answer Question Nos.1 and 2 in following

manner:-

(1) Article 243R and 243S of the Constitution of In-

dia does not contain any limitation to the ef-

fect that there shall be only one member from

one Ward.

(2) Provisions of Section 5(3)(iii)(a) and Section

29A of the Act, 1949 and Rules 4 and 5 of the

Rules, 1994 and Rule 2(b) of Rules, 2007 are not

ultra vires to the provisions of Articles 243R

and 243S of the Constitution.

Question No.3
52

65. The submission of Shri Sibal is that having more than

one representative from a Ward negates the very concept

of empowerment of weaker sections, i.e., women, Scheduled

Castes and Scheduled Tribes. He submits that when there

is only one member from a Ward and if the Ward is

reserved for women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled

Tribes, it is empowerment of women, Scheduled Caste and

Scheduled Tribes and if there are 4 members in a Ward,

women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes shall not be

able to effectively espouse the cause of weaker sections.

The Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill No.159

of 1991 which was introduced in the Lok Sabha for

inserting Part IX in the Constitution, in paragraph 2

stated:

“2. Having regard to these inadequacies,
it is considered necessary that provisions
relating to Urban Local Bodies are
incorporated in the Constitution particularly
for-

(i) putting on a former footing
the relationship between the State
Government and the Urban Local Bodies
with respect to-

                  (a)    the    functions                and
              taxation powers; and

                     (b) arrangements for revenue
                                                                             53

                   sharing;

                  (ii) ensuring           regular    conduct     of
              elections;

(iii) ensuring timely elections in
the case of supersession; and

(iv) providing adequate
representations for the weaker
sections like Scheduled Castes,
Scheduled Tribes and women.”

66. Article 243T of the Constitution of India included in

Part IXA, provides for reservation of seats. The

provision in the Constitution for providing reservation

of seats is a provision for empowering the women,

Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The Gujarat

Delimitation of Wards and Allocation of Reserved Seats in

Municipal Borough Rules, 1994 has been amended by

Amendment Rules, 2015. Clauses 2 and 3 of which provide

as follows:

“2. In the Delimitation of Wards and alloca-
tion of Reserved Seats in Municipal Bor-
ough Rules, 1994 (hereinafter referred
to the “the said rules”), in rule 4, for
the word “three”, the word “four” shall
be substituted.

3. In the said rules, for rule 5, the fol-

lowing rule shall be substituted,
namely:-

54

“5. (1) In each Ward two seats
shall be reserved for women (includ-
ing seats to be reserved for women
belonging to the Scheduled Castes,
Scheduled Tribes and Backward
Classes) and the remaining seats
shall be allocated taking into con-
sideration the requirement of reser-
vation as provided under Section 6
of the said Act.

(2) While determining the number of
seats to be reserved for the differ-
ent reserved categories as provided
in sub-rule (1);-

(a) if it is not feasible
to exactly divide the number
of seats evenly, then, after
such division the remaining
one seat, or

(b) if in case only one
seat is required to be re-

served for any of the reserved
categories, then, such seat,

Shall first be allocated to a male
candidate and then a women by rota-
tion in the general elections to be
held after coming into force of the
Delimitation of Wards and Allocation
of Reserved Seats in Municipal Bor-
ough (Amendment) Rules, 2015″.”

67. As per above provision now it is 4 member Ward, 2

seats are to be reserved for women including seats

reserved for women belonging to Scheduled Castes,

Scheduled Tribes and Back Ward Classes.

55

68. This Court in Kasambhai F. Ghanchi vs. Chandubhai D.

Rajput and others, (1998) 1 SCC 285, had held that the

idea of providing reservation for the benefit of weaker

sections of the society is not only to ensure their

participation but it is an effort to improve their lot.

