SHAIK SAIDULU SAIDA Vs. CHUKKA YESU RATNAM
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: ANDHRA PRADESH)
SHAIK SAIDULU SAIDA
CHUKKA YESU RATNAM
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Sethi, J. -
(2.)Both the appeals are filed against the similar orders of the High Court by which the election petitions filed by the appellants under S. 71 of the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Act, 1955 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act") were dismissed on the ground that such petitions were barred by limitation. The High Court held that the provisions of S. 671 of the Act were not applicable to an election petition filed under S. 71 of the said Act. To arrive at such a conclusion, the High Court held that applications, referred to in S. 671 of the Act, did not include within its ambit, an election petition, as provided under the Act vide S. 71. The only question of law, argued before us, which would decide the fate of the appeals, is as to whether S. 5 of the Limitation Act is applicable to the election petitions filed under the Act or not.
(3.)The facts giving rise to the filing of the appeals are that the appellant-Shaik Saidulu alias Saida (in civil appeal arising out of S.L.P. No. 8034 of 2001) filed nomination for the post of Mayor of Guntur Municipal Corporation on behalf of Indian National Congress Party on 21-2-2000. Upon scrutiny, the nomination papers of the parties contesting the appeals, were found to be in order. Elections were held on 9-3-2000 and the first respondent, who contested the elections as a candidate of Telugu Desam party, was declared elected to the post of Mayor, Guntur Municipal Corporation on 11-3-2000. Aggrieved by the result of the election, the appellant filed an election petition before the District Judge, Guntur on 29-3-2000 which was returned to him on 31-3-2000 on the ground that the District Judge was not the Tribunal to hear the election petition. The Election Tribunal was constituted in the first week of May, 2000 when the Courts were closed for summer vacation and its notification was allegedly published on 28-5-2000. After reopening of the Courts, the appellant again filed the election petition before the District Judge, Guntur on 3-6-2000, allegedly not being aware of the Constitution of the Election Tribunal. His election petition was again returned on 17-6-2000. After coming to know about the constitution of the Election Tribunal, the appellant presented the election petition before the Tribunal at Hyderabad on 22-6-2000. The Tribunal returned the election petition allowing the appellant 7 days time for filing the election petition along with application for condonation of delay. As per direction of the Election Tribunal, the appellant again filed his election petition with an application under S. 5 of the Limitation Act seeking the condonation of delay of 42 days in filing the election petition. The Election Tribunal allowed IA No. 6 of the appellant and condoned the delay in filing the petition. Aggrieved by the order passed by the Election Tribunal, the respondent No. 1 moved the High Court of Andhra Pradesh invoking its extraordinary jurisdiction under Art. 227 of the Constitution of India praying for the dismissal of the election petition of the appellant on the ground of being barred by limitation. The High Court allowed the petition vide the order impugned in this appeal and held the petition filed by the appellant barred by time.
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