election petition

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JUDICIAL INDISCIPLINE and disregard =The judge clearly ignored that the law declared by this Court is binding on all courts within the territory of India under Article 141 of the Constitution of India, and judicial discipline required him to follow the mandate of the Constitution. He entered into an impermissible exercise, and deleted the votes received by the appellant which he considered to be tainted votes. It is quite shocking to see that the learned judge has proceeded to delete the votes of the appellant from 8 polling stations, although the grievance was only about Ruhi and Roing polling stations. By making these deductions, he came to the conclusion that the respondent No. 1 had received 826 votes more. As can be seen from paragraph 28 of the judgment, rendered in Civil Appeal No. 1539 of 2012, that at best the case of the first respondent was that there were double entries of voters in 1304 names. The allegation was only with respect to two polling stations. In those polling stations, the appellant had received 1873 votes. Even if these 1304 votes were to be deleted, it would not affect the result materially since the appellant had won with a margin of 2713 votes. The learned judge, therefore, ignored that even if the ground of improper reception of votes under section 100(1)(d)(iii) was to be taken, the respondent no.1 had failed to establish that the result of the election of the appellant had been materially affected by such improper reception of votes. The decision of the learned judge was therefore clearly flawed and untenable. – Thus, the learned judge went into the counterfoils of the voters inspite of the fact that this court had already ruled in the judgment in C.A. 1539 of 2010, that in the facts of the present case, no case was made out for calling of the counterfoils. – Thereafter, however he proceeded to act exactly contrary to the direction emanating from the dismissal of M.C. (EP) No. 5 (AP) of 2010, which amounts to nothing but judicial indiscipline and disregard to the mandate of Article 141 of the Constitution of India. This is shocking, to say the least, and most unbecoming of a judge holding a high position such as that of a High Court Judge. We fail to see as to what made the judge act in such a manner, though we refrain from going into that aspect. = it is unfortunate that such acts of judicial impropriety are repeated inspite of clear judgments of this court on the significance of Article 141 of the Constitution. Thus, in a judgment by a bench of three judges in Dwarikesh Sugar Industries Ltd. v. Prem Heavy Engineering Works (P) Ltd. and Anr., reported in (1997) 6 SCC 450, this court observed, “32. When a position, in law, is well settled as a result of judicial pronouncement of this Court, it would amount to judicial impropriety to say the least, for the subordinate courts including the High Courts to ignore the settled decisions and then to pass a judicial order which is clearly contrary to the settled legal position. Such judicial adventurism cannot be permitted and we strongly deprecate the tendency of the subordinate courts in not applying the settled principles and in passing whimsical orders which necessarily has the effect of granting wrongful and unwarranted relief to one of the parties. It is time that this tendency stops.” We may as well refer to Para 28 of the State of West Bengal & Ors. v. Shivanand Pathak and Ors., reported in (1998) 5 SCC 513, wherein this court observed, “If a judgment is overruled by the higher court, the judicial discipline requires that the judge whose judgment is overruled must submit to the judgment. He cannot, in the same proceedings or in collateral proceedings between the same parties, rewrite the overruled judgment…” 28. In the circumstances, we have no option but to allow this appeal and set aside the impugned judgment and order rendered by the learned judge of Gauhati High Court dated 12.11.2012. The Election Petition filed by the respondent no. 1, bearing Election Petition No. 1(AP) of 2009, renumbered as Election Petition No. 1 (AP) of 2012, shall stand dismissed. The parties will bear their own costs.

