ARJUN PANDITRAO KHOTKAR Vs. KAILASH KUSHANRAO GORANTYAL
LAWS(SC)-2020-7-11
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on July 14,2020

ARJUN PANDITRAO KHOTKAR Appellant
VERSUS
Kailash Kushanrao Gorantyal Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

TAYLOR VS. TAYLOR [REFERRED TO]
HARRY PARKER VS. MASON [REFERRED TO]
HOPES AND LAVERY VS. H. M. ADVOCATE [REFERRED TO]
NICHOLAS VS. PENNY [REFERRED TO]
R. VS. BURR AND SULLIVAN [REFERRED TO]
R. VS. MILLS [REFERRED TO]
DILLON VS. R [REFERRED TO]
R. VS. MAQSUD ALI [REFERRED TO]
R. VS. PETTIGREW [REFERRED TO]
R. VS. ROBSON [REFERRED TO]
S. PRATAP SINGH VS. STATE OF PUNJAB [REFERRED TO]
SAPPORO MARU (OWNERS) VS. STATUE OF LIBERTY (OWNERS) [REFERRED TO]
THE STATUTE OF LIBERTY,SAPPORO MARU M/S (OWNERS) VS. STEAM TANKER STATUTE OF LIBERTY (OWNERS) [REFERRED TO]
TINGLE JACOBS AND CO VS. KENNEDY [REFERRED TO]
BURR VS. DPP [REFERRED TO]
CASTLE VS. CROSS [REFERRED TO]
CRACKNELL VS. WILLIS LORD GRIFFITHS [REFERRED TO]
DPP VS. JONES [REFERRED TO]
HUGHES VS. MCCONNELL [REFERRED TO]
LORRAINE VS. MARKEL AMERICAN INSURANCE CO. [REFERRED TO]
M/S B.P. KHEMKA PVT. LTD. VS. BIRENDRA KUMAR BHOWMICK AND ANR. [REFERRED TO]
MCKEOWN VS. DPP [REFERRED TO]
N. SRI RAMA REDDY VS. V. V. GIRI [REFERRED TO]
R VS. MEDWAY MAGISTRATES' COURT,EXP GODDARD [REFERRED TO]
R VS. ROBSON MITCHELL AND RICHARDS [REFERRED TO]
R VS. WOOD [REFERRED TO]
RAM SINGH VS. RAM SINGH [REFERRED TO]
SOPHOCLEOUS VS. RINGER [REFERRED TO]
VASHIST NARAIN SHARMA VS. DEV CHANDRA [REFERRED TO]
BANWARILAL AGARWALLA VS. STATE OF BIHAR [REFERRED TO]
COCHIN STATE POWER AND LIGHT CORPO RATION LIMITED VS. STATE OF KERALA [REFERRED TO]
YUSUFALLI ESMAIL NAGREE VS. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA [REFERRED TO]
R M MALKANI VS. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA [REFERRED TO]
DURAI MUTHUSWAMI VS. N NACHIAPPAN [REFERRED TO]
PRESIDENT OF INDIA VS. PRESIDENTIAL POLL [REFERRED TO]
ZIYAUDDIN BURHANUDDIN BUKHARI VS. BRIJMOHAN RAMDASS MEHRA [REFERRED TO]
RAM SINGH VS. COLLECTOR RAM SINGH [REFERRED TO]
RAJ KUMAR DEY VS. TARAPADA DEY [REFERRED TO]
JAGJIT SINGH VS. DHARAM PAL SINGH [REFERRED TO]
CHANDRA KISHORE JHA VS. MAHAVIR PRASAD [REFERRED TO]
CENTRAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION VS. R S PAI [REFERRED TO]
HIRA TIKKOO VS. UNION TERRITORY CHANDIGARH [REFERRED TO]
RAJ KUMAR YADAV VS. SAMIR KUMAR MAHESETH [REFERRED TO]
STATE N C T OF DELHI VS. NAVJOT SANDHU ALIAS AFSAN GURU [REFERRED TO]
TUKARAM S DIGHOLE VS. MANIKRAO SHIVAJI KOKATE [REFERRED TO]
OM PARKASH VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED TO]
BALAK RAM GUPTA VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED TO]
MOHAMMED AJMAL MOHAMMAD AMIR KASAB @ ABU MUJAHID VS. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA [REFERRED TO]
ANVAR P.V. VS. P.K. BASHEER [REFERRED TO]
TOMASO BRUNO VS. STATE OF U.P. [REFERRED TO]
K. RAMAJAYAM @ APPU VS. THE INSPECTOR OF POLICE, T-4, MADURAVOYAL POLICE STATION, CHENNAI [REFERRED TO]
RAJENDRA KUMAR MESHRAM VS. VANSHMANT PRASAD VERMA AND ANR [REFERRED TO]
SRI MAIREMBAM PRITHVIRAJ @ PRITHVIRAJ SINGH VS. SHRI PUKHREM SHARATCHANDRA SINGH [REFERRED TO]
SONU @ AMAR VS. STATE OF HARYANA [REFERRED TO]
VIKRAM SINGH @ VICKY WALIA AND ANR. VS. STATE OF PUNJAB AND ANR. [REFERRED TO]
SHAFHI MOHAMMAD VS. THE STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH [REFERRED TO]
UNION OF INDIA & ORS VS. CDR RAVINDRA V DESAI [REFERRED TO]
STATE BY KARNATAKA LOKAYUKTA POLICE STATION, BENGALURU VS. M R HIREMATH [REFERRED TO]



