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Abdul Ravoof Sab Vs. T.N. Kempahonniah and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectElection
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberMisc. Appeal No. 72 of 1956
Judge
Reported inAIR1957Kant84; AIR1957Mys84; (1957)35MysLJ128
ActsMysore Municipalities Act, 1951 - Sections 20; Municipal Election Rules - Rule 28; Town Municipalities Rules
AppellantAbdul Ravoof Sab
RespondentT.N. Kempahonniah and ors.
Appellant AdvocateV. Krishna Murthi, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateV.K. Govindarajulu, Adv.
Excerpt:
.....of law answered against the revenue. - it may be mentioned that according to the evidence adduced by respondent 1 himself, the appellant, while carrying on his election campaign used pamphlets like exts......the municipal elections for division no. i, tumkur town, held in february 1956 under the mysore town municipalities act, 1951. respondent 1 filed an election petition under section 20 of the act challenging the appellant's election on the ground that an unauthorised symbol different from that, assigned to the appellant had been attached to the ballot box of the appellant and that the use of that symbol had materially affected the result of the election. his contention was that the symbol assigned, to the appellant was a pair of bullocks which is one of the symbols authorised under r. 28, but the symbol actually used on the. appellant's ballot box was a pair of bullocks with a yoke and that as the latter symbol is associated with the indian national congress as an election symbol for.....
Judgment:

Sreenivasa Rau, J.

1. The appellant and Respondents 1 and 2 contested the Municipal Elections for Division No. I, Tumkur Town, held in February 1956 under the Mysore Town Municipalities Act, 1951. Respondent 1 filed an Election Petition under Section 20 of the Act challenging the Appellant's election on the ground that an unauthorised symbol different from that, assigned to the Appellant had been attached to the ballot box of the Appellant and that the use of that symbol had materially affected the result of the election. His contention was that the symbol assigned, to the Appellant was a pair of bullocks which is one of the symbols authorised under R. 28, but the symbol actually used on the. Appellant's ballot box was a pair of bullocks with a yoke and that as the latter symbol is associated with the Indian National Congress as an election symbol for legislative elections, its use resulted in enabling the appellant to obtain the majority of votes that he did. The learned Civil Judge, Tumkur, accepted this contention of Respondent' 1, set aside the Appellant's election and ordered that a fresh election be held for the Division.

2. In this appeal the Appellant has urged that the symbol actually used on the ballot box fulfilled the description of a pair of bullocks, that no material error was committed by the Returning Officer in affixing such a symbol to the Appellant's ballot box and that it had not been established that the election had not been materially affected by this factor in the sense that the Appellant had obtained a numerical superiority of votes in consequence of it.

3. The learned Civil Judge has found that a pair of bullocks with a yoke was used as a symbol for the candidates of the Congress Party in the legislative elections held about 4 years prior to the Municipal Election in question. In his view the yoke featured in the symbol affixed to the ballot box made a material difference in the character of the symbol. He also held that the association of the symbol, a pair of bullocks with a yoke, with the Congress party as a symbol for the legislative elections influenced the voters in the. Municipal Elections in a sufficient measure materially to affect the results of the election.

4. It is clear from a perusal of the learned Judge's order that his decision has been largely influenced by the consideration that the symbol --a pair of bullocks with a yoke -- was used by the Congress party in the legislative elections, He seems to think that because the symbol assigned to the Congress party was two bullocks with a yoke and the symbol included in the Schedule to the Town Municipalities Rules is merely a pair of bullocks, the additional feature of a yoke actually appearing in the symbol pasted on the ballot box of the Appellant made the latter an unauthorised symbol under the provisions of the Town Municipalities Rules. This appears to us to be a wrong approach. The assignment of a symbol in relation to elections, held in a different context and under a different enactment can have no hearing on the question whether the symbol used in the Municipal Elections fulfilled the requirements of the Town Municipalities Act and the Rules thereunder. The only matter for consideration was whether the symbol used would be understood to represent a pair of bullocks by any one who saw it. Supposing a pair of bullocks with a yoke was the symbol assigned to a particular party in legislative elections held under the relevant enactment, is there anything in law preventing the use of the same symbol in elections under the Town Municipalities Act? Adverting, therefore, to the question whether the symbol used on the Appellant's ballot box conforms to the description of a pair of bullocks as described in the Schedule to the Town Municipalities Rules, it is seen that the symbol consists of two bullocks with a yoke placed on the necks of both. It is also seen that a rope passes round the neck of each of the bullocks and a string through the nostrils of each of them. If, for a moment, we forget the yoke, could it he said that the string round the neck and the one through the nostrils take away the essential character of the symbol as representing a pair of bullocks? The symbol assigned to Respondent 1 is an elephant.

Supposing the picture of the elephant actually used was a caparisoned elephant, could it be said that the symbol did not conform to the description of an elephant as given in the Schedule to the Town Municipalities Rules? It may be mentioned that according to the evidence adduced by Respondent 1 himself, the Appellant, while carrying on his election campaign used pamphlets like Exts. D-l, D-2, D-3. & D-4. Indeed, Respondent 1's grievance is that while the picture of two bullocks found in these exhibits does not feature a yoke, Ext. P. 4 which represents the symbol actually used on the Appellant's ballot box features a yoke.

But the pictures of the bullocks in Exts. D-l to D-4 contain some additional features i.g., in Ext. D-l, both bullocks have strings passing through their nostrils and one of the bullocks has an ornamental band round its neck. Not only it is not suggested on behalf of Respondent 1. that these pictures do not conform to the description of a pair of bullocks, but it is his case that while the use of these pictures was in order it is the picture of the bullocks with a yoke used on the Ballot Box that does not conform to the description of a pair of bullocks.

It is difficult to see on what basis this distinction can be made. If other additional features which are quite natural in the setting did not take away the essential character of the symbol, why should it be said that the featuring of a yoke takes away the character of the picture as representing two bullocks? Obviously the learned Judge has taken that view because a pair of bullocks with a yoke was a symbol assigned to the Congress party in the legislative elections.

That, however, is an extraneous factor and not germane to ascertaining whether the picture used can be described as that of a pair of bullocks or not. In our view the circumstance that a yoke also figures in the picture does not make the symbol different from the description 'a pair of bullocks', as given in the Schedule to the Town Municipalities Rules. There has thus been no breach of Rule 28 of the Town Municipalities Rules regarding the assignment of a symbol.

5. This question itself is enough to dispose of the appeal, since, if any other consequence has flowed from the use of the symbol in question such consequence cannot vitiate the election as the use of the symbol itself has been held to be in order. The consequence that is alleged to have resulted from the use of the symbol is that the Appellant was able to make use of the prestige of the Congress organisation, liven assuming that he did so, there is nothing under the Town Municipalities Act to prevent a candidate from making use of his association with any organisation or his seeking aid of any organisation so long as it does not contravene any rule or so long as it does not amount to corrupt practice.

It has at no time been suggested by Respondent 1 that there was any corrupt practice, nor has it been contended or shown by him that any rule is contravened. We must, therefore, allow the appeal and set aside the order of the learned Civil Judge. Respondent 1 will pay the Appellant's costs in both the Courts. Advocate's fee Rs. 100/-.

6. Appeal allowed.


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