Page 1     Reportable IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION Civil Appeal No. 8260 OF 2012 Markio Tado … Appellant Versus Takam Sorang … Respondents J U D G E M E N T H.L. Gokhale J. This statutory appeal under Section 116A of the Representation of the People’s Act, 1951, seeks … Continue reading

Order 6 Rule 16 of Code of Civil Procedure (CPC)- Madhya Pradesh High Court (Bench at Indore) allowing the application filed by the first respondent under Order 6 Rule 16 of Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) being I.A No. 7248/2012 for striking off certain pleadings from the Recrimination Petition filed by the Appellant herein.= a defective affidavit is not a sufficient ground for summary dismissal of an election petition as the provisions of Section 83 of the Act are not mandatorily to be complied with nor did the same make a petition invalid as an affidavit can be allowed to be filed at a later stage or so. this Court held that non-compliance with Section 83 is not a ground for dismissal of an election petition under Section 86 and the defect, if any, is curable = In view of what is stated above, the order passed by the learned Single Judge in allowing the application of the first respondent under Order 6 Rule 16 of CPC was clearly untenable and bad in law. The learned Single Judge of the High Court could not have entertained the application under Order 6 Rule 16 when this Court had restored the Recrimination Petition to the file of that Court by consent in order to decide it expeditiously. The learned Judge has erred in holding that the pleadings in paragraph 3 and 4 of the Recrimination Petition were vague, vexatious, non-specific and without any material facts. The appeal is therefore allowed. The impugned order is set-aside. The learned Judge of the High Court will now proceed to decide the Recrimination Petition as filed by the petitioner expeditiously. The parties will bear their own cost of litigation.

Page 1 REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3840/2013 Arising Out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 38061 of 2012 Smt. Neena Vikram Verma … Appellant Versus Balmukund Singh Gautam & Ors. … Respondent (s) J U D G E M E N T H.L. Gokhale J. Leave Granted. … Continue reading

Order VI Rule 16 and Order VII Rule 11 of the CPC. = whether, to maintain an election petition, it is imperative for an election petitioner to file an affidavit in terms of Order VI Rule 15(4) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 in support of the averments made in the election petition in addition to an affidavit (in a case where resort to corrupt practices have been alleged against the returned candidate) as required by the proviso to Section 83(1) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. In our opinion, there is no such mandate in the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and a reading of P.A. Mohammed Riyas v. M.K. Raghavan & Ors., (2012) 5 SCC 511 which suggests to the contrary, does not lay down correct law to this limited extent. Another question that has arisen is that if an affidavit filed in support of the allegations of corrupt practices of a returned candidate is not in the statutory Form No. 25 prescribed by the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, whether the election petition is liable to be summarily dismissed. In our opinion, as long as there is substantial compliance with the statutory form, there is no reason to summarily dismiss an election petition on this ground. However, an opportunity must be given to the election petitioner to cure the defect. Further, merely because the affidavit may be defective, it cannot be said that the petition filed is not an election petition as understood by the Representation of the People Act, 1951 From the text of the relevant provisions of the R.P. Act, Rule 94-A and Form 25 as well as Order 6 Rule 15 and Order 19 Rule 3 of the Code and the resume of the case law discussed above it clearly emerges (i) a defect in the verification, if any, can be cured (ii) it is not essential that the verification clause at the foot of the petition or the affidavit accompanying the same should disclose the grounds or sources of information in regard to the averments or allegations which are based on information believed to be true (iii) if the respondent desires better particulars in regard to such averments or allegations, he may call for the same in which case the petitioner may be required to supply the same and (iv) the defect in the affidavit in the prescribed Form 25 can be cured unless the affidavit forms an integral part of the petition, in which case the defect concerning material facts will have to be dealt with, subject to limitation, under Section 81(3) as indicated earlier. Similarly the court would have to decide in each individual case whether the schedule or annexure referred to in Section 83(2) constitutes an integral part of the election petition or not; different considerations will follow in the case of the former as compared to those in the case of the latter.” “However, in fairness whenever such defects are pointed out then the proper course for the Court is not to dismiss the petition at the threshold. In order to maintain the sanctity of the election the Court should not take such a technical attitude and dismiss the election petition at the threshold. On the contrary after finding the defects, the Court should give proper opportunity to cure the defects and in case of failure to remove/cure the defects, it could result into dismissal on account of Order 6 Rule 16 or Order 7 Rule 11 CPC. Though technically it cannot be dismissed under Section 86 of the Act of 1951 but it can be rejected when the election petition is not properly constituted as required under the provisions of CPC but in the present case we regret to record that the defects which have been pointed out in this election petition were purely cosmetic and do not go to the root of the matter and secondly even if the Court found them of serious nature then at least the Court should have given an opportunity to the petitioner to rectify such defects.” 65. Applying these principles to the facts of the present case, it seems quite clear that the affidavit filed by Prasanna Kumar in compliance with the requirements of the proviso to Section 83(1) of the Act was not an integral part of the election petition, and no such case was set up. It also seems quite clear that the affidavit was in substantial compliance with the requirements of the law. Therefore, the High Court was quite right in coming to the conclusion that the affidavit not being in the prescribed format of Form No.25 and with a defective verification were curable defects and that an opportunity ought to be granted to Prasanna Kumar to cure the defects. No submissions were made with regard to the striking out, in accordance with Order VI rule 16 of the CPC, of specifically objectionable paragraphs in the election petition. In any event this is a matter for trial and we see no reason to take a view different from that taken by the High Court. Conclusion: 67. There is no merit in these appeals and they are, accordingly dismissed, but without any costs.

