Decided on April 30,1986

PURAN SINGH Respondents


- (1.) THE petitioner has filed Election Petition No. 16 of 1983 challenging the election of the respondent Shri Puran Singh who was elected from Billawar Assembly constituency during the elections held on June, 1983.
(2.) THIS application has been moved on behalf of the respondent for dismissing the said election petition as copy of the petition provided to him was not a true copy of the petition filed. It is averred by the respondent in this application that he came to know about the legal lacuna on 27 -12 -1985 and such objection can be raised at any time during the proceedings. The petitioner in his objections controverted the allegation of the respondent by submitting that the election petition was filed sometimes in the end of July, 1933 The respondent has also filed written statement wherein he did not raise any objection Moreover, according to him the copy supplied to the respondent is the attested true copy of the original petition and there may be a minor defect in the form of verification and in case the Court finds some such minor defect, he be allowed to amend the same
(3.) I have heard she either side and perused the copy of the petition supplied to the respondent and attached by him with this application. , This copy has been verified to be true copy by the petitioner Learned counsel for the respondent has pointed out that in the end of the petition, the petitioner has kept the column blank which is not in accordance with the original petition and as it offends the mandatory provisions of Sec. 89 (3) of the Representation of the Peoples Act, the petition is required to be dismissed. The relevant para in the form of verification, in copy of the petition provided to the respondent, reads as under: - " I, Kashmir Singh petitioner of this petition, do verify today the 20th of July, 1983 that contents of paras - _are correct, based upon my knowledge and contents of paras_ -are correct according to the information received It is, therefore, verified as such." In the original petition this para reads thus: "I, Kashmir Singh petitioner of this petition do verify today the 20th of July, 1983 that contents of paras 1 to 5, 6, A, B, C (i) to (ix) F, G, H. are correct, based upon my knowledge and contents of paras 6 -E are correct according to the information received. It is, therefore, verified as such" Section 89(3) of the abovesaid Act, provides that every election petition shall be accompanied by as many copies thereof as there are respondents mentioned in the petition and every such copy shall be attested by the petitioner under his own signatures to be a true copy of the, petition. This provision of law thus enjoins upon the petitioner to supply a true copy of the petition to the respondent and such a copy has to be filed alongwith the election petition with attestation of the petitioner under his signatures. The object is to inform the respondent about the grounds on which his election has been challenged so that the respondent could know the basis of the challenge to his election and formulate his defence accordingly. Their Lordships of the Supreme Court in case reported in AIR 1964 SC 1545 while interpreting the word copy as occurring in the Act, have held that the test whether the copy is a true copy is whether any variation from the original is calculated to mislead an ordinary person. As pointed out above the variation in the copy of the petition from the original is only in regard to the non -mentioning of paras in the verification column Nodoubt, the provisions of the Act are mandatory in nature and are required to be observed strictly -but, at the same time it has to be seen whether non -observance of the previsions of Section 89(3) has, in any manner; caused prejudice 10 the other side. The respondent in the petition tab filed his written statement in which he has not raised any such objection or plea. In the case, preliminary issues have also been framed which are required to be disposed of. The petition was filed as far back as on 20th July, I983 and the application in question was filed on 19 -2 -1986 whereas the written statement had been filed on 21. 12. 1983. Such fact clearly lead to only conclusion that the respondent has not been prejudiced by the non -mentioning of paras in the verification, column of the copy of the petition and, moreover, this variation is of minor nature. The application as such is dismissed.;

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