AMBIKA SHARAN SINGH Vs. MAHANT MAHADEVA AND GIRI
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: PATNA)
Ambika Sharan Singh
Mahant Mahadeva And Giri
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(1.) This appeal is against the order of the High court of patna declaring the appellant's election from Barbara Assembly constituency, bihar, void under Section 100 (1) of the Representation of the People Act, xliii of 1951.
(2.) At the time of the general election in February, 1967, the appellant was the Minister of State in the Finance Department of the State of Bihar. There were in all 8 candidates contesting from Barbara constituency. The poll day was Feburary 15, 1967. Having obtained 21,791 votes against 20,243 votes obtained by respondent 1 (the election petitioner) , the appellant was declared elected.
(3.) In the election petition filed by Respondent 1 thereafter, he made a number of allegations of diverse corrupt practices giving particulars thereof in more than 10 schedules. In his written statement the appellant denied all these allegations and also filed a recriminatory petition under Section 97 of the Act. On these pleadings the High court raised as many as 13 issues. The parties examined 292 witnesses in all besides producing documentary evidence. In an elaborate judgment, the High court after examining the voluminous evidence led by the parties held the appellant guilty of 3 corrupt practices, namely, of distributing money to Harijan voters in various villagesas bribery, of having canvassed on the basis of his caste, namely, Rajput, and of having obtained or procured the assistance of 4 gazetted officers, namely, R. Ws. Sheo Bachan Singh, Muni Lal, R. S. Prasad and Bhupender narain Singh) all of whom except Muni Lal being in the Department of commercial Taxes which was under the charge of the appellant. The High court declined to uphold the rest of the allegations on one ground or the other. The recriminatory petition filed by the appellant was not pressed and was accordingly dismissed. Consequently, we are concerned in this appeal with the aforesaid 3 alleged corrupt practices held by the High court established. The question for determination is, therefore, whether the high court was correct in holding the appellant guilty of the said three practices.;
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