Page 1 REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2250-2251 OF 2013 Arising out of SLP(C) Nos. 14172-14173 OF 2010 G.M. Siddeshwar … Appellant Versus Prasanna Kumar … Respondent WITH CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2252-2255 OF 2013 Arising out of SLP (C) Nos. 24886-24889 OF 2010 J U D G M … Continue reading

the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959 as amended by the Amendment Act No.31 of 2006 has no application insofar as election to the office of the President is concerned. The disqualification incurred by a Presidential candidate on account of holding of an office of profit is not removed by the provisions of the said Act which deals with removal of disqualification for being chosen as, or for being a Member of Parliament. If, therefore, it is assumed that the office of Chairman, ISI is an office of profit and the Respondent had held the said office on the material date(s) consequences adverse to the Respondent, in so far as the result of the election is concerned, are likely to follow. The said facts, will therefore, be required to be proved by the election Petitioner. No conclusion that a regular hearing in the present case will be a redundant exercise or an empty formality can be reached so as to dispense with the same and terminate the Election Petition at the stage of its preliminary hearing under Order XXXIX Rule 13. The Election Petition, therefore, deserves a regular hearing under Order XXXIX Rule 20 in accordance with what is contained in the different provisions of Part III of the Supreme Court Rules, 1966. = Election Petition does not deserve a regular hearing.

REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION ELECTION PETITION NO.1 OF 2012 PURNO AGITOK SANGMA … PETITIONER VERSUS PRANAB MUKHERJEE … RESPONDENT J U D G M E N T ALTAMAS KABIR, CJI. 1 1. The Petitioner herein was a candidate in the Presidential elections held on 19th July, 2012, the results … Continue reading

The family of the 1st respondent described themselves as ‘Kshatriyas’ in registered documents Nos.132 of 1945, 419 of 1945 and 1294 of 1947 executed by the real brother of the 1st respondent’s grand father, 821 of 1948 executed by the great grand father of the 1st respondent, 1909 of 1962 executed by the great grand father of the 1st respondent and another registered document, dated 07-05-1957 executed by the 1st respondent’s ancestor. In the last two documents, the 1st respondent’s father was a signatory. The mother of the 1st respondent also hailing from ‘Kshatriya’ caste is the sister of Sri Satrucharla Vijaya Rama Raju, who was declared in Election Petition No.13 of 1999 as not belonging to any Scheduled Tribe in Andhra Pradesh State, but belonging to ‘Kshatriya’ caste.Therefore, the election of the 1st respondent from 130-Kurupam Scheduled Tribe Assembly Constituency to the Andhra Pradesh State Legislative Assembly as declared on 16-05-2009 is declared to be void and the election petition is allowed to that extent and is dismissed in respect of the declaration sought for to declare the election petitioner as duly elected from the said Constituency in the said election. The parties shall bear their own costs. An authenticated copy of this order be communicated forthwith to the Speaker of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly and the Election Commission of India under Section 103 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.”However, in an election where the elected candidate is declared to be disqualified to contest election and there are more than two candidates contesting election, there is no specific provision under the Act under which the person who has secured the next highest number of votes could be declared as elected. The Act is silent on this point. Further, it cannot be presumed that the votes secured by the disqualified elected candidates would have been wasted or would have been secured by the next candidate who has secured more votes. If disqualified candidate was not permitted to contest the election then how the voters would have votes in favour of the candidate who has secured more votes than other remaining candidates would be a question in the realm of speculation and unpredictability. In such a situation, declaring the election of the returned candidate on the ground of his initial disqualification to contest the election by itself would not entitle the election petitioner or any other candidate to be declared elected.”

HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE G. BHAVANI PRASAD Election Petition No.10 of 2009 21/08/2012 Nimmaka Jaya Raju Janardhana That Raj Veera Vara Thodaramala and others COUNSEL FOR THE PETITIONER: Sri Bojja Tarakam & Sri V. Raja Manohar COUNSEL FOR 1ST RESPONDENT: Sri D. Prakash Reddy & Sri P. Kesavarao ^COUNSEL FOR 2 TO 6 RESPONDENTS: — ^COUNSEL … Continue reading

Ponnala Lakshmaiah -whether the High Court of Andhra Pradesh was right in holding that the election petition filed by respondent No.1 against the appellant who happens to be the successful candidate in the election to the 98-Jangaon Assembly Constituency in the State of Andhra Pradesh, disclosed a cause of action and could not therefore be dismissed at the threshold. The factual matrix in which the election petition came to be filed by the respondent has been set out at length by the High Court, hence need not be recounted except to the extent the same is essential for the disposal of the appeal. The High Court has, while holding that the averments made in the election petition raised triable issues and disclosed a cause of action, observed: “23. As seen from the statement showing voter turn out report in connection with General Elections, 2009 to 98-Jangaon Legislative Assembly Constituency on 16.04.2009, the total votes polled, as reported by the Returning Officer, is shown as 1,50,678 from 251 polling stations. Whereas the final result sheet in Form no.20, total valid votes is shown as 1,51,411. So, from this document, it is clear that prima facie a proper counting had not taken place. Therefore, prima facie it can be said to be an irregularity on the part of the Returning Officer involved in dereliction of the duty. Similarly, there is a specific allegation that out of 653 postal ballots, the election petitioner would have secured more than 300 votes, if properly counted, and out of the said votes, 142 votes which were validly polled in favour of the election petitioner, were illegally declared as invalid and another 52 votes polled in favour of the election petitioner were counted in favour of the first respondent, and 45 invalid votes were illegally counted in favour of the first respondent. Since the margin between the elected candidate and the nearest rival is only 236 votes, had postal ballots been counted properly, then there would be a possibility of materially affecting the result of the election in so far as the returned candidate. So, under no stretch of imagination, it can be said that the allegations in the Election Petition are vague. 24. No doubt, it is true that in view of the decision of the Apex Court, recounting of the votes cannot be resorted to as a matter of course and every endeavour should be made to protect the secrecy of the ballots. But, at the same time suspicion of the correctness of the figures mentioned in the crucial documents of the statement showing voters’ turn out report and Form-20-final result sheet, where there is a variance between total number of votes polled and votes counted. The two basic requirements laid down by the Apex Court, to order recounting, are: (a) the election petition seeking recount of the ballot papers must contain an adequate statement of the material facts on which the allegations of irregularity or illegality in counting are founded; and (b) on the basis of evidence adduced in support of the allegations, the Tribunal must be prima facie satisfied that in order to decide the dispute and to do complete and effectual justice between the parties, making of such an order is imperatively necessary. Therefore, the questions–whether counting of votes by the officials is in accordance with the rules and regulations and also whether the votes polled in favour of the election petitioner were rejected as invalid or there was improper counting of votes polled in favour of the returned candidate, are required to be decided after adducing evidence only. The allegation that because of the improper counting of postal ballots polled in favour of the election petitioner, the election petitioner could not secure 300 votes, if accepted as true at this stage, it would materially affect the election result because the margin of votes polled between returned candidate and his nearest rival is very narrow. In the Election