Cited Judgements :-

TEENA VS. STATE OF KERALA [LAWS(KER)-2022-2-28] [REFERRED TO]
ANIL TUTEJA VS. STATE OF CHHATTISGARH [LAWS(CHH)-2021-10-13] [REFERRED TO]
HANUMANTAGOUDA VS. STATE OF KARNATAKA [LAWS(KAR)-2022-7-334] [REFERRED TO]
STATE VS. SANTHOSHKUMAR [LAWS(MAD)-2021-4-203] [REFERRED TO]
RAJ KAUR VS. GURJEET SINGH [LAWS(RAJ)-2021-8-49] [REFERRED TO]
RAKESH KUMAR SINGLA VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(P&H)-2021-1-14] [REFERRED TO]
ENGINEERING ANALYSIS CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE PRIVATE LIMITED VS. COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX [LAWS(SC)-2021-3-12] [REFERRED TO]
PURNESH ISHVARBHAI MODI VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [LAWS(GJH)-2021-8-10] [REFERRED TO]
SHAMSUDHEEN @ BAPPUTTY VS. STATE OF KERALA [LAWS(KER)-2021-3-38] [REFERRED TO]
BINABEN VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [LAWS(GJH)-2021-3-235] [REFERRED TO]
SITANSHI SHARMA VS. VANDANA SHARMA [LAWS(DLH)-2021-9-191] [REFERRED TO]
MANOJ KUMAR TIWARI VS. MANISH SISODIA [LAWS(DLH)-2020-12-129] [REFERRED TO]
ASHISH NATH VS. STATE OF ASSAM [LAWS(GAU)-2022-8-28] [REFERRED TO]
AMANATUS SIDDIKA VS. STATE OF WEST BENGAL [LAWS(CAL)-2022-6-72] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF KERALA VS. SUNIL N.S. @ PULSAR SUNI [LAWS(KER)-2022-1-36] [REFERRED TO]
NAVDEEP SINGH @ GAURAV VS. STATE OF NCT OF DELHI [LAWS(DLH)-2021-5-33] [REFERRED TO]
JATINDER PAL SINGH VS. CENTRAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION [LAWS(DLH)-2022-1-116] [REFERRED TO]
MUHAMMED YOUSAF VS. STATE OF KERALA [LAWS(KER)-2022-2-116] [REFERRED TO]
M.H.FAISAL VS. STATE OF KERALA [LAWS(KER)-2022-5-8] [REFERRED TO]
J. A. JAYALAL VS. ROHIT JHA [LAWS(DLH)-2021-7-93] [REFERRED TO]
MOHAMMED SUHEL MOHIYUDDIN TIRMIZI VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [LAWS(GJH)-2021-9-1639] [REFERRED TO]
PRINCIPAL COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX-3 VS. M/S. EIH LTD. [LAWS(CAL)-2021-12-65] [REFERRED TO]
AMBIKA ROY VS. HONBLE SPEAKER, WEST BENGAL LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY [LAWS(CAL)-2022-4-17] [REFERRED TO]
ABHISHEK TRIPATHI, S/O. SHRI ANAND TRIPATHI VS. SMT. APARNA TRIPATHI, W/O ABHISHEK TRIPATHI [LAWS(CHH)-2022-2-1] [REFERRED TO]
SHELCY VS. WILSON [LAWS(KER)-2022-4-178] [REFERRED TO]
M.P. MATHEW VS. CENTRAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION SCB THIRUVANANTHAPURAM [LAWS(KER)-2021-11-1] [REFERRED TO]
ANANDAGOPAN K. VS. ANTO ANTONY [LAWS(KER)-2020-11-816] [REFERRED TO]
SACHIN MAKADE VS. NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU [LAWS(DLH)-2021-11-30] [REFERRED TO]
RAJENDRA AGRAWAL VS. STATE OF CHHATTISGARH [LAWS(CHH)-2021-4-5] [REFERRED TO]
PRAMOD S/O MADHAVRAO RANNAVARE VS. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA [LAWS(BOM)-2021-10-37] [REFERRED TO]
KALMATI RAMKRUPAL YADAV VS. CHANDRAPUR CITY MUNICIPAL CORPORATION [LAWS(BOM)-2021-6-93] [REFERRED TO]
IBRAHIMSHA VS. STATE REPRESENTED BY THE INSPECTOR OF POLICE [LAWS(MAD)-2022-3-59] [REFERRED TO]
M.SUBRAMANI VS. KAVITHA [LAWS(MAD)-2020-9-924] [REFERRED TO]
SHYAM SUNDER PRASAD VS. CENTRAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION [LAWS(ALL)-2022-6-32] [REFERRED TO]
SANJIB SARKAR VS. SMT. RAJASREE ROY [LAWS(CAL)-2021-11-4] [REFERRED TO]
SANJAY VS. PRIYA JOSHI [LAWS(KAR)-2021-9-286] [REFERRED TO]
SUNIL KUMAR GULATI VS. STATE OF PUNJAB [LAWS(P&H)-2022-3-24] [REFERRED TO]
SANJAY CHAWLA VS. STATE OF HARYANA [LAWS(P&H)-2021-3-12] [REFERRED TO]
RAM VIJAY SINGH VS. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH [LAWS(SC)-2021-2-68] [REFERRED TO]
RISHIPAL SINGH SOLANKI VS. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH [LAWS(SC)-2021-11-37] [REFERRED TO]
SANDRA VENKATA VEERAIAH VS. STATE OF TELANGANA [LAWS(TLNG)-2020-12-117] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

