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Balakrishna Bhaskar Paranjape Vs. H.R. Gokhale - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectElection
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberElection Petn. No. I of 1971
Judge
Reported inAIR1973Bom32; (1972)74BOMLR508; 1972MhLJ820
ActsRepresentation of the People Act, 1951 - Sections 83(1); ;Code of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 - Order 6, Rule 5
AppellantBalakrishna Bhaskar Paranjape
RespondentH.R. Gokhale
Appellant AdvocateParty in Person
Respondent AdvocateF.S. Nariman, ;Y.S.Chitale and ;M.O. Chinoy, Advs.
Excerpt:
.....of the people act, 1951. - - order 1. this is an application under rule 22 of the rules framed by this court in regard to election petitions under the representation of the people act, 1951, by the respondent, praying that in view of the failure of the petitioner to set forth full particulars of the corrupt practices alleged by him, his petition be dismissed in limine or in the alternative for an order directing the petitioner to give full particulars of the alleged corrupt practices and a consequential order for extension of time to file the written statement......at which the respondent is alleged to have got posters printed or such or them as he is able to furnish particulars of and make a statement on oath that he cannot furnish particulars in regard to the rest, or state on affidavit that he is not in a position ****** particular. as the petition does not refer to publishers i do not prose to make any order with regard to publishers.9. turning to item no. 8, i decline to order particulars in regard to any of the facts mentioned therein as i do not consider it possible for the petitioner to furnish the names and addresses of the agents (as distinguished from the election agent) of the respondent who did the particular acts mentioned therein, or of the volunteers and other persons referred to in this item.10. as far as item no. 9 of the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

1. This is an application under Rule 22 of the Rules framed by this Court in regard to Election Petitions under the Representation of the People Act, 1951, by the respondent, praying that in view of the failure of the petitioner to set forth full particulars of the corrupt practices alleged by him, his petition be dismissed in limine or in the alternative for an order directing the petitioner to give full particulars of the alleged corrupt practices and a consequential order for extension of time to file the Written Statement.

2. Before I deal with the claim for particulars made by the respondent in the present application, I may dispose of the point which indeed, was the only point raised by the petitioner who appeared in person before me in regard to the present application. It was contended by the petitioner that in exercise of the Court's discretion in the matter of making an order under O. 6. R. 5. sub-rule (2) of the Civil P. C., I should postpone making any order for particulars till after discovery of the necessary documents is made by the parties. Apart from the fact that under O. 6. R. 5. sub-rule (2), as now amended by this Court, an application for particulars by the respondent had to be made before the returnable date of the summons, which is to-day, I do not think that the principle on which the petitioner has relied in regard to the exercise of the Court's discretion in the matter of ordering particulars has any application to an election petition in view of the mandatory terms of Section 83(1)(b) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which enjoins that full particulars of any corrupt practice alleged by the petitioner in such a petition must be given in the petition itself. There are, of course, two limitations on the right of a party to call for 'full particulars' of any corrupt practice which has been alleged in the petition. The first of them is to be found in Section 83(1)(b) itself, in so far as it states that the particulars must be as full 'as possible.' which must mean as are possible having regard to the nature of the corrupt practice alleged. Such a limitation would, apart from the words of the statute itself, follow even as a matter of reasonable construction of that section. The second limitation on the 'full particulars' enjoined by Section 83(1)(b) follows from the terms of Sect 86 (5) of the same Act, in so far as it empowers the Court to allow particulars of any corrupt practice alleged in the petition to be amended or amplified in such manner as may be necessary ' for ensuring a fair and effective trial of the petition.' These words, though they occur in a provision which deals with the question of amendment or f amplification of particulars already contained or given, in my opinion, furnishes a clue to the way in which the court should exercise its power of ordering particulars in an election petition and constitutes what I would call the second limitation on the apparently unlimited import of the expression 'full particulars.' It is in the light of these observations that I will now proceed to deal with the various items in the respondent's application for particulars.

3. As far as Item No.1 in the Schedule to the application is concerned, though the petitioner has used the expression ' election agents' in the plural, in view of the provisions of Section 40 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, under which each candidate can appoint only one election agent whose name has to be communicated to the Returning Officer. I think it is superfluous to direct particulars of the names and addresses of the election agents mentioned in para. 3 of the petition book. I, however, direct that, as regards the dates and the places at which the alleged several meetings were held are concerned, the petitioner should state on affidavit such of the dates and places as he is able to give, and state on affidavit that he cannot give the rest, or if he cannot give any dates or places at all in regard to the same, he should make a statement on oath to that effect.

4. Turning to the second Item in the Schedule I do not think it would be possible for the petitioner to give the names and addresses of all the agents of the respondent, as here the word 'agents' is being used not in the limited sense of an election agent but in its broad general denotation. As far as the location of the conspicuous places where cloth banners in hundreds were hung is concerned, the petitioner should either furnish such of them as he is able to give and state on affidavit that he cannot give particulars in regard to the rest, or if he cannot furnish any particulars in regard to any of those places, he should make such a statement on affidavit, and the same directions will apply also to Item No.3 in the Schedule.

5. As far as Item No. 4 in the Schedule is concerned, the text or contents of the special metal badges are entirely irrelevant to the scope of the present petition, and in regard to the rest of this Item seeking particulars of the employment of thousands of volunteers. I am afraid it would not be possible for the petitioner to furnish any such particulars and having regard to the first of the two limitations already referred to by me an order for furnishing such particulars would not be justified.

