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Mangaraj Vs. Election Officer-cum-s.D.O. and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectElection
CourtOrissa High Court
Decided On
Case NumberO.J.C. No. 27 of 1971
Judge
Reported inAIR1972Ori59
ActsOrissa Gram Panchayat Act, 1965 - Sections 4(1), 9 and 10(1)
AppellantMangaraj
RespondentElection Officer-cum-s.D.O. and ors.
Appellant AdvocateS. Misra, Adv. (1)
Respondent AdvocateGovt. Adv. and ;C.V. Murty, Adv.
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
.....and union of india v smt gita banik, 1996 (2) glt 246, are not good law]. - therefore, he satisfied the requirements of section 16 (3) (a) of the orissa panchayat samiti act and rejection of his nomination is illegal. ' thus, the gram panchayat is to be composed of members elected from each ward as well as the sarpanch to be elected by the persons referred to in section 4 (1) from amongst themselves......that his name finds place in the electoral roll contemplated under section 4 (1) of the orissa gram panchayat act and that the rejection of his nomination was illegal and without jurisdiction. opposite party nos. 1, 2 and 5 filed counter opposing the application. according to them, during the last general election of gram panchayats held in the year 1970, the block development officer who was the election officer published the electoral roll of the petitioner's gram dhanupali according to wards on 14-4-70 and invited objections before 22-4-70. after finalising the electoral roll of the gram, the gram panchayat elections were held and the said electoral roll was maintained in the register envisaged in section 9 of the gram panchayat act. the nomination of petitioner was rejected on.....
Judgment:

A. Misra, J.

1. This writ application has been filed under Article 226 of the Constitution for quashing the orders of the Election Officer (opposite party No. 1)dated 29-12-70 rejecting the nomination paper of the petitioner for election to the office of the Chairman of Maneswar Panchayat Samiti on the ground that his name does not find place in the electoral roll of the Grama within the jurisdiction of the Samiti. The petitioner alleges that he is known as Mangaraj Senapati alias Mangaraj. He filed two nomination papers duly proposed and seconded; that his name finds place in the electoral roll contemplated under Section 4 (1) of the Orissa Gram Panchayat Act and that the rejection of his nomination was illegal and without jurisdiction. Opposite Party Nos. 1, 2 and 5 filed counter opposing the application. According to them, during the last general election of Gram Panchayats held in the year 1970, the Block Development Officer who was the Election Officer published the electoral roll of the petitioner's Gram Dhanupali according to wards on 14-4-70 and invited objections before 22-4-70. After finalising the electoral roll of the Gram, the Gram Panchayat elections were held and the said electoral roll was maintained in the register envisaged in Section 9 of the Gram Panchayat Act. The nomination of petitioner was rejected on the ground that his name was not found in the register constituting the electoral roll.

2. Petitioner has filed Annexure 1 showing that his name finds place in the electoral roll of the Assembly constituency within which his Gram is included and this fact is not disputed. Section 16 (3) (a) of the Orissa Panchayat Samiti Act, 1959 which provides the eligibility qualifications for election as Chairman of the Panchayat Samiti runs as follows:--

'16 (3) (a). The members of all the Gram Panchayats within the jurisdiction of the Samiti shall, in the prescribed manner, elect the Chairman of the Samiti from among persons who are elected as or are eligible to be elected as members of any such Gram Panchayat.'

Petitioner alleges that under the relevant provisions of the Gram Panchayat Act, he was eligible to be elected as a member of the Gram Panchayat. Therefore, he satisfied the requirements of Section 16 (3) (a) of the Orissa Panchayat Samiti Act and rejection of his nomination is illegal.

3. The point for consideration is whether under the provisions of the Orissa Gram Panchayat Act, 1964 (hereinafter to be referred to as the Act) petitioner was eligible to be elected as a member of the Gram Panchayat. According to the petitioner, the electoral roll of the Assembly constituency constitutes the electoral roll of the Gram under Section 4 (1) of the Act and a person whose name finds place in it is eligible for election to the Gram Panchayat under Section 10 (1) (a) of the Act. On the other hand, it is urged on behalf of opposite parties that Rule 6 of the Panchayat Samiti (Conduct of Election) Rules, 1966 lays down that no person shall be eligible to stand as a candidate for the office of Chairman unless his name finds place in the electoral roll of the Gram and under Rule 4 of the Orissa Gram Panchayats Election Rules, 1965, the Election Officer is to cause splitting up of the electoral roll for each Gram so as to have a separate electoral roll for each ward. Therefore, unless a person's name is found in the register for each ward as envisaged in Section 9 of the Act, he will not be eligible for being elected as a member of the Gram Panchayat and as such ineligible for contesting the election to the office of Chairman, Panchayat Samiti.

4. It is to be seen which of the rival contentions is to prevail. The relevant provisions which are to be considered in this connection are Sections 4 (1), 8, 9 and 10 (1) of the Act. Under Section 4 (1), so much of the electoral roll of the Assembly constituency for the time being in force as relates to the Gram shall be deemed to be the electoral roll in respect of that Gram. Section 10 (1) runs as follows:--

'10 (1). Every Gram Panchayat shall be composed of the following members, namely-

(a) a member to be elected by the persons referred to in Sub-section (1) of Section 4 from amongst themselves who shall be the Sarpanch; and

(b) a member to be elected from each of the wards by the persons on the electoral roll for the ward from amongst themselves.'

Thus, the Gram Panchayat is to be composed of members elected from each ward as well as the Sarpanch to be elected by the persons referred to in Section 4 (1) from amongst themselves. The Sarpanch elected under the latter provisions is also a member of the Gram Panchayat. Sections 8 and 9 provide for division of the Gram Panchayat into different wards and splitting up of the electoral roll of the Assembly constituency wardwise and enter the same in a register which is to be the electoral roll for each ward. Thus, Section 9 refers only to the electoral roll of the wards on the basis of which members under Section 10 (1) (b) are to be elected. Section 9 has no reference to the election of the Sarpanch who also is a member of the Gram Panchayat under Section 10 (1) (a). In respect of him, the electoral roll is the one contemplated in Section 4 (1), that is, the electoral roll of the Assembly constituency so far it relates to the Gram. When the petitioner's name is admittedly in the electoral roll of the Assembly constituency so far it related to that Gram, he is eligible on that basis to be elected as a member of the Gram Panchayat under Section 10 (1) (a). This being so, he satisfies the requirements under Section 16 (3) (a) of the Panchayat Samiti Act. It follows that the refection of his nomination on the ground that his name did not find place in the register maintained for the wards under Section 9 or the relevant rules was illegal and without jurisdiction. Therefore, the order of rejection is liable to be quashed.

5. In this case, though petitioner prayed for stay of the election to the office of Chairman of Maneswar Panchayat Samiti pending disposal of the writ application, only interim stay of publication of the result was ordered thus permitting the election to be held. Opposite Party No. 5 in his counter-affidavit has stated that he has secured the maximum number of votes at the election. The nomination of petitioner having been illegally rejected as a result of which he was ousted from the contest, the result of the election must be held to have been materially affected.

6. Hence, we allow the writ application, quash the order of the Election Officer rejecting the nomination of the petitioner and the consequent election held for the office of Chairman of Maneswar Panchayat Samiti. We direct that a fresh election be held after accepting the nomination of the petitioner. In the circumstances of the case, there will be no order as to costs.

G.K. Misra, C.J.

7. I agree.


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