Decided on November 19,1963



- (1.) This is a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India questioning the legality of the order passed by the District Judge as an appellate authority constituted under the Hyderabad District Municipalities Act in matters, relating to elections. The essential facts are that, elections were held to Dornakal Municipality in the year 1962. In constituency No. 4, the petitioner, Sriram Sarma, as well as one Nandulal and the first respondent filed their nomination papers. As the nomination papers of the petitioner and Nandulal were subscribed by one Sunadhan, both the nomination papers were rejected by the Returning Officer and as there was no one else in the field except the first respondent, he was ultimately declared elected to constituency No. 4 in the Municipality of Dornakal.. Aggrieved by that decision of the Returning Officer, the petitioner preferred an appeal under the said Act before the District Judge. The District Judge, rejecting the appeal, held that the Returning Officer was justified in rejecting both the nomination papers as there is no rule which permits that it is the second nomination paper which ought to be rejected in such circumstances. The validity of this order is challenged in this petition under Article 226. Rule 8 of the Rules made under the Hyderabad District Municipalities Act, as far as is relevant, is in the following terms :- 8. (2) " The persons whose names are registered in the electoral roll and who are not subject to any disqualification specified in section 11 may sign as many nomination papers as there are seats to be filled but no more."
(2.) From a reading of the said provision, it becomes abundantly plain that a voter in the constituency can subscribe to as many nomination papers as there are seats to be filled. In the present case, admittedly there is only one seat to be filled. It means that a voter could sign one nomination paper and no more. Sunadhan, who is a voter in the constituency, could have subscribed therefore to one nomination paper validly. He is however prohibited under rule 8 (2) from subscribing to more than one nomination paper as far as this constituency is concerned. I fail to see why the nomination paper which he had subscribed in favour of the petitioner on 26th October, 1962, would be invalid because Sunadhan subscribed to another nomination paper of Nandulal on 29th October, 1962. He was prohibited from subscribing to the second and that alone would be an invalid nomination paper.
(3.) It does not, in my judgment, in any manner affect the nomination paper which. he had validly subscribed to on 26th October, 1962. The rules framed under the Madras District Municipalities Act contain the following rule : "Where a person has signed whether as a proposer or a seconder a large number of nomination papers than there are vacancies to be filled, those of the papers so signed which have been first received up to the number of vacancies to be filled shall be deemed to be valid.";

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