L LAWMKIMA SON OF KAMHMUNGA Vs. STATE ELECTION COMMISSION
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
L Lawmkima Son Of Kamhmunga
STATE ELECTION COMMISSION
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Suman Shyam, J. -
(1.) Heard Mr. B. Lalramenga, learned counsel appearing for the appellant in W.A. No. 04/2017. Also heard Mr. A.R. Malhotra, learned counsel for the appellant in W.A. No. 4/2018. Mr. F. Lalengliana, learned counsel has appeared for the private respondent (writ petitioner) in both these appeals.
(2.) These intra-court appeals are directed against the judgment and order dated 06-05-2016 passed by the learned Single Judge in W.P.(C) No. 66/2016 preferred by the private respondent as writ petitioner directing the State Election Commission, i.e. the appellant in W.A. No. 04/2018 to take a decision on the question of maintainability of the election petition filed by him. In both these appeals, common questions of fact and law are involved, hence, we propose to dispose of both the appeals by this common order.
(3.) The facts of the case, briefly stated, are that respondent/ writ petitioner viz. Sri Michael Dl Kompa had contested the 10th General Election of the Lai Autonomous District Council (LADC) held on 26-11-2015 from the 4-Cheural Constituency as a candidate sponsored by the Mizo National Front (MNF).The appellant in W.A. No. 4/2017, viz. Sri L. Lawmkima was the other candidate who had contested the election from the said constituency as a Indian National Congress candidate. The results of the election was declared on 28-11-2015 whereby, the appellant Sri L. Lawmkima was declared to have won the election from the 4-Cheural Constituency by defeating his rival Sri Michael Dl Kompa by a margin of one vote. Being aggrieved by the election result, the private respondent Sri Michael Dl Kompa had approached the State Election Commission, Mizoram by filing an election petition on 01-12-2015 under the provision of Section 192 of the Lai Autonomous District Council (Constitution, Conduct of Business, Etc.) Rules, 2010 (in short Rules of 2010) calling in question, the election of the returned candidate Sri L. Lawmkima alleging mal- practices in the electoral process. On receipt of the election petition, the State Election Commission had issued a notification on 09-12-2015 under Rule 196 of the Rules of 2010 appointing Smti. Marli Vankung, i.e. the District and Sessions Judge, Lunglei Judicial District as the Commissioner for hearing and disposing of the election petition. Accordingly, the election petition was admitted and notice was issued to the returned candidate fixing the next date on 05-02-2016. On receipt of notice in connection with the said proceeding, the appellant Sri L. Lawmkima i.e the returned candidate, had filed an application under RTI, 2005 where-from he could learn that the election petitioner had not deposited the security deposit of an amount of Rs. 100/- by means of Govt. Treasury Challan. The said fact having been pointed out, the Secretary of the State Election Commission had issued the order dated 16-02-2016 dismissing the election petition by invoking powers under Rule 195 of the Rules of 2010 (as amended). Aggrieved thereby, the election petitioner had approached this Court by filing W.P.(C) No. 66/2016 which was disposed of by the impugned judgment and order dated 06-05-2016.The returned candidate has preferred Writ Appeal No. 4/2017 assailing the judgment and order dated 06-05- 2017 passed by the learned Single Judge. The State Election Commission has also assailed the order dated 06-05-2017 by filing Writ Appeal No. 4/2018.;
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