Sunday, 21 February 2021

Whether the court can permit a municipal councillor to withdraw her resignation only because she was depressed due to a fight with her husband?

 The Commissioner of the Respondent No. 2 Corporation is not

empowered in law to allow the Petitioner to withdraw her resignation only because the

Petitioner was angry and depressed due to a fight with her husband. Even her being an

active social worker, or being at the forefront during the current pandemic to help the

needy would not come to her rescue in light of S. 7 quoted above, dealing with

‘resignation of ofce by councillor’. In view of her seat having fallen vacant

immediately upon receipt of her Letter of Resignation, the fact that the Commissioner

of the Respondent No.2 Corporation did not mention that the Petitioner had

withdrawn her Resignation Letter dated 26th October, 2020, by her subsequent Letter

dated 3rd November, 2020, in his Letter dated 2nd December, 2020, addressed to

Respondent No. 1 – State of Maharashtra and / or to the Respondent No. 3 – State

Election Commission, can by no means be termed as malafde, or vindictive conduct

on his part, since the subsequent withdrawal of her resignation is of no consequence as

her seat stood vacant immediately on 26th October, 2020, i.e. upon receipt of her

Resignation Letter by the Commissioner of the Respondent No. 2 Corporation in view

of Section 7 of the Act. The question therefore of any interference by this Court

under Article-226 of the Constitution of India, as sought by the Petitioner, does not

arise and the above Writ Petition is dismissed with costs.

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

WRIT PETITION NO.53 OF 2021

Farzana Ismail Rangrez (Mirchi) Vs The State of Maharashtra 


CORAM : S.J. KATHAWALLA, & R.I.CHAGLA, JJ.

DATE : 7TH JANUARY, 2021


1. By the above Writ Petition, the Petitioner - Farzana Ismail Rangrez

(Mirchi) is seeking a direction against the Respondent No. 2 – Municipal Corporation

of Bhiwandi, Nizampur, to permit the Petitioner to withdraw her Resignation Letter

dated 26th October, 2020 tendered by her as the Commissioner of the Respondent No.

2 Corporation.

2. The Petitioner has in her Writ Petition made the following submissions,

which are reiterated by the Learned Senior Advocate appearing for the Petitioner :

2.1. That the Petitioner is an active social worker. She has conducted various


medical camps and blood donation camps and was also in the forefront during the

pandemic situation helping all those in need.

2.2. That the Petitioner as a candidate of the Indian National Congress

(Congress-I) was elected by a huge margin as the Councilor of Respondent No. 2

Corporation from Ward No. 25 for a term of fve years, i.e. 2012-2017.

2.3. That the Petitioner once again contested the election from Ward No. 9B

for the period 2017-22 as ‘A’ candidate of the Indian National Congress (Congress-I)

and was again elected as Councilor of Respondent No. 2 Corporation by a huge

margin.

2.4. That the Petitioner is a short tempered person and gets angry very soon

and at times goes into depression. The Petitioner is not in a position to understand the

acts performed by her whilst she is in anger.

2.5. That on 25th October, 2020, she had a quarrel with her husband because

of which she was very angry followed by depression and therefore immediately on the

next date i.e. on 26th October, 2020, she went to the Ofce of Respondent No. 2

Corporation and tendered her resignation as the Councilor of Respondent No. 2

Corporation. In the said Letter dated 26th October, 2020, the Petitioner recorded that

she is not tendering her resignation under any pressure but is giving her resignation of

her own free will and volition and the same be accepted.

2.6. That after her husband and other family members came to know about

the said resignation, they pacifed the Petitioner and tried to cool her down. The


Petitioner after cooling down realized the blunder committed by her and on 3rd

November, 2020 she issued a letter to the Respondent No. 2 Corporation with a

request to permit her to withdraw the Letter dated 26th October, 2020 and not to take

any action in pursuance thereto.

2.7. That on 3rd November, 2020, the Commissioner of the Respondent No.

2 Corporation called the Petitioner in his Ofce at 5.30 p.m. and the statement of the

Petitioner came to be recorded stating that under depression she had tendered the

Resignation Letter dated 26th October, 2020 and that she may be permitted to

withdraw the same. The recording of the said statement was videographed pursuant to

the direction of the Commissioner of the Respondent No. 2 Corporation.