Petition, the allegation with regard to irregularity or illegality in counting of votes, which affects election of the returned candidate materially, has been clearly stated in the Election Petition. It is not a vague or general allegation that some irregularities or illegalities have been committed in counting. Similarly, there is allegation that in the first instance, after totalling of all votes, the election petitioner secured a majority of 44 votes and the same was informed to the electronic media, and some TV channels telecasted the same immediately. A Compact Disc (CD) is also field along with the Election Petition, in support of the said allegation. It is also alleged that none of the contested candidates filed any petition for recounting of votes within maximum period of five minutes after the election petitioner was declared to have secured a majority of 44 votes. Therefore, there is prima facie material to show that there was irregularity or illegality in counting of votes which resulted in affecting materially the election of the returned candidate, so as to proceed further with the Election Petition. As, at this stage, prima facie case for recounting, as seen from the allegations in the Election Petition, is made out, the pleadings cannot be struck off as unnecessary. Therefore, rejecting the Election Petition at this stage does not arise.”- There is no denying the fact that the election of a successful candidate is not lightly interfered with by the Courts. The Courts generally lean in favour of the returned candidates and place the onus of proof on the person challenging the end result of an electoral contest. That approach is more in the nature of a rule of practice than a rule of law and should not be unduly stretched beyond a limit. We say so because while it is important to respect a popular verdict and the courts ought to be slow in upsetting the same, it is equally important to maintain the purity of the election process. An election which is vitiated by reason of corrupt practices, illegalities and irregularities enumerated in Sections 100 & 123 of the Act cannot obviously be recognised and respected as the decision of the majority of the electorate. The Courts are, therefore, duty bound to examine the allegations whenever the same are raised within the framework of the statute without being unduly hyper-technical in its approach & without being oblivious of the ground realities. Experience has shown that the electoral process is, despite several safeguards taken by the Statutory Authorities concerned, often vitiated by use of means, factors and considerations that are specifically forbidden by the statute. The electoral process is vulnerable to misuse, in several ways, in the process distorting the picture in which the obvious may be completely different from the real. Electoral reforms is, therefore, a crying need of our times but has remained a far cry. If the Courts also adopt a technical approach towards the resolution of electoral disputes, the confidence of the people not only in the democratic process but in the efficacy of the judicial determination of electoral disputes will be seriously undermined. This Court has in several pronouncements while emphasising the need to leave the elections untouched, reiterated, the need to maintain the purity of elections and thereby strengthening democratic values in this country. The decisions of this Court in T.A. Ahammed Kabeer v. A.A. Azeez & Ors. (2003) 5 SCC 650 and P. Malaichami v. M. Andi Ambalam and Ors. (1973) 2 SCC 170 express a similar sentiment. 23. Suffice it to say, that in the absence of any provision making breach of the proviso to Section 83(1), a valid ground of dismissal of an election petition at the threshold, we see no reason why the requirement of filing an affidavit in a given format should be exalted by a judicial interpretation to the status of a statutory mandate. A petition that raises triable issues need not, therefore, be dismissed simply because the affidavit filed by the petitioner is not in a given format no matter the deficiency in the format has not caused any prejudice to the successful candidate and can be cured by the election petitioner by filing a proper affidavit. In the result, this appeal fails and is dismissed with costs assessed at Rs.25000/-.

