Decided on August 03,1983



- (1.) THE subject-matter of challenge in these Writ applications is that though the petitioners immediately after counting made applications objecting to Returning Officer in counting votes in accordance with the provisions of Rule 64 of the West Bengal Panchayat (Election) Rules, 1974 and the returning Officers did not consider and dispose of the objections after giving hearing to the petitioners and did not record any order whatsoever specifying the reasons either rejecting or allowing the petitions of objection. It appears from the provision of Rule 64 of the aforesaid Election Rule that it is incumbent upon the Presiding Officers concerned who have counted the votes that as soon as such an application is made complaining of not properly counting of the votes and praying for recounting of votes, he is to recount the ballot papers after giving a reasonable opportunity of hearing to the parties or to the candidates or their Election Agents and objection petitions have to be disposed of by passing orders in writing recording reasonss for accepting or far rejecting such an application for recounting of votes. In these cases the statutory procedure which is a mandatory on being not observed the Learned Advocate general in his fairness has rightly pointed out that in view of, the well-settled ,law that statutory rights are to be exercised in the manner laid down and omission to follow the procedure will render the order no nest and invalid in law. In these circumstances I direct the Returning Officer concerned who is respondent to produce all the ballot papers before the Registrar, Appellate Side in whose presence and also in the presence of the learned Advocate for both the parties which are kept in sealed cover will be opened after breaking the seal and will be counted and the result will be noted by the Registrar. This has to be done on a date, six weeks hence, i. e. on 14. 9. 83 and three days after the recounting is over, the registrar will send the result of the counting to this Court and this matter will appear on the fourth day for appropriate orders. This order will govern all such applications only where the similar allegations have been made.
(2.) RE : C. O. 6649 (W)/83 and C. O. 6656-57 (W)/83 and Re : Kanu Debnath. Regarding these three applications wherein Mr. Dilip Kumar De, learned advocate, appears I am not inclined to interfers in this jurisdiction since there is a statutory remedy provided for by way of election petition before the tribunal, i. e. , Munsif, it is well-settled that right of representation is not a common law right but a statutory right and the remedy provided for in the statute has to be followed in case of any alleged breach of such right. In these circumstances and more so because in these three cases election petitions have already been filed where, of course, applications for interim order were made which were granted by the tribunal, that is, Munsif and which came up ultimately before this Court in applications under Article 227 of the Constitution were set aside on the ground that Sec. 204 Sub-Sec (8) of the West Bengal Panchayat Act, 1973 prohibits the grant of an interim order, i do not think any ground for exercising my discretionary jurisdiction in this forum. In that view of the matters these three applications are summarily rejected.
(3.) REGARDING other petitions in C. O. 6642 (W))83, C. O. 6643 (W)/83, C. O. 6655 (W)/83, C. O. 6656 (W)/83 and C. O. 6657 (W)/83 where questions requiring investigation of facts about the election has been raised I am not inclined to interfere in such application in view of the observations made in C. O. 6649 (W)of 1983. Re : C. O. 6639 (W)/83 and C. O. 6640 (W)/83.;

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