RAJESHEKAR BASAVARAJ PATIL Vs. SUBASH KALLUR
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: KARNATAKA)
RAJESHEKAR BASAVARAJ PATIL
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Dharmadhikari, J. -
(1.)This is an appeal under Section 116A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (for short 'the Act') against the order dated 10th April, 2001 passed by the High Court of Karnataka at Bangalore dismissing Election Petition No. 13/99 filed by the present appellant challenging election of the Returned Candidate (respondent No. 1 herein) to the Humnabad seat of Karnataka Legislative Assembly Constituency No. 5. The Returned Candidate-Respondent No. 1 got 35, 438 votes as against the present appellant who got 31,868 votes.
(2.)The election of the Returned Candidate has been assailed on the sole ground that the Returned Candidate on the date of election was disqualified to contest the election as there subsisted a contract between him and the State of Karnataka for construction of Right Bank Canal under the project of Irrigation Department. The aforesaid ground of disqualification is covered by Section 100(1)(a) read with Section 9A and Section 67A of the Act. The aforesaid three Sections of the Act are reproduced hereunder for ready reference :-
"Section 100. Grounds for declaring election to be void.- (1) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (2) if (the High Court) is of opinion-
(a) that on the date of his election a returned candidate was not qualified, or was disqualified, to be chosen to fill the seat under the Constitution or this Act (or the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963 (20 of 1963); or
(b) to (d) **********
Section 9A. Disqualification for Government contracts, etc.- A person shall be disqualified if, and for so long as, there subsists a contract entered into by him in the course of his trade or business with the appropriate Government for the supply of goods to, or for the execution of any works undertaken by, that Government.
Explanation.- For the purposes of this section, where a contract has been fully performed by the person by whom it has been entered into with the appropriate Government, the contract shall be deemed not to subsist by reason only of the fact that the Government has not performed its part of the contract either wholly or in part.
Section 67A. Date of election of candidate.- For the purposes of this Act, the date on which candidate is declared by the returning officer under the provisions of Section 53 or Section 66, to be elected to a House of Parliament or of the Legislature of a State shall be the date of election of that candidate."
(3.)The appellant's case pleaded and sought to be proved in the election Petition before the High Court was that on the date of election i.e. 5-9-1999, there existed a contract between the Returned Candidate as Class I Government Contractor with the Government of Karnataka for the construction of Right Bank Canal including C.D. works from Km. 45 to 46 Lower Mullarnari Project of the Irrigation Department. This fact is not in dispute that the tender submitted for the Contract by the respondent was accepted by the Competent Authority i.e. Chief Engineer, Irrigation Department vide his letter dated 5-11-1996. The period fixed for completion of contract was six months including the monsoon season. It is also not disputed by the respondent that even after the expiry of stipulated period of six months, respondent No. 1 executed the works under the contract up to 11-8-1999 and was paid for it. Respondent No. 1 claims to have submitted on 11-8-1999 an application to the Executive Engineer requesting that he be granted "No dues Certificate" as he intended to contest the Assembly Elections.
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