Following observations were made in paragraph 13:

“13. The idea of providing reservation for
the benefit of weaker sections of the society
is not only to ensure their participation in
the conduct of the affairs of the
municipality but it is an effort to improve
their lot. The reservation ensures that the
specified minimum number of persons belonging
to that category become members of the
municipality. If because of their popularity
a larger number of Scheduled Castes,
Scheduled Tribes, Backward Classes or women
get elected to the municipality than the
number of reserved seats that would be
welcome. ……………”

69. The entire purpose and object of reserving seats for

weaker sections is to empower the weaker sections, i.e.,

women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, when there

are more numbers are reserved for weaker sections their

participation in municipality is bound to increase giving

strength to their voice and effective participation which

is nothing but empowerment of weaker sections. We are not

able to subscribe to the submission of Shri Sibal that
56

when there are only one representation from one Ward only

then empowerment of weaker sections can be made. By the

Rules, 1994 as amended in 2015 now the voice of weaker

sections can be felt from every Ward which clearly

enhances of presence and participation of weaker sections

and does not, in any manner, negate the empowerment of

weaker sections. We, thus, do not find any substance in

the above submission of Shri Sibal.

70. We answer Question No.3 in the following manner:

Having more than one representation from a

Ward in no manner negates the empowerment of

weaker sections rather it increases the

empowerment of weaker sections.

Question No.4

71. The submission of Shri Sibal is that before expiry of

30 days from the date of publication of notification

dated 27.11.2014, the notification has been issued on

04.12.2014 itself which is illegal. He submits that

notification dated 04.12.2014 has been issued without
57

considering the objection which was contemplated to be

filed within 30 days. The notification dated 27.11.2014

as well as notification dated 04.12.2014 has been brought

on record as Annexure P-1 and Annexure P-2 to the paper

book. It is useful to notice the notification dated

27.11.2014 along with draft notification which is to the

following effect:

“NOTIFICATION
Urban Development and Urban Housing
Department,
Sachivalaya, Gandhinagar

Dated: 27.11.2014

No.KV/184 of 2014/MISC/102014/5640/P:- The
following draft of rules which is proposed to
be issued under sub-section (1) of section
456
, read with section 5 of the Gujarat
Provincial Municipal Corporations Act, 1949
(Born.LIX of 1949) is hereby published as
required by subsection (2) of the said
section 456 of the said Act, for
informatioria all persons likely to be
affected thereby and notice is hereby given
that the said draft rules will be taken into
consideration by the Government of Gujarat on
or after the expiry of thirty days from the
date of publication of this notification in
the Official Gazette.

2 Any objection or suggestion which may be
received by the Additional Chief Secretary to
the Government of Gujarat, Urban Development
and Urban Housing Department, Sachivalaya,
Gandhinagar, from any person with respect to
the said draft notification before the expiry
of the aforesaid period will be considered by
58

the Government.

DRAFT NOTIFICATION

No. KV/184 of 2014/MISC/102014/5640/P:- In
exercise of the powers conferred by sub-
section (1) of section 456 read with section
5 of the Gujarat Provincial Municipal
Corporations Act, 1949 (Born. LIX of 1949),
the Government of Gujarat hereby makes the
following rules further to amend the
Delimitation of Wards and Allocation of
Reserved Seats Rules, 1994, namely:-

1. These rules may be called the
Delimitation of Wards and Allocation of
Reserved Seats (Amendment) Rules, 2014.

2. In the Delimitation of Wards and
Allocation of Reserved Seats Rules, 1994
(hereinafter referred to as “the said
rules”), in rule 4, for the word “three”,
the word “four” shall be substituted.

3. In the said rules, for rule 5, the
following rule shall be substituted,
namely:-

“5.(1) In each ward two
seats shall be reserved for
women (including seats to be
reserved for women belonging
to the Scheduled Castes,
Scheduled Tribes and
Backward Classes) and the
remaining seats shall be
allocated taking into
consideration the
requirement of reservation
as provided under section 5
of the said Act.