2.8. That after submitting the Letter dated 3rd November, 2020, the

Petitioner carried an impression that the Resignation Letter dated 26th October, 2020

tendered by her stood withdrawn. The Petitioner was shocked and surprised when on

2nd December, 2020 she learnt that the Respondent No. 2 Corporation had issued a

letter to the Respondent No. 1 – State of Maharashtra, through its Town Planning

Department to take action as per the provisions of the Maharashtra Municipal

Corporations Act, 1959 (‘the Act’). The Respondent No. 2 Corporation also issued an

identical letter to the Respondent No. 3 – State Election Commission and therefore

the Petitioner is of the view that Respondent No. 3 may hold an election for flling up

the vacant post.

2.9. That the Respondent No.2 Corporation has not mentioned about the


Letter dated 3rd November, 2020 written by the Petitioner seeking to withdraw her

Letter of Resignation dated 26th October, 2020 to Respondent No. 1, or Respondent

No. 3, which clearly shows that Respondent No. 2 Corporation is acting vindictively

and malafdely against the Petitioner.

2.10. That Respondent No. 3 ought to have considered that the resignation

tendered by the Petitioner was under anger and depression and immediately after

cooling down, the Petitioner vide her Letter dated 3rd November, 2020, sought to

withdraw her letter of Resignation dated 26th October, 2020.

2.11. That the Commissioner of the Respondent No. 2 Corporation failed to

consider that the term of the Councilor would come to an end in the year 2022 and

thereafter fresh election would be held and therefore it is not be in the interest of

anyone to hold an election at this stage for only one seat, thereby involving the entire

machinery in the election process and also incur a huge expense.

2.12. That the Commissioner of the Respondent No. 2 Corporation has not

taken into consideration that she has been elected for two consecutive terms as

Councilor; that she is an active social worker who has conducted various medical

camps and has helped the needy persons during the pandemic. Respondent No. 2

Corporation therefore ought to have permitted the Petitioner to withdraw the

Resignation Letter dated 26th October, 2020. The Petitioner has therefore approached

this Court seeking reliefs as sought in paragraph (1) above.

3. We have perused the above Writ Petition and the submissions made


therein, which are also reiterated by the Learned Senior Advocate appearing for the

Petitioner.

4. Chapter - II of the Act pertains to the constitution of the Municipal

Authorities. Section 7 of the said Chapter – II pertains to Resignation of the

Councilor, and reads thus :

“7. Resignation of offe e focnficcolor.

Any councillor may resign his ofce at any time by notice

in writing to the Commissioner and, on such notice being

given, his ofce shall become vacant as from the date of the

notice.”

The above provision makes it clear beyond any doubt, that upon any Councilor issuing

a notice in writing to the Commissioner of the Corporation, conveying his / her

resignation to the ofce of such Councilor, upon such notice being given / handed

over, the seat of the Councilor forthwith becomes vacant i.e. from the date of the

notice itself. There is no provision made in the above quoted Section 7 for the

Councilor to withdraw his / her resignation at a later date, the same having been

accepted immediately upon it being tendered under the law. It is not the case of the

Petitioner that she has in her Letter of Resignation stated that her resignation would

come into efect from a subsequent date mentioned in her Resignation Letter. If such

would have been the case, the Petitioner certainly would have been able to withdraw

her resignation prior to such date, her seat not having fallen vacant from the date of


her letter / notice.

5. The Commissioner of the Respondent No. 2 Corporation is not

empowered in law to allow the Petitioner to withdraw her resignation only because the

Petitioner was angry and depressed due to a fight with her husband. Even her being an

active social worker, or being at the forefront during the current pandemic to help the

needy would not come to her rescue in light of S. 7 quoted above, dealing with

‘resignation of ofce by councillor’. In view of her seat having fallen vacant

immediately upon receipt of her Letter of Resignation, the fact that the Commissioner

of the Respondent No.2 Corporation did not mention that the Petitioner had

withdrawn her Resignation Letter dated 26th October, 2020, by her subsequent Letter

dated 3rd November, 2020, in his Letter dated 2nd December, 2020, addressed to

Respondent No. 1 – State of Maharashtra and / or to the Respondent No. 3 – State

Election Commission, can by no means be termed as malafde, or vindictive conduct

on his part, since the subsequent withdrawal of her resignation is of no consequence as

her seat stood vacant immediately on 26th October, 2020, i.e. upon receipt of her

Resignation Letter by the Commissioner of the Respondent No. 2 Corporation in view

of Section 7 of the Act. The question therefore of any interference by this Court

under Article-226 of the Constitution of India, as sought by the Petitioner, does not

arise and the above Writ Petition is dismissed with costs.

(R.I.CHAGLA, J. ) ( S.J. KATHAWALLA, J. )


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