Decided on December 20,1969



SHIV DAYAL J - (1.) THIS is a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution for a writ to quash the order passed by Supervising Officer, Municipal Election, Dongargarh, and the order of the appellate authority, which held that the petitioner was not eligible to contest the municipal election and consequently rejected his nomination paper.
(2.) THE petitioner's nomination paper was rejected on an objection taken by Mahesh Chandra (respondent No. 1) on the ground that the petitioner had not attained the age of 21 years on January 1, 1969. Shri Dabir, learned counsel for the petitioner concedes that the petitioner had admitted that he was below 21 years of age and that on the petitioner's admission his name could not be included in the electoral roll of the Assembly constituency. Learned counsel, however, urges that the Supervising Officer, Municipal Election, had no jurisdiction to go into the question of the petitioner's age. It was sufficient if his name appeared in the Voters' List of the Municipality, which list is prepared from the electoral roll for the State Assembly. Section 30 of the Municipalities Act, 1961, reads thus:- "Subject to the provisions of section 31, every person who is qualified to be registered in the Assembly rolls relatable to the area comprised in a ward or whose name is entered therein, shall be entitled to be registered in the electoral Roll of that ward." This section adopts the qualifications laid down in section 19 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 for the purposes of registration of a voter. Section 19 read with section 14 (b) of the Representation of the People Act, 1950, prescribes inter alia, the following condition- "19........every person who- (a) is not less than twenty-one years of age on the 1st day of January of the year in which the electoral roll is prepared or revised shall be entitled to be registered in the electoral roll for that constituency." THE electoral rolls of the Municipality, Dongargarh, were prepared in 1969. THE admitted date of birth of the petitioner is October 4, 1948. Thus the petitioner, having admittedly not attained the age of 21 years on January 1, 1969, was ineligible. Section 31 (1) of the M. P. Municipalities Act, 1961, enacts:- "31 (1). A person shall be disqualified for registration in the electoral roll if he is disqualified for registration in the Assembly roll." In our opinion, Shri Dabir is not right in his contention that under Rule 13 (I) (v) (a) of the Municipalities (Preparation, Revision and Publication of Electoral Rolls, Election and Selection of Councillors) Rules, 1962, the Supervising Officer cannot reject his nomination paper. That Rule reads thus:- "13 (1) (v). On the date fixed for the scrutiny of nomination papers, the candidates and one proposer and one seconder of each candidate but no other person, may attend the municipal office at 1 p. m. and the supervising officer shall give them all reasonable facilities for examining all nomination papers which may have been delivered to him. He shall examine the nomination papers and shall decide all objections which may be made to any nomination and may either on such objection or of his own motion, after such summary inquiry, if any, as he thinks necessary, reject any nomination on any of the following grounds:- (a) that the candidate for election as a councillor is ineligible under section 34 or 35 or 41 or any other provision of the Act or the rules made thereunder." It is obvious enough from this Rule that the Supervising Officer is entitled to go into the question of "ineligibility" of the candidate. The argument of the learned counsel is that the expression "ineligibility" refers only to disqualification but not to want of qualification This contention is untenable. In our opinion, the word "ineligible" is comprehensive enough to include both "disqualified" as well as "not qualified". The Supervising Officer, therefore, acted within his jurisdiction, when he rejected the petitioner's nomination paper.
(3.) THE learned Sub-Divisional Officer, who heard the appeal from the order of the Supervising Officer, further pointed out that the appellant did not prove that he was ever registered as a voter in the Assembly Rolls of that area. Shri Dabir produced before us a copy of the amended roll of the Assembly, but the copy does not bear the date on which the roll was amended, nor is he able to tell us the date on which the roll was amended. But even on the first point, this petition must be dismissed. Shri Dabir relies on Kishanchand v. Supervising Officer (1). That decision does not give any benefit to the petitioner in this case, because the petition is without substance.;

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