       (2)   While   determining   the
                                                      59

             number   of   seats   to   be
             reserved for the different
             reserved    categories     as
             provided in sub-rule (1),-

               (a) if    it    is    not
               feasible     to   exactly
               divide the number of
               seats evenly then after
               such     division     the
               remaining one seat, or

               (b) if in case only one
               seat is required to be
               reserved for any of the
               reserved     categories,
               then, such seat-

       shall first be allocated to a male

candidate and then a woman by rotation in
the general elections to be held after
coming into force of the Delimitation of
Wards and Allocation of Reserved Seats
(Amendment) Rules, 2014.”

4. In the said rules, in rule 8, for the
words, brackets and figures “recognized
for the purposes of Representation of
Peoples Act, 1951 (43 of 1951)”, the
words “registered with the State Election
Commission” shall be substituted.

By order and in the name of the Governor
of Gujarat,

(Ashoksinh Parmar)
Deputy Secretary to Government.”

72. A perusal of the above notification indicates that
60

the said notification was a draft notification to amend

the Delimitation of Wards and Allocation of Reserved

Seats (Amendment) Rules, 2014 wherein Rule 4, for the

word “three”, the word “four” was sought to be

substituted.

73. The notification dated 04.12.2014 has been issued in

exercise of powers conferred by sub-clause (a) of clause

(iii) of sub-section (3) of Section 5 of Act, 1949. The

notification dated 04.12.2014 reads:

“NOTIFICATION
Urban Development and Urban Housing
Department Sachivalaya.

Gandhinagar.

Dated the 4th December, 2014

No.KV-194 of 2014 -ELE – 102014 – 1701 – P:
WHEREAS the Government of Gujarat in
exercise of powers conferred by sub-clause

(a) of clause (iii) of sub-section (3) of
section 5 read with sub-sections (4), (5),
(6) and (7) of the said section 5 of the
Gujarat Provincial Municipal Corporations
Act, 1949(Born. LIX of 1949) (hereinafter
referred to as “the said Act”) under the
Government Notification, Urban Development
and Urban Housing Department No.KV-47 of
2010-ELE102009-526-P, dated the 23rd March,
2010 has determined the numbers of Wards and
Councillors, numbers of Seats reserved for
Scheduled Tribes, Backward Classes and Women
for the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation.

61

AND WHEREAS, the number of Wards and
Councillors, number of seats to be reserved
for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes,
Backward Classes and Women is required to be
ascertained in accordance with the figures of
the population as declared on the basis of
Census-2011 as also in view of the provisions
of section 5 of the said Act;

AND WHEREAS, the General Election of the
Municipal Corporation of the City of the
Ahmedabad is to be held;

NOW, THEREFORE, in exercise of the powers
conferred by sub-clause (a) of clause (iii)
of sub-section (3) of section 5 read with
sub-sectoins (4), (5), (6) and of the said
section 5 of the said Act, so far as the City
of Ahmedabad is concerned, the Government of
Gujarat hereby determines the numbers of
Wards and Seats as follows:-

1. The areas of the City of
Ahmedabad shall be divided into
Forty-eight (48) Wards and the
Municipal Corporation of the City
of Ahmedabad shall consist of
One Hundred and Ninety – two
(192) Councillors;

2. Out of One Hundred and Ninety-two
(192) Seats-

(i) Twenty (20) Seats shall
be reserved for
persons belonging to the
Scheduled Castes out
of which Ten(10) Seats
shall be reserved for
women belonging to
the Scheduled Castes;

         (ii) Two(2)   Seats   shall   be
                                                                 62

                 reserved     for     the
                    persons   belonging    to
                 the Scheduled Tribes out
                 of    which   One(1)    seat
                 shall be    reserved     for
                 women belonging to the
                    Scheduled Tribes;

             (iii)Nineteen    (19)   Seats
                 shall be reserved for
                 the persons belonging to
                 the    Backward   Classes
                 out of which Nine(9)
                   Seats shall be reserved
                 for women belonging    to
                 Backward Classes;

             (iv) Ninety-six   (96)    Seats
                  shall be   reserved    for
                  the women (including the
                    number     of      seats
                  reserved for the women
                    belonging to Scheduled
                  Castes,    Scheduled
                  Tribes and the Backward
                    Classes referred to as
                  above).

By order and in name of the Governor of Gujarat.