REPORTABLE   IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4993 OF 2012 (Arising out of S.L.P. (C) No. 20013 of 2010)   Ponnala Lakshmaiah …Appellant Versus Kommuri Pratap Reddy & Ors. …Respondents           J U D G M E N T   T.S. THAKUR, J. 1. … Continue reading

In the withdrawn election petition, no third party can be substituted under sec.110(3) of RPActIn the instant case, the complaint in the Election Petition was that the nomination paper of the Election Petitioner had been wrongly rejected by the Returning Officer. The Respondent herein, who had been substituted in place of Shri Yadavrao, did not have the same interest as Shri Yadavrao and, accordingly, the High Court, in our view, misconstrued the provisions of Section 110(3)(c) of the 1951 Act in applying the conditions literally, without even 1satisfying itself that the order fit in the facts of the case. 16. We are satisfied that the expression “a person who might himself have been a Petitioner”, (emphasis supplied) would not apply in a case like the present one, in which the right to be exercised does not concern the actions of the person elected on the grounds, as contemplated in Sections 100(1) and 101 of the 1951 Act, which provide for the grounds for declaring the elections to be void. The grievance of the original Election Petitioner was not against the elected candidate, but against the action of Returning Officer in rejecting his nomination paper. Once the Election Petitioner decided not to pursue the matter, the Election Petition could not have been continued by a person, as contemplated in Section 110(3)(c) of the aforesaid Act. 117. We, therefore, have no hesitation in setting aside the judgment and order dated 28 th November, 2011, passed by the Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court in Election Petition No.5 of 2009 and Civil Application No.35 of 2010. 18. The appeal is, accordingly, allowed, but, there will be no order as to costs.

REPORTABL E IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.3373 OF 2012 (Arising out of SLP(C)No.5776 of 2012) CHAUGULE … APPELLANT Vs. BHAGWAT … RESPONDENT J U D G M E N T ALTAMAS KABIR, J. 1. Leave granted. 2. The Appellant herein was elected to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly from … Continue reading

Representation of the People Act (43 of 1951), s. 123(4)- Elections-Corrupt Practice-Statement alleging a candidate to be greatest of all thieves-Whether a statement of fact or of opinion only-Candidate with whose consent such statement is made must believe it to be true-Nature of onus in proving such belief. =The appellant was the winning candidate In an election to the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly. The respondent who was one of the unsuccessful candidates filed an’-election petition and alleged therein that the appellant was guilty of corrupt practice within the meaning of a. 123(4) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. The corrupt practice alleged was that at a meeting presided over by the appellant a poem was read out which represented the respondent to be the greatest of all thieves’. The Election Tribunal as well as the High Court gave their findings against the ‘appellant who came to this Court with certificate. It was contended on behalf of the appellant that : (i) the statement in question was not a statement of fact but only of opinion, (ii) No attempt had been made to prove that the person who recited the poem containing the statement believed it to be false or did not believe that it was true, (iii) the onus to prove that corrupt practice had been committed lay on the respondent and that had not been discharged. HELD (i) The mere -absence of details as to time and place would not turn a statement of fact into a mere expression of opinion. [130 F-G] In the present case taking the poem as a whole there could be no doubt that when the respondent was called the greatest of all thieves there was a clear statement of fact about his personal character and conduct. [133 E-F] (ii) The appellant presided and his election agent was present at the meeting at which the poem in question was read.- The responsibility for the publication in the circumstances of the case was that of the appellant and it was the appellant’s belief that mattered and not- the belief of the person who read it with the consent of the appellant. [135 E-G] (iii) The onus on an election petitioner under s. 123(4) is to show that a statement of fact was published by a candidate or his agent or by any other person with the consent of the candidate or his election agent and also to show that that statement was false and related to his personal character or conduct. This onus is very light and can be discharged by the complaining candidate swearing to that effect. Once that is done the burden shifts to the candidate, making the false statement of fact to show what his belief was. [136E-F] It was for the appellant to show either that the statement was true or that he believed it to be true. The appellant had failed to do so. The High Court therefore rightly held that the respondent had discharged the burden which lay on him. [137 A-B] Case law considered. 128 =1967 AIR 808, 1967( 2 )SCR 127, , ,

