1. In this petition under Arts. 226 and 227 of the Constitution, the petitioner has sought for quashing the order D/- 10-6-1983, passed by the Returning Officer (respondent 1) rejecting the nomination paper filed by the petitioner for contesting the election to the membership of the Agricultural Produce Market Committee, Kundagol, from Agriculturists Constituency. Respondent 1 has rejected the nomination paper of the petitioner on the ground that the petitioner has not paid the dues within the stipulated time as per S. 160(i), Karnataka Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) Act, 1966 (for short, the 'Act').
2. It is not possible to grant the relief sought for in this petition. There was no interim order granted. As a result thereof, the election has taken place. After the election, the petitioner ought to have challenged the same under the provisions of the Act, as there is a specific provision contained in the Act for challenging the election.
3. It is submitted by Sri C. M. Desai, learned Counsel for the petitioner, that the petitioner is not so much interested to have the election set aside, but he only apprehends that the impugned order of the Returning Officer may be held against him in the subsequent elections; because the Act does not contain as to for what period such a disqualification should continue.
4. No doubt, under S. 16(2)(i) of the Act, if a person who is a voter, is a defaulter for a period of more than 15 days by failing to pay any fee or other amount due to the market committee from the date on which the bill in that regard is presented to him, he is disqualified for being chosen or for being a member of the market committee. In respect of some of the disqualifications. S. 16 of the Act, provides for the period for which the disqualifications operate. But, in respect of this disqualification, no period is mentioned. But, in order to attract S. 16(2)(i) of the Act, the person concerned must continue to be a defaulter on the date of filing the nomination paper. Before a person is held to be disqualified under S. 16(2)(i) of the Act, three things must be satisfied: (i) a bill demanding payment of fee or other amount due to market committee must have been presented to the person concerned; (ii) in spite of presentation of such bill, the person concerned must have failed to pay the same for more than 15 days from the date of presentation of the bill; (iii) the failure to pay should have continued on the date of filing of the nomination paper. On the contrary, if prior to the filing of the nomination paper, the person concerned pays the bills in such an event on the date of filing the nomination paper, default will not be subsisting; therefore he will not be disqualified to be chosen as member. The words 'If he is a defaulter' occurring in S. 16(2)(i) of the Act, are very clear in this regard. Therefore, the person concerned must continue to be a defaulter on the date of filing the nomination paper. That being so, I do not see any basis for the apprehension of the petitioner that the order rejecting his nomination paper will be held against him in the subsequent elections and on the basis of the very default, his nomination paper would again be rejected. The defaulter means, the defaulter on the date of filing the nomination. When the petitioner had already paid the amount by the time of filing the nomination paper, he could not have been considered as a defaulter. But it is not possible to grant relief to the petitioner as he has failed to challenge the election by availing the remedy of an election petition, as such the election has become final.
5. For the reasons stated above, this petition fails and the same is dismissed.
6. Petition dismissed.