RAM PADARATH MAHTO Vs. MISHRI SINHA
LAWS(SC)-1960-11-25
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: PATNA)
Decided on November 17,1960

RAM PADARATH MAHTO Appellant
VERSUS
MISHRI SINHA Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

N SATYANATHAN VS. K SUBRAMANYAN [DISTINGUISHED]



Cited Judgements :-

DANTU BHASKARARAO VS. C V K RAO [LAWS(APH)-1963-4-9] [REFERRED TO]
B LAKSHMIKANTHA RAO VS. D CHINNA MALLAIAH ALIAS DESINI MALLAIAH [LAWS(APH)-1971-9-2] [REFERRED TO]
B LAKSHMIKANTHA RAO VS. D CHINNA MALLAIAH [LAWS(APH)-1978-9-11] [REFERRED TO]
C PARASURAM VS. M VENKATARAMI [LAWS(APH)-1984-4-11] [REFERRED TO]
SATYA PRAKASH VS. BASHIR AHMED QURESHI [LAWS(MPH)-1963-4-13] [REFERRED TO]
SOMNATH RATH VS. BIKRAM KESHARI ARUKH [LAWS(ORI)-1998-12-1] [REFERRED]
DEWAN JOYNAL ABEDIN VS. ABDUL WAZED ALIAS ABDUL WAZAD MIAH [LAWS(SC)-1987-12-70] [REFERRED TO]
KARTAR SINGH BHADANA VS. HARI SINGH NALWA [LAWS(SC)-2001-3-22] [REFERRED]
SRIKANT VS. VASANTRAO [LAWS(SC)-2006-1-40] [REFERRED TO]
RAMACHANDRAN VS. K OMANAKUTTAN [LAWS(KER)-2002-10-28] [REFERRED TO]
DEOCHANDRA JHA VS. RAMCHANDRA MISHRA [LAWS(PAT)-1961-3-1] [REFERRED TO]
HARI SINGH NALWA VS. KARTAR SINGH BHADANA [LAWS(P&H)-2000-11-41] [REFERRED]
NARAYAN SINGH VS. ANIL KUMAR SHISHODIA [LAWS(RAJ)-2013-10-58] [REFERRED TO]
YUGAL KISHORE SINHA VS. NAGENDRA PRASAD YADAV [LAWS(PAT)-1964-1-29] [REFERRED]


JUDGEMENT

Gajendragadkar, J. - (1.)Is the appellant Ram Padarath Mahto disqualified for membership of the Bihar Legislature under S. 7 (d) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, (hereafter called the Act) That is the short question which arises for our decision in the present appeal by special leave. The appellant was one of the candidates for the Dalsinghsarai Constituency in the District of Darbhanga in Bihar for the State Legislature. The said Constituency is a Double-Member Constituency; it was required to elect two members, one for the general and the other for the reserved seat for scheduled castes in the Bihar Legislative Assembly. It appears that the said constituency called upon voters to elect members on January 19, 1957. January 29, 1957, was fixed as the last date for the filing of the nomination papers. The appellant filed his nomination paper on January 28, 1957, and on the next day seven other members filed their nomination papers. On February 1, 1957, the nomination paper filed by the appellant was rejected by the returning officer on two grounds; he held that the appellant being an Inspector of Co-operative Societies was a Government servant at the material time and so was disqualified from standing for election. He also found that the appellant was a member of a joint and undivided Hindu family which carried on the business of Government as stockist of grain under a contract between the Government of Bihar and a firm of the joint family known as Nebi Mahton Bishundayal Mahto. Thereafter the election was duly held, and Mr. Mishri Singh and Mr. Baleshwar Ram, respondents 1 and 2 were declared duly elected to the general and reserved seat respectively. The validity of this election was challenged by the appellant by his Election Petition No. 428 of 1957. To this petition he impleaded the two candidates declared to have been duly elected and five others who had contested in the election. Before the Election Tribunal the appellant urged that he was not in the employ of the Government of Bihar at the material time. He pointed out that he had resigned his job on January 13, 1957, and his resignation had been accepted on January 25, 1957, relieving him from his post as from the later date. He also contended that there was a partition in his family and that he had no share or interest in the contract in question. Alternatively it was argued that even if the appellant had an interest in the said contract it did not fall within the mischief of S. 7 (d) of the Act. These pleas were traversed by respondents 1 and 2 who contested the appellant's election petition.
(2.)The Election Tribunal found that the petitioner was not a Government servant on the day he filed his nomination paper, and so according to it the returning officer was wrong in rejecting his nomination paper on the ground that he was a Government servant at the material time. The Election Tribunal rejected the appellant's case that there was a partition in the family, and held that at the relevant time the appellant continued to be a member of the joint Hindu family which had entered into the contract in question with the Government of Bihar. However, in its opinion, having regard to the nature of the said contract it was not possible to hold that the appellant was disqualified under S. 7(d), and so it came to the conclusion that the returning officer was in error in rejecting the appellant's nomination paper on this ground as well. In the result the Tribunal allowed the election petition, declared that the nomination paper had been improperly rejected, and that the election of the two contesting respondents was void.
(3.)Against this decision the two contesting respondents filed two appeals in the High Court at Patna (Election Appeals Nos.. 9 and 10 of 1958). The High Court has confirmed the finding of the Tribunal that the appellant was not a Government servant at the material time. It has also agreed with the conclusion of the Tribunal that at the material time. It has also agreed with the conclusion of the Tribunal that at the relevant time the appellant was a member of the undivided Hindu family. On the construction of the contract, however, it differed from the view adopted by the Tribunal, and it has held that as a result of the said contract the appellant was disqualified under S. 7(d) of the Act. This finding inevitably led to the conclusion that the appellant's nomination paper had been properly rejected. On that view the High Court did not think it necessary to consider whether the Tribunal was right in declaring void the election of not only respondent 1 but of respondent 2 as well. It is against this decision of the High Court that the appellant has come to this court by special leave; and the only question which is raised on his behalf is that the High Court was in error in coming to the conclusion that he was disqualified under S. 7(d). The decision of this question naturally depends primarily on the construction and effect of the contract in question.
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