1. This is an application for revision of the order of the Additional District Judge, Washim, passed upon an election petition filed by the non-applicant No. 1 Suwalal, challenging the election of the application Jaikumar to the Janapad Sabha, Washim.
2. The learned Judge held that the acts of the applicant in using loud-speakers and in conveying voters to the polling booths constituted corrupt and illegal practices, that the result of the election was adversely affected by reason of these practices and that the election was therefore void.
3. The only point which is argued before mo by Shri Deshpande, who appears for the applicant, is that the acts alleged to have been committed by the applicant do not fall within the definition of corrupt and illegal practices contained in the rules framed under Section 182(2)(vi) of the Central Provinces and Berar Local Government Act, 1948. The expression 'corrupt and illegal practices' has been defined thus in Rule 1 of the rules framed under Section 182(2)(vi):
'The following shall be deemed to be corrupt and illegal practices:
(a) Bribery, undue influence and personation as defined in Sections 171B, 171C and 171D of Chapter IX-A of the Indian Penal Code;
(b) the employment, or connivance at the employment, of any officer or servant of a Sabha as an agent or for canvassing;
(c) the acting as an agent or canvassing by any officer or servant of a Sabha.'
Shri Deshpande points out that this definition does not regard the use of loud-speakers or the provision of conveyance for taking voters to the polling booths as corrupt and illegal practices an therefore the election could not be held to be void.
3a. Shri Chandurkar who appears for the non-applicant No. 1 refers to Rule 15 of the rules framed under Section 182(2)(xi) of the Act and points out that there is a distinction between Clause (a) and (b) of that rule. It will be useful to quote those clauses:
'15. Save as hereinafter provided in this rule, if in the opinion of the Judge-
(a) the election or selection of a candidate has ben procured or induced, or the result of the election or selection has been materially affected, by any corrupt or illegal practice; or
(b) any corrupt or illegal practice specified in the rules framed under Section 182, Sub-section (2), Clause (vi) has been committed by an elected or selected candidate or his agent;
the election or selection of the candidate shall be void.'
He points out that whereas in Clause (b) there is a pointed reference to the definition of corrupt or illegal practice as defined in the rules framed under Section 182(2)(vi), there is no such reference in Clause (a). According to him, therefore, the expression 'corrupt or illegal practice' as used in Clause (a) must be understood or taken in a much wider sense.
4. It appears to me that the rule has not been very happily worded. Once the Rule-making authority has framed the definition of corrupt and illegal practices in exercise of its powers under Section 182(2) (vi) then that definition must necessarily control the meaning of that expression wherever the expression is used. The words 'corrupt and illegal practices' have no standard meaning and it will be found that the expression has been defined variously in different Acts. Thus in the Representation of the People Act a far larger number if acts are brought within the definition of corrupt practices. That being the position, the Court must adhere to the definition contained in the Act under which the election petition is made before it or in the rules framed under that Act. I therefore hold that the acts alleged to have been committed by the applicant do not fall within the definition of corrupt and illegal practices and that therefore the election cannot be said to be void.
5. In addition, I may mention that there is no specific finding by the learned Judge to the effect that the election of the applicant was procured or induced or was materially affected by any corrupt or illegal practice. All that he has said is that the result of the election has been adversely affected. This is not what Rule 15 regards as sufficient.
6. For all these reasons, I allow the application and set aside the order of the learned Additional District Judge. Costs throughout will be borne by the non-applicant No. 1. The amount of security deposited by the applicant shall be refunded to him.
7. Application allowed.