J.S. Verma, J.
1. The petitioner filed his nomination to contest for the office of Sarpanch of Gram Panchayat, Vardha, tahsil Basoda, district Vidisha, along with respondents Nos. 4 and 5. The petitioner's nomination was rejected by the Returning Officer vide his order dated 21-5-1978 holding that he was disqualified for the office of Sarpanch. At the same time, the nomination of respondent No. 4 Virendrasingh was accepted as valid. By this petition under Art. 226 of the Constitution filed before the completion of the election, the petitioner seeks a writ of certiorari to quash the Returning Officer's aforesaid order dated 21-5-1978 rejecting his nomination and a further direction to reject the nomination of respondent No. 4 Virendrasingh which has been accepted.
2. The only ground on which this petition has been filed is the improper rejection of petitioner's nomination and the improper acceptance of the nomination of respondent No. 4 Virendrasingh for the office of Sarpanch. The M. P. Panchayats Act, 1962 under which these elections are held, expressly provides a remedy by way of an election petition under Section 357 thereof and lays down that no such election shall be called into question except by a petition presented to the prescribed authority. The grounds on which such an election can be challenged by way of an election petition are laid' down in the M. P. Panchayats (Election Petitions, Corrupt Practices and Disqualification for Membership) Rules, 1962, framed under the Act. The only ground on which this petition is filed is provided as a ground for challenging the election of the returned candidate by an election petition under the Act. This remedy of election petition is undoubtedly 'any other remedy' as contemplated by Art. 226(3) introduced by the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act, 1976. Art. 226(3), and therefore, clearly bars such a petition and it is liable to be dismissed for this reason alone.
3. We may also add that it has been long settled ever since the decision in N P. Ponnuswami v. Returning Officer. Namakhal (AIR 1952 SC 64) that theword 'election' is of wide import and is used to embrace the whole procedure of election commencing with the announcement of election programme andending with the declaration of the final result thereof, and that the validity of an election is to be challenged by an election petition after declaration of the result and not during the process of election by a petition under Art. 226 of the Constitution. The provision of the special jurisdiction which can be invoked by an aggrieved party at the end of the election excludes the other forms, the right and the remedy being creatures of the Statute and not common law rights. This scheme of law of election is equally applicable to elections held to constitute local authorities or village panchayats. The bar of writ jurisdiction in election matters under Article 226 of the Constitution even as it stood prior to its amendment by the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act, 1976 has been reiterated time and again by the Supreme Court. In this connection It is sufficient to refer to the recent decision in Mohinder Singh Gill v. Chief Election Commr. New Delhi, (1978) 1 SCC 405: (AIR 1978 SC 851), which refers to the earlier decisions while reiterating once again this principle. Another recent decision in K. K. Shrivastava v. Bhupen-dra Kumar Jain (AIR 1977 SC 1703) taking the same view is also instructive. The challenge in that case was to the entire election to the Bar Council of this State by a petition under Art. 226. That challenge was upheld by this Court in its writ jurisdiction. Reversing the decision of this Court, their Lordships reiterated the law as under:-- (At p. 1704)
'It id well settled law that while Art. 226 of the Constitution confers a wide power on the High Court there are equally well settled limitations which this Court has repeatedly pointed out on the exercise of such power. One of them which is relevant for the present case is that where there is an appropriate or equally efficacious remedy the Court should keep its hands off. This is more particularly so where the dispute relates to an election. Still more so where there fs a statutorily prescribed remedy which almost reads in mandatory terms.'
Interference under Art. 226 in election matters where remedy of an election petition is available is, therefore, not appropriate. In view of this position off the law, with regard to the writ juris-diction under Article 226 of the Constitution prior to its amendment by the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act, 1976, there can hardly be any room for doubt after the amendment introducing Clause (3) in Article 226 containing the inhibition, that such a petition cannot be entertained under Article 226 in view of the remedy of election petition available to the petitioner under the Act,
4. This petition is, therefore, dismissed with costs. Respondent No. 1 State of M. P. shall get its costs from the petitioner. Counsel's fee Rs. 50/-, if certified. The remaining amount of the security deposit shall be refunded to the petitioner.