SMT. NANDINI CHAKMA Vs. STATE ELECTION COMMISSIONER
HIGH COURT TRIPURA
Smt. Nandini Chakma
STATE ELECTION COMMISSIONER
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(1.) Heard Mr. P.K. Biswas, learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioner as well Mr. P. Datta, learned counsel appearing for the Tripura State Election Commissioner who is responsible for holding election of the Village Committee under Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council [the TTADC in short] on reference and Yes No ? Mr. T.D. Majumder, learned counsel appearing for the TTAADC and its officers.
(2.) The petitioner has unfolded a case that she is the elected member of Seat No.4 under Constituency No.III of Dakshin Dhanicherra Village Committee. Dakshin Dhanicherra Village Committee consists of 7(seven) constituencies. During the last election, Indian National Congress [the INC in short] own 4(four) seats and formed the majority. The petitioner was elected as the Chairman of the said village committee. One 'No Confidence Motion' was moved and when the no confidence motion was put in motion for removal of the petitioner as the Chairman, according to the petitioner, for cross voting by one of the elected members from the INC, namely Sri Hriday Chakma, the said no confidence motion was passed and the petitioner was removed from the post of Chairman of the said village committee. Sri Hriday Chakma was elected as the member of the village committee. He was proceeded for disqualification as per the provisions of Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (Establishment of Village Committee) Act, 1994 as he violated Section 7(1)(b) of the said act by disobeying the whip given to him on 14.12016. Finally, said Hriday Chakma was disqualified and his membership had ceased on cancellation w.e.f. 17.01.2017 by virtue of the order [Annexure-7 to the writ petition] issued by the Zonal Development Officer, North Zone, Machmara, Unakoti, Tripura. As consequence thereof, the Seat No.5 of Constituency No.III has fallen vacant. Hence, the respondents were legally bound to hold the election in accordance with Rule 75(Part-V) of TTADC Village Committee (Conduct of Election) Rules, 1996. But the grievance of the petitioner is that they are dillydallying the matter and allowing the village committee function most illegally.
(3.) The respondents by filing the reply did not dispute the basic facts as laid by the petitioner but the respondent No.1 in particular, by filing an affidavit has stated that the respondents No.2 and 3 have informed about the vacancy and requirement of holding of bye election. Thereafter, the respondent No.1 has taken all requisite actions to hold the bye election at an early date. The respondent No.1 in his reply filed on 208.2017 has stated as under:
"1. That, the State Election Commission received a letter from the Addl. Secretary Government of Tripura, Tribal Welfare Department vide No.F.17-176 (7)/TW/ADC/Elect/VC/2016/9159-67 dated 26.07.2017 in which made request for holding of bye election to fill up the casual vacancy of seat No.5 of constituency No.III of Dakhsin Dhanicherra Village Committee under Pecharthal RD Block.
2. That, on receipt of said letter, the State Election Commission considered to take necessary step for holding election to fill up the said casual vacancy.
3. That, the Rule 4 of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Village committee (Preparation of Electoral Roll) Rules, 1996 states that the State Election Commissioner shall in consultation with the Executive Committee and State Government designate or nominate a District Election Officer (DEO) who shall be an officer of the Government of Tripura.
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