ADDIGIRI VENGAMUMI Vs. CHUKKALOORU NARAYANAPPA
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
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Narasimham, J. -
(1.)The writ petition has been referred to the Full Bench for disposal as raising an important question as to the jurisdiction of an Election Tribunal constituted under the Andhra Pradesh Municipalities Act, 1965 (Act VI of 1965) to go into the question whether certain of the votes were cast by voters who were under-aged being less than 21 years of age and for that purpose to order inspection of ballot papers.
(2.)The question has arisen this way; at Municipal Council, Dharmavaram, on 24-9-1967 the petitioner Vengamuni, and the 1st respondent Narayanappa, w ere the candidates who contested from Ward No. 7. The total votes polled in that ward were 680 out of which Narayanappa secured 325 votes and the petitioner secured 331 votes, 24 votes having been invalidated. The petitioner was duly declared to have been elected to the Municipal Council from Ward No. 7. Narayanappa the defeated candidate, filed an Election Petition O. P. No. 107 of 1967 before the Election Tribunal (the Subordinate Judge, Ananthapur) challenging the petitioners election on various grounds. At the hearing, however, he pressed only one ground that certain voters were under-aged on the date of election and their names were fraudulently inserted in the Electoral Roll, and even at the time of voting objections were raised before the Polling Officer and the result of the election was affected by reception of such votes. Narayanappa also filed an application before the Election Tribunal for the scrutiny of the Ballot papers relating to the the 12 persons alleged to have been under-aged. The application was opposed; but the Election Tribunal ordered the inspection of ballot papers. It is against the said order that the petitioner has filled the present writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution.
(3.)In support of this Writ Petition, it is alleged in affidavit that the Tribunal has no jurisdiction to go into that question contrary to the decision of a Division Bench of this Court: Ramachandram v. D. Seshayya. (1961) 2 Andh WR 23 which held that the age of an elector could not be gone into in an Election petition. It is therefore alleged that the Election Tribunal acted in excess of its Jurisdiction.
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