6. Turning to the 5th Item in the Schedule, the petitioner should either state on affidavit the location of the places where such of the two hundred booths as he is able to give particulars of were situated and state on affidavit that he cannot give particulars with regard to the rest, or if he cannot give particulars in regard to any of them then he should make a statement on affidavit to that effect.

7. Turning to the 6th Item, I do not consider it possible for the Petitioner to furnish those particulars and I, therefore, make no order in regard to the same.

8. That brings me to the 7th Item and, here again, it must be stated that the contents of the posters would be entirely irrelevant to the scope of this petition. Moreover, it would not be possible for the petitioner to state the contents of the posters got printed by the respondent and I therefore make no order in regard to these particulars. I, however, direct that the petitioner should give particulars on affidavit of the names and addresses of the printing presses at which the respondent is alleged to have got posters printed or such or them as he is able to furnish particulars of and make a statement on oath that he cannot furnish particulars in regard to the rest, or state on affidavit that he is not in a position ****** particular. As the petition does not refer to publishers I do not prose to make any order with regard to publishers.

9. Turning to Item No. 8, I decline to order particulars in regard to any of the facts mentioned therein as I do not consider it possible for the petitioner to furnish the names and addresses of the agents (as distinguished from the election agent) of the respondent who did the particular acts mentioned therein, or of the volunteers and other persons referred to in this item.

10. As far as Item No. 9 of the Schedule is concerned, the petitioner should state on affidavit the number and the registered numbers of the motor vehicles in question, or such of them as he is able to furnish, and in regard to the rest, or in regard to all the motor vehicles as the case may be, he should state on affidavit his inability to furnish those particulars. As far as the names and addresses of the respondent's election agents are concerned, what I have said in regard to a similar claim in Item No.1 applies here also, and I do not think it necessary to order particulars thereof to be given. As far as the names and addresses of the persons from whom the motor vehicles were hired is concerned, I, however, direct the petitioner to furnish particulars on affidavit of the same or of such of them as he can and make a statement on affidavit that he cannot give the rest, or in the event of his being unable to furnish any of those particulars, make a statement to that effect on affidavit. I do not, however, direct him to give particulars of the period of the hire, the rate of hire and the charges paid to each of the persons from whom the vehicles were hired as I do not consider it possible for the petitioner to give all those details. The petitioner must, however, give particulars of the nature of any charges other than the petrol expenses and hire, if any, in respect of these items.

11. In regard to Item No. 10 of the Schedule, I order the petitioner to give particulars on affidavit by way of the names and addresses of the parties to whom the rent of loudspeakers is alleged to have been paid or such of them as he is able to furnish particulars of and to make a statement on affidavit that he cannot give the rest, or to state on affidavit that he is not able to give any of them. The rest of the item is already covered by an earlier item in the schedule.

12. In regard to Items Nos. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 of the Schedule, I order particulars on affidavit of the names of the persons to whom rent of tables and chairs was paid; and the names and ***** play charges' were paid; the names and addresses of the painters in respect of the wall painting at 1000 places in different languages; the names and address of the persons to whom the rent of tables, chairs and temporary sheds was paid; of the 'voting cards' with their voting number etc. before voting day; and the names and addresses of the, printers of the 'voter's indication slips' respectively. If the petitioner is unable to give any of these items, he should make a statement on affidavit in regard to the same. I decline to make any order in regard to the other parts of items Nos. 11 to 17 (both inclusive) either because they are already covered by one or other of the earlier items, or because I consider it unnecessary to make such an order.

13. As far as Item No. 18 is concerned, the same is fully covered by Item No. 7, and I do not propose to make any further order in regard to the same.

14. Mr.Nariman has not pressed Item No.19, I therefore do not make any order for particulars with regard to that item.

15. As far as Item 20 is concerned, I direct the petitioner to furnish on affidavit the names and addresses of the workers and the supervising staff referred to therein, or such of them as he is able to give the names and addresses of. If he is unable to give the names and addresses of all or any of them, he should make a statement to that effect on affidavit.

16. As far as Item 21 is concerned, the same is already covered by the order made by me in regard to Item No. 9 and no further order for those particulars is, therefore called for.

17. Turning next to Item 22, I direct the petitioner to furnish on affidavit the names and addresses of the persons by whom each of the payments referred to in Items 1 to 13 set out in paragraph 3 of the petition were made, but I do not make any order in regard to the rest of the said item as the same is covered by an earlier item.

18. As far as Item 23 is concerned, I order particulars on affidavit of sub-items (I), (ii), (iii) and (iv), but I decline to make any order in regard to sub-items (v) and (vi) thereof as I consider the same to be unnecessary.

19. Turning to Item 24, the practice referred to in the first sentence of para 4 is irrelevant for the purpose of this petition, and I therefore do not make any order for particulars in respect thereof.

20. As far as item 25 is concerned words not available in book particulars on affidavit of the averment referred to therein.

21. The particulars directed by me should be furnished by the petitioner on affidavit within two weeks from today, and a copy of such affidavit furnished by him to the respondent's attorneys within the said period.

22. The time for filing the written statement of the respondent is extended till 3 weeks after a copy of the affidavit containing particulars is furnished to the respondent's attorneys. Costs of this application to be costs in the cause.

23. As soon as the written statement is filed the matter should be put up before me for the further directions contemplated by Rule 12 of the Rules.

24. Application allowed.


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