Revival of Nagari Pracharini Sabha: High Court Upholds Newly Elected Management Committee's Victory

Revival of Nagari Pracharini Sabha: High Court Upholds Newly Elected Management Committee's Victory

Feb. 26, 2024, 8:14 a.m.

The Allahabad High Court has given a landmark judgement that will help in revival of Nagari Pracharini Sabha, the oldest institution of Hindi with rich past of works on Nepal as well.

“The judgement will have a very positive impact on the cultural-literary sphere of Banaras. In the coming times, we will see it hosting some remarkable cultural/literary programs (participated by all of us),” said a petitioner.

In a landmark decision, the Allahabad High Court has put an end to the long-standing dispute within Nagari Pracharini Sabha, the oldest institution of Hindi.

The single bench of Justice Saurabh Srivastava, in an eight-page verdict, dismissed the petition of the opposing party and officially recognized the management committee led by Vyomesh Shukla, victorious in the elections conducted by the district administration. The legal representation for Vyomesh Shukla was provided by the esteemed advocate Kunal Shah, while senior advocate Ashok Khare appeared on behalf of the petitioners.

The chronology of events leading to this historic decision is as follows:

The conflict over the management committee of Nagari Pracharini Sabha had been ongoing since 2015, presided over by the Sub-District Magistrate, Sadar, Varanasi. Two self-proclaimed authentic management committees existed, each claiming legitimacy.

In 2020, Vyomesh Shukla, a prominent Hindi poet and renowned cultural activist, sought to be involved in the case. The court, in its decision, declared both existing managing committees as illegitimate and null, mandating new elections based on the membership list of 2004-2007 (28.03.2022).

One party contested the decision of the Sub-District Magistrate by filing a writ in the High Court (Writ – C, No – 11607 of 2022). The High Court, through an interim order, facilitated the elections but explicitly stated that the determination of 'effective control' over the institution would only be decided after the final judgment in the case (29.04.2022).

On June 9, 2022, the district administration conducted elections amid tight security at the Rifle Club, for 19 posts as ordered by the High Court, with the votes securely stored, pending the final decision. Subsequent interim orders led to the counting of votes, resulting in the election of Vyomesh Shukla as the Prime Minister and Professor Anuradha Banerjee as the President. However, the final verdict was pending, keeping all departments of the organization closed (April 6, 2023).

Following the December 22, 2023 debate, the High Court issued its decisive judgment on February 24, 2024, favouring Vyomesh Shukla and the newly elected management committee. The court recognized the election results, dismissing the opposing petition and granting control of the organization to the elected committee.

In its ruling, the High Court emphasized that the announcement of election results should not be delayed through frivolous lawsuits and complaints. The petition was rejected as deemed futile.

With this legal resolution, all departments of the organization, including the Aryabhasha Library, are now poised to reopen. Hindi enthusiasts, readers, and researchers can once again access the institution, which has been closed for an extended period.

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