S BHAGAVANTHA REDDY Vs. REVENUE DIVISIONAL OFFICER GUNTUR
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
REVENUE DIVISIONAL OFFICER, GUNTUR
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(1.) This is a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying for a writ of certiorari to quash the orders of the first respondent, dated 8th May, 1962 rejecting the nominations of the petitioners and others for election to the Sathenapalli Panchayat Samithi. By their Order No. 543, dated 20th April, 1962, the Government of Andhra Pradesh directed the constitution of a Panchayat Samithi for Sathenapalli Block along with other Panchayat Samithis. The Collector of Guntur, acting under rule 2 (i) of the Rules for the Election of Members of Panchayat Samithis and Zilla. Parishads, published under G.O. Ms. No. 889, Planning and Development (Samithi IV), dated 21st September, 1959, in and by his order, dated 28th April, 1962, authorised the Revenue Divisional Officer, Guntur, to conduct the elections of members to be co-opted under section 6 (1) of the Andhra Pradesh Panchayat Samithis and Zilla Parishads Act, 1959 (hereinafter referred to as the Act). The Revenue Divisional Officer, who is impleaded as the first respondent, thereupon published the following Notice for the conduct of the election in Form No. II as under :-
In conformity with the Notice, on the day fixed for the filing of nominations, there were in all 34 nominations, seven under clause (a) ; five under clause (b) ; one under clause (c) ; twelve under clause (d) ; and nine under clause (e) of section 4(1) (iii) of the Act. These nomination papers were filed before the Block Development Officer. The Revenue Divisional Officer took up the scrutiny of the nomination papers on 8th May, 1962. He rejected the four nominations filed with reference to clause (a) of section 4 (1) (iii), four under clause (b), eleven under clause (d), and seven under clause (e). The principal ground of rejection was that the same person or sets of persons had proposed or seconded more than one candidate. On the rejections being notified, the petitioners would appear to have asked for the grant of certified copies and there was some correspondence between Revenue Divisional Officer and the petitioners for the deposit of court-fee labels, which is. by no means material to the questions I have to decide. Aggrieved by the order of the Revenue Divisional Officer rejecting their nominations, fourteen of such rejected candidates have filed this present Writ Petition, impleading the Revenue Divisional Officer as the first respondent.
(2.) In C.M.P. No. 4195 of 1962, Mr. Seetharama Sastry applied to be impleaded as a party-respondent and by an order of Court, dated 16th May, 1962 he was so impleaded. Mr. Y. Venkateswara Rao Choudary and six others have filed C.M.P. No. 6342 of 1962 for being impleaded as party-respondents and there being no opposition, I have today ordered the said petition. Seetharama Sastry and seven others in C.M.P. No. 6342 of 1962 are persons whose nomination papers have been accepted.
(3.) The principal question that falls to be determined to this Writ Petition is whether the first respondent, the Presiding Officer for the elections, was right in rejecting the nomination papers of the petitioners and others on the sole ground that the same person or sets of persons have either nominated or seconded more than one candidate. Before considering the main contentions advanced by the learned counsel, it is necessary to notice a few preliminary contentions urged on behalf of the respondents. Mr. Mallikharjuna Rao appearing for the party-respondents, has inter alia contended that the present Writ Petition is liable to be dismissed in limine as the fourteen petitioners have different causes of action and, a single Writ Petition, therefore, is not maintainable. I am unable to assent to this contention. The orders, against which the petitioners complained, though endorsed separately on each of the nomination papers, are virtually parts of the same decision. In the circumstances of the case, I am satisfied that the case of the fourteen petitioners is almost identical and raises the same questions of fact and law. I, therefore, hold that there is no Substance in this contention.;
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