KAMLA BENIWAL Vs. DHIR SINGH
HIGH COURT OF RAJASTHAN
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L.N.CHHANGANI, J. -
(1.) THE application of respondent No. 1 dated 11th September, 1967, objecting to the affidavit filed by the petitioner disclosing source of information as 'received from my workers' came up for consideration and orders on 13 -9 -67.
(2.) A few facts relevant for the disposal of the application may be stated at the outset. Initially with the election petition thepetitioner filed an affidavit in which there was no reference to schedule 'C'. It may be pointed out that schedule 'C' was referred to in paragraph 32 of the petition and supplemented the allegations in para 32. In paragraph 32 the petitioner stated that the respondent no. 1 hired a number of vehicles for the purpose of his election and has paid them about Rs. 10,000/ - as fare to those vehicles. In Schedule 'C' she gave the details of the expenditure of about Rs. 10,000/ -. Further, the petitioner while verifying some of the paragraphs in the petition on the basis of information did not disclose the source of information
On an earlier occasion the respondent contended on the basis of the omission of reference to Schedule 'C' in the affidavit that the allegations contained in schedule 'C' should be ignored and struck off and no notice should be taken of them. A further objection was taken by the respondent that the affidavit was defective as it did not disclose the source of information. In connection with this objection the controversy was joined whether the provisions of Section 83 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) and Rule 94(a) of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 (hereinafter referred to as the Rules) read with form No. 25 were of a mandatory nature or not. By my detailed order dated 4 -9 -1967 I Rave decisions on the objections. Without deciding whether the provisions referred to above were of a mandatory nature or not, I held that it was not open to the respondent to contend that in the absence of affidavits supporting the allegations in the Schedule the petitioner could not claim a trial on them. I pointed out that schedule 'C' related to the allegations contained in para 32 and the petitioner having made specific allegations in para 32 the petitioner was entitled to claim trial on the allegations contained in paragraph irrespective of the details in the schedule and that the details could be furnished even at a later stage. I also held that the affidavit was defective on the ground that the petitioner did not disclose the source of information The petitioner was given permission to file a fresh affidavit in the prescribed form disclosing the source of information. The petitioner brought on record a fresh affidavit dated 5 -2 -67 in which she verified the facts made in the petition in three paragraphs on the basis of information received from her workers. The respondent has taken objection to this affidavit. His case in that the disclosure is vague and the petitioner has failed to describe sufficiently for the purpose of identifying the person or persons from whom the information was received by her. The respondent submits that the affidavit be rejected and the allegations of corrupt practice be struck of and that the election petition be dismissed. In supporting his case the respondent's counsel pointed out a distinction between a verified pleading andan affidavit as brought out in Bhikaji Keshao Joshi v. Briilal Nandlal Bivani, AIR 1955 SC 610 and contended that when the matter deposed to is not based on personal knowledge the source of information should be clearly disclosed and with sufficient particularity. The learned counsel relied upon the observations made in State of Bombay v. Purushottam Jog Naik, AIR 1952 SC 317, Duraiswami Chetty v. Govindu Chettv. AIR 1914 Mad 366 (2), Durga Das v. Nalin Chandra, AIR 1934 Cal 694, and also referred to English cases and books of English and American laws. The learned counsel also relied upon Mahesh Prasad Sinha v. Manjay Lal, AIR 1964 Pat 53, where it was held that even in an affidavit required under Section 83(1) proviso and Rule 94 (a) should disclose the source of information.
(3.) IN reply, the counsel for the peti -tioner contended that the Act and the Rules having made specific provisions relating to affidavit the applicability of Order 19 Rule 3. Civil P. C. is ousted. The learned counsel emphasised the language of Section 87 of the Act under which the Civil Procedure Code is applicable to the trial of the election petition as nearly as may be possible, and is subject to the provisions of the Act and the Rules made thereunder According to the learned counsel, the Representation of the People Act is a self -contained Code governing the trial of the election petitions and consequently, when the Act and the Rules have made specific provisions for the form of the affidavit the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code cannot be invoked It was submitted that Section 83(1) proviso provides that the petition shall also be accompanied by an affidavit in the prescribed form in support of the allegation of corrupt practice and the particulars thereof. Rule 94 (A) of the Rules further provides that such an affidavit shall be sworn before a magistrate of the first class or a notary or a commissioner of oaths and shall be in Form 25. Form 25 indicates that the deponent need only state that the statements in particular paragraphs are true to his knowledge. The form does not indicate that the source of information is to be disclosed;
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