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A. Sanjeevi Reddi Vs. G.C. Kondayya and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectElection
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petn. No. 800 of 1959
Judge
Reported inAIR1960AP421
ActsConstitution of India - Article 226; Representation of the People Act, 1951 - Sections 116A
AppellantA. Sanjeevi Reddi
RespondentG.C. Kondayya and anr.
Appellant AdvocateP. Ramachandra Reddi and ;Y. Kota Reddy, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateB.V. Subrahmanyam and ;V.V. Krishnamurthy, Advs. and ;P. Krishna Reddi, Adv. for ;M.S. Ramachandra Rao, 2nd Govt. Pleader
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
.....settled that, where there is another remedy provided, the court may properly exercise its discretion in declining to interfere under article 226. the interlocutory order passed by the election tribunal allowing the amendment can surely be corrected in an appeal;.....alia, that the result of the election had been materially affected by the improper reception of void votes. the 1st respondent included these alleged void votes in schedules 1 to 5 to the election petition. the petitioner filed his written statement denying knowledge as to whether any void votes had been cast in his favour or had been taken into account. on the 25th may, 1959 the petitioner inspected the election papers after obtaining permission.the 1st respondent also perused them, and on the following day, the petitioner filed a recrimination petition alleging that certain votes cast in favourof the 1st respondent were themselves void votes. on the 12th june 1959, the 1st respondent filed i.a. no. 4 of 1959 for amendment of the election petition by the addition of some more votes.....
Judgment:

Satyanarayana Raju, J.

1. This is a petition, under Article 226 of the Constitution, for the issue of a writ of certiorari to quash the order of the Election Tribunal, Nellore, dated 5th August 1959 in I.A. No. 4 of 1959 in Election Petition No. 3 of 1959 in so fur as it allowed the 1st respondent to amend the schedules appended to the election petition.

2. Consequent on the resignation of the sitting member, there was by-election to the Legislative Assembly of Andhra Pradesh from the Atmakur Constituency in the District of Nellore. The petitioner, the 1st respondent and one Dr. Ramachandra Reddy contested the by-election. At the polling the petitioner secured 22,380 votes; the 1st respondent 22,351 votes; and the other candidate 437 votes; and the Returning Officer accordingly declared the petitioner duly elected.

3. The 1st respondent herein filed a petition under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act (as amended) and therein he prayed that the election of the petitioner might be declared void on the ground, inter alia, that the result of the election had been materially affected by the improper reception of void votes. The 1st respondent included these alleged void votes in schedules 1 to 5 to the election petition. The petitioner filed his written statement denying knowledge as to whether any void votes had been cast in his favour or had been taken into account. On the 25th May, 1959 the petitioner inspected the election papers after obtaining permission.

The 1st respondent also perused them, and on the following day, the petitioner filed a recrimination petition alleging that certain votes cast in favourof the 1st respondent were themselves void votes. On the 12th June 1959, the 1st respondent filed I.A. No. 4 of 1959 for amendment of the election petition by the addition of some more votes to the five schedules originally filed by him. The application was opposed by the petitioner on the ground that the matters sought to be introduced thereby were new charges ana if admitted, they would result in raising fresh grounds of challenge, and that the amendment should not be granted as a fresh petition on these allegations would be barred on that date.

The Tribunal allowed the application of the 1st respondent for amendment, observing that the matters sought to be introduced were merely particulars in respect of a charge already set out in the petition and further, that Order 6, Rule 17, Code of Civil Procedure, was applicable to proceedings before the Election Tribunal. The petitioner attacks the correctness of this conclusion and contends that the Tribunal had no power, under Order 6, Rule 17 C. P. C., to order the amendment in question.

4. While justifying the order of the Tribunal on the merits, the learned counsel for the 1st respondent has contended that this Court should not interfere with an interlocutory order passed by the Tribunal. We think this objection must prevail.

5. Under the Representation of the People Act, as it stood prior to its amendment in 1956, election petitions dismissed on preliminary grounds were the subject-matter of challenge in applications under Article 226 and in further appeals to the Supreme Court, with the result that by the time the matter was finally decided, the life of the Legislature for which the election was held would have itself very nearly come to an end, thus rendering the proceedings infructuous. It was to remedy this defect that Parliament has amended the law by providing a right of appeal against the ultimate decision of the election Tribunal to the High Court, under Section 116A. As pointed out by their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Veluswami Thevar V. Raja Nainar, : AIR1959SC422 the obvious intention underlying the amendment is to provide that proceedings before the Tribunal should go on with expedition and without interruption and that any error in its decision should be set right in an appeal under that section.

The jurisdiction of the High Court to issue writs against orders of the Tribunal is undoubted; but then, it is well settled that, where there is another remedy provided, the Court may properly exercise its discretion in declining to interfere under Article 226. The interlocutory order passed by the Election Tribunal allowing the amendment can surely be corrected in an appeal; and we are of opinion that this is not the stage at which this Court should embark upon a determination of the question raised in this petition. If eventually either of the parties is aggrieved by this or any other interlocutory order passed by the Tribunal, it would be open to the aggrieved party to canvass the correctness of that order in an appeal filed under Section 116A of the Act.

6. In the view, we must decline to exercise our jurisdiction under Article 226 at this stage. The petition is accordingly dismissed with costs. Advocate's Fee Rs. 100/-.


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