(Ashoksinh Parmar)
Deputy Secretary to Government.”

74. A bare perusal of the notification dated 04.12.2014

indicates that the said notification is not in reference

to the notification dated 27.11.2014 rather the said

notification was issued regarding determination of number

of Wards and Councillors’ seats reserved for Scheduled
63

Castes and Scheduled Tribes and women. Thus, the argument

that notification dated 04.12.2014 issued before expiry

of 30 days is wholly misconceived. The appellants

themselves have brought on record a notification dated

15.01.2015 as Annexure P-9 to the paper book which is the

notification issued in reference to the notification

dated 27.11.2014. Notification dated 15.01.2015 reads:

“NOTIFICATION
Government of Gujarat
Urban Development and Urban Housing
Department
Sachivalaya, Gandhinagar
Dated 15th January, 2015

NO.KV-38 of 2015 – MISC – 102014 – 564- – P:
WHEREAS, the certain draft rules were
published as required by sub-section (2) of
section 456 of the Gujarat Provincial
Municipal Corporations Act, 1949 (Bom. LIX of
1949), at pages 76-1 and 76-2, Part I-A, in
the Central Section of the Gujarat Government
Gazette, Extra Ordinary, dated the 27th
November, 2014 under the Government
Notification, Urban Development and Urban
Housing Department No.KV/184 of 2014,
inviting objections or suggestions from all
persons likely to be affected thereby, within
a period of thirty days from the date of
publication of the said notification in the
Official Gazette.

Xxx xxx xxx xxxx”

75. Thus, in reference to notification dated 27.11.2014,

the notification was issued on 15.01.2015,Rules, namely,
64

Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporation (Delimitation of

Wards in the City and Allocation of Reserved Seats)

(Amendment) Rules, 2015 were issued which specifically

mentioned that objections and suggestions in pursuance of

draft have been considered by the Government. We, thus,

do not find any infirmity in the above notification.

76. In view of the above discussion, we answer Question

No.3 in the following manner:

Notification dated 04.12.0214 being not in

reference to notification dated 27.11.2014

which notification was on entirely different

subject, there is no illegality in issuing

notification dated 04.12.2014.

77. We having found that the provisions of Section 5(3)

(iii)(a) and Section 29A of Act, 1949 and Rule 4 and 5 of

Rules, 1994 and Rule 2(b) of Rules, 2007 are not ultra

vires to Part IXA of the Constitution, the Division Bench

of the High Court did not commit any error in dismissing

the writ petition filed by the appellants. We, thus, do

not find any merit in the Civil Appeal arising out of

SLP(C)No.24950 of 2015 and the Writ Petition (C)No.786 of

2020. Hence, the civil appeal and writ petition are
65

dismissed.

Civil Appeal (arising out of SLP(C)No.30635 of 2015-State
Election Commission vs. Virendrasinh Mafaji Vaghela &
Ors.)

78. The appeal has been filed against the Division Bench

judgment of the Gujarat High Court dated 21.10.2015 by

which writ petition filed by the respondents was allowed.

The High Court in paragraph 72 has issued directions

which we have noted above. The High Court found the

Ordinance No.3 of 2015 as unconstitutional and void. The

action of the State Election Commission for postponement

of the election of all local bodies in the State was held

to be illegal and set aside. The State Election

Commission was directed to initiate process of holding

the election of the local bodies forthwith. In pursuance

of the Division Bench judgment of the High Court dated

21.10.2015 Elections for the local bodies were held in

November/December, 2015. The direction of the Division

Bench dated 21.10.2015 having been carried out nothing

remains to be decided in this appeal. The tenure of the

Local Body constituted in pursuance of the impugned

direction of the High Court dated 21.10.2015 having come

to end, we see no necessity to enter into issue raised in
66

this appeal. Thus, the appeal is dismissed as having

become infructuous.

………………..J.

(Ashok Bhushan)

………………..J.

(R.Subhash Reddy)

New Delhi, ………………..J.

February 24, 2021. (M.R. Shah)



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