R.F.NARIMAN.J. - (1.)I .A. No. 134044 of 2019 for intervention in C.A. Nos. 20825-20826 of 2017 is allowed.
(2.)These Civil Appeals have been referred to a Bench of three honourable Judges of this Court by a Division Bench reference order dated 26.07.2019, dealing with the interpretation of Section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 ("Evidence Act") by two judgments of this Court. In the reference order, after quoting from Anvar P.V. vs. P.K. Basheer and Ors. (2014) 10 SCC 473 (a three Judge Bench decision of this Court), it was found that a Division Bench judgment in SLP (Crl.) No. 9431 of 2011 reported as Shafhi Mohammad vs. State of Himachal Pradesh (2018) 2 SCC 801 may need reconsideration by a Bench of a larger strength.
(3.)The brief facts necessary to appreciate the controversy in the present case, as elucidated in Civil Appeals 20825-20826 of 2017, are as follows:
i. Two election petitions were filed by the present Respondents before the Bombay High Court under Sections 80 and 81 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, challenging the election of the present Appellant, namely, Shri Arjun Panditrao Khotkar (who is the Returned Candidate [hereinafter referred to as the "RC"] belonging to the Shiv Sena party from 101-Jalna Legislative Assembly Constituency) to the Maharashtra State Legislative Assembly for the term commencing November, 2014. Election Petition No.6 of 2014 was filed by the defeated Congress (I) candidate Shri Kailash Kishanrao Gorantyal, whereas Election Petition No.9 of 2014 was filed by one Shri Vijay Chaudhary, an elector in the said constituency. The margin of victory for the RC was extremely narrow, namely 296 votes - the RC having secured 45,078 votes, whereas Shri Kailash Kishanrao Gorantyal secured 44,782 votes.

ii. The entirety of the case before the High Court had revolved around four sets of nomination papers that had been filed by the RC. It was the case of the present Respondents that each set of nomination papers suffered from defects of a substantial nature and that, therefore, all four sets of nomination papers, having been improperly accepted by the Returning Officer of the Election Commission, one Smt. Mutha, (hereinafter referred to as the "RO"), the election of the RC be declared void. In particular, it was the contention of the present Respondents that the late presentation of Nomination Form Nos. 43 and 44 by the RC -inasmuch as they were filed by the RC after the stipulated time of 3.00 p.m. on 27.09.2014 - rendered such nomination forms not being filed in accordance with the law, and ought to have been rejected.

iii. In order to buttress this submission, the Respondents sought to rely upon video-camera arrangements that were made both inside and outside the office of the RO. According to the Respondents, the nomination papers were only offered at 3.53 p.m. (i.e. beyond 3.00 p.m.), as a result of which it was clear that they had been filed out of time. A specific complaint making this objection was submitted by Shri Kailash Kishanrao Gorantyal before the RO on 28.09.2014 at 11.00 a.m., in which it was requested that the RO reject the nomination forms that had been improperly accepted. This request was rejected by the RO on the same day, stating that the nomination forms had, in fact, been filed within time.

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