PETITIONER: KUMARA NAND Vs. RESPONDENT: BRIJMOHAN LAL SHARMA DATE OF JUDGMENT: 29/11/1966 BENCH: WANCHOO, K.N. BENCH: WANCHOO, K.N. BACHAWAT, R.S. SHELAT, J.M. CITATION: 1967 AIR 808 1967 SCR (2) 127 CITATOR INFO : R 1969 SC1201 (42,54) D 1970 SC1231 (12) R 1990 SC1731 (9) ACT: Representation of the People Act (43 of 1951), s. … Continue reading

Election case =whereby the High Court has allowed the Interlocutory application filed by the first respondent herein, and directed the District Returning Officer, Distt. Papum Pare, Arunachal Pradesh to produce the record of Register of voters’ counterfoils (in Form 17A) of 38 polling stations of 13-Itanagar (ST) Assembly Constituency in that State.=an order for inspection of ballot papers cannot be granted to support vague pleas made in the petition not supported by material facts or to fish out evidence to support such pleas.=The impugned judgment has relied upon the judgment of this Court in Fulena Singh (supra). In that matter also there was an allegation of double voting, and the inspection of register of voters in Form 17-A was sought. In para 13 of the judgment the Court noted the submission on behalf of the respondent that the registers of voters in Form 17-A do not enjoy the same immunity as that of the other papers mentioned in clauses (a) to (d) and (e) of Rule 93 (1). This Court did not accept that submission, and held that inspection of election papers mentioned in detail in the entire Rule 93 (1) is not a matter of course unless a clear case is made out. The Court, therefore, disallowed the inspection of register of voters in Form 17-A. Thus, the reliance on Fulena Singh (supra) in the impugned judgment was also wholly erroneous 25. This being the position, in our view the order passed by the learned Single Judge is illegal and unsustainable. We are, therefore, required to set-aside the same. 26. Accordingly, we pass the following order:-

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION Civil Appeal No. 1539 OF 2012 @ SLP No. 30410 OF 2010 Markio Tado … Appellant Versus Takam Sorang & Ors. … Respondents J U D G E M E N T H.L. Gokhale J. Leave granted. 2. This appeal is directed against the Judgment and … Continue reading

The first respondent, filed an Election Petition under Section 31 read with Section 34 of the Gram Panchayat Act, 1964 (for the sake of convenience it is called “the Act”), on the ground that the appellant herein was not eligible to contest the election in view of Section 11(b) of the Act which declares that no member of `Gram Sasan’ (a defined expression under Section 2(h) of the ActI) shall be eligible to contest for the post of Sarpanch if he has not attained the age of 21 years.= It was held in Robins Vs. National Trust & Co. Ltd., 1927 A.C. 515 – “To assert that a man who is alive was born requires no proof. The onus is not on the person making an assertion, because it is self-evident that he had been born. But to assert that he had been born on a certain date, if the date is material, requires proof; the onus is on the person making the assertion.” Since the first respondent failed to discharge the burden cast upon him, the election petition must fail.=An admission must be clear and unambiguous in order that such an admission should relieve the opponent of the burden of proof of the fact said to have been admitted.=It can be seen from the above-extracted portion of the evidence of the appellant that the appellant stated that she was 13 year old when she took admission in the High School (obviously Basudev High School) and the admission, as we have already noticed from the evidence of PW.2, was on 11.7.1998. Deducting 13 years from that date would place the year of birth of the appellant in 1985. It is not clear as to the material on the basis of which the Division Bench recorded that the admission of the appellant in the Panchayat Upper Primary School was on 10.1.1996. We assume for the sake of argument that there is some basis on record for the finding that the appellant took admission in the Upper Primary School on 10.1.1996. On her own admission she was 10 years old on that date. Then there is an 9

Reportable     IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.1191 OF 2012 [Arising out of SLP(C) No. 15174 of 2011]     Joshna Gouda …….Appellant Versus Brundaban Gouda & Anr. ……Respondents     J U D G M E N T   Chelameswar, J.   Leave granted.   2. This … Continue reading

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