HYDERABAD: A division bench of the Telangana High Court faulted the single judge’s order giving three days’ time to Jubilee Hills Cooperative House Building Society secretary A. Murali Mukund to explore legal remedies against the no-confidence motion moved by the society managing committee.
The bench comprising acting Chief Justice M. S. Ramachandra Rao and Justice T. Vinod Kumar observed that ‘the learned single judge could not have granted any stay of the proceedings (of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies calling for a meeting to proceed on the no-confidence motion) for three days at all’.
Earlier, Justice T. Amarnath Goud, while hearing a contempt petition, gave three days breather to Murali Mukund. The bench also faulted the single judge for widening the scope of the contempt petition by considering the no-confidence matter when the contempt petition pertained to other issues.
The bench referred to the Supreme Court’s observations, in the case of K. Arumugam vs. V. Balakrishnan and others, that while exercising contempt jurisdiction, the court had to confine itself to the four corners of the order alleged to have been disobeyed and it could travel beyond it, and it was not open to pass any order or direction supplemental to what had been already expressed.
Further, the division bench said it appeared as if the earlier orders passed by the bench on the society matter were attempted to be nullified by the single judge as if the former had no effect at all. “We do not appreciate this,” the division bench pointed out. It also allowed the letter patent appeal filed by the society president B. Ravindranath against the single judge’s order.
Significantly, the division bench’s verdict raised questions over the decision of the State Cooperative Tribunal to nullify the no-confidence motion against Mukund because it relied mainly on the single judge’s three-day breather. The tribunal stayed the removal of the secretary on the grounds that the RCS went ahead with the no-confidence motion despite the single judge giving three days’ time to the secretary to explore the legal remedies.