Thursday, June 1, 2023

Election of each returned candidate to be challenged separately – Chhattisgarh HC

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High Court of Chhattisgarh while dismissing an election petition for lack of merit held that in the absence of material facts necessarily to make out a cause of action under section 100 read with section 81 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 an election petition is not maintainable. The petitioner was the candidate of the “BHARAT BHOOMI PARTY” named as “Shambhu Prasad Sharma, Advocate” and has filed election petition against 10 (ten) candidates representing other political parties.

Brief facts of the case are as follow:- the petitioner secured 10th position out of 12 candidates in the assembly elections of five states such as Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan and Mijorum and therefore, stated in his petition that elections held in four states namely Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan and Mizoram were badly affected because the manifesto of the petitioner’s party namely “Bharat Bhoomi Party” of which the petitioner was a candidate, was not published in the nationwide circulating newspaper. The petitioner stated that Election Commission was under responsibility to publish the party manifesto though it was given before the date of election. Consequently, the manifesto which was not published, the public could not read the same because of the polling date and time as it was published on 20.11.2018 little time hence remained and could not select the honest candidates. Furthermore, petitioner prayed to cancel all the elections of the Chhattisgarh constituencies of 72 seats as void.

The High Court held that the election petition do not give rise to a cause of action which can be a ground of challenge under Section 100 of the Act of 1951 wherein specific grounds have been enumerated for declaration of the election to be void. The pleadings were completely on the premise that the election manifesto since was not published before the specific time, therefore, it has affected the entire election held in the five States.

Single Bench of Justice Goutam Bhaduri concluded that the said prayer cannot be allowed being not a ground or give a cause of action under Section 100 of the Act, 1951, therefore, no cause of action said to have accrued on the ground enumerated by the petitioner And in absence of material facts necessarily to make out a cause of action under Section 100 read with Section 81 of the Act, 1951, the petition sans merit and accordingly the election petition is dismissed.

Pulkit Atal

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