SAHODRABAI RAI Vs. RAM SINGH AHARWAR
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: MADHYA PRADESH)
RAM SINGH AHARWAR
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Hidayatullah, J. -
(1.) This is an appeal against the judgment of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh at Jabalpur, dated September 21, 1967, dismissing the Election petition filed by the appellant on the preliminary ground that a proper copy of the election petition was not served upon the answering parties. The facts of the case are as follows:
(2.) The appellant was a candidate for election to the Sagar Lok Sabha Scheduled Castes constituency No. 24. The election took place an February 20, 1967. There were three other contesting candidates of whom the first respondent secured the largest number of votes and was declared elected. The appellant secured the second largest number of votes , her votes being less by just under 300 than the successful candidate's votes. An election petition was thereafter filed by the appellant on April 5, 1967. In this election petition the appellant challenged the election of the first respondent on four grounds. They were (a) wrongful acceptance of his nomination paper, (b) corrupt practice inasmuch as he, appealed to religion through a pamphlet marked Annexure 'A (c) undue influence, and (d) breaches of the Act and Rules. The pamphlet to which reference is made was styled Bhayankar Vajraghat and was published by Sarvardaliya Goraksha Mahabhiyan Samiti, Deori Kalan Branch. It charged the party of the appellant namely the Congress with encouraging cow-slaughter and offending the Hindu Sentiment. Details were given in it of the number of animals slaughtered every day in Madhya Pradesh and elsewhere and blamed the Congress with being a party to the practice. In the body of the election petition a translation in English of the Hindi pamphlet was incorporated. The original pamphlet was attached to the election petition and was marked Annexure 'A'. The election petitioner proceeded to say in her petition "it forms part of the petition"
(3.) When Parties appeared the first respondent filed his written statement in great detail. He dealt with this pamphlet and answered the allegations of the election petitioner in relation thereto paragraph by paragraph. As a result of these pleas a number of issues were raised on July 18, 1967. No issue was raised in regard to the service of a defective copy of the election petition upon the respondents in general and the first respondent in particular. However, on August 3, 1967, a special objection was made by the first respondent claiming that the copy of the pamphlet had not been annexed to the copy of the election petition served upon him and therefore the election petition was liable to be dismissed in accordance with the provisions of S. 86 of the Representation of the People Act. A detailed reply to this objection was given by the election petitioner. She stated that this was an after-thought inasmuch as the translation of the pamphlet was incorporated in the election petition and the allegations regarding the pamphlet had been answered in detail by the answering respondent. The Court thereupon framed an additional issue on August 4, 1967. The issue ran as follows:
"Whether the election petition is liable to be dismissed for contravention of S. 81 (3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 as copy of Annexure A to the petition was not given along with the petition for being served on the respondents" ;
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