P.C. Misra, J.
1. The petitioner was a candidate for election to the office of Sarpanch of the Raighara Grama Panchayat for which he had filed his nomination. Opposite Party 3, Dhanuram Ganda, raised an objection against the candidature of the petitioner on the ground that the petitioner had been described as Abhan Singh Rajput at serial No. 82 against Holding No. 43 of the electoral roil whereas he had signed the nomination paper as Abhan Singh without mentioning 'Rajput' after his name. The Election Officer-Opposite Party No. 1 by his order D/- 24-12-83 (vide Annexure-2) rejected the nomination paper of the petitioner on the ground that the petitioner's name did not tally with the name given in the electoral roll. Consequently, the list of validly nominated candidates did not contain the name of the petitioner for which he could not contest the election. Therefore, the petitioner has prayed for quashing of Annexure-2 and also for quashing the election held without giving him an opportunity of contesting the said election.
2. Opposite party No. 1, the Election Officer, has filed a counter affidavit contending that the rejection of the petitioner's nomination paper is in accordance with the provisions of the Orissa Grama Panchayat Election Rules, 1965 and that the grievance made by the petitioner is untenable in law. It has also been stated that the objection in regard to the discrepancy in the name of the petitioner was raised by opposite party No. 3 who was also a candidate and had filed nomination to contest the said election. The nomination paper of opposite party No. 3 was rejected by the Election Officer on the ground that the same had not been properly filled in. Against the said reject on, opposite party No. 3 has filed a separate writ application in this Court being O. J. C. No. 77 of 1984. It has been contended on behalf of opposite party No. 1 that as an alternative remedy by way of an election petition is available to the petitioner in this case as also to opposite party No. 3 (petitioner in O. J. C. No. 77 of 1984), the extraordinary jurisdiction under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution cannot be invoked.
3. Rule 28, Orissa Grama Panchayat Election Rules, 1965, provides that no person shall be eligible to stand as a candidate for the office of Sarpanch unless his name finds place in the electoral roll of the Grama. Rule 29 of the said Rules provides :
'29. (a) The Election Officer shall at the appointed time, date and place receive nomination papers separately for the office of members and Sarpanch in Form No. 4 and scrutinise them in the presence of the candidates, their proposers and seconders, if any, who may be present. If he finds that the candidates are duly qualified in accordance with the provisions of Section 11 and not disqualified under any of the clauses of Section 25 of the Act, he shall approve their candidature. Objections, if any, filed in the course of scrutiny shall be enquired into summarily by the Election Officer and his decision accepting or rejecting the nomination papers shall be endorsed on the body of the nomination papers with reasons for the decision.
(b) The Election Officer shall not reject a nomination paper merely on account of some discrepancy between the age, name, or other particulars of a candidate or his proposer or seconder as given in the nomination paper and in the Electoral Roll, provided that the Election Officer is otherwise satisfied that the identity of a candidate is not in doubt and the question of eligibility is not involved.'
A bare reading of Rule 29 would show that a nomination paper shall not be rejected merely on account of some discrepancy between the age, name or other particulars of a candidate as given in the nomination paper and in the electoral roll provided that the Election Officer is otherwise satisfied that the identity of the candidate is not in doubt and his eligibility is not in question. In the case of the petitioner the Election Officer has not expressed any doubt as to the identity of the petitioner and his eligibility is also not in question. All that has been found is that there is discrepancy in the name of the petitioner in the electoral roll and in the nomination paper. The petitioner alleges in this writ petition that he reconciled the discrepancy before the Election Officer by saying that his name is Abhan Singh and that 'Rajput' is the sect to which he belongs. According to him, in the electoral roll the word 'Rajput' has been suffixed to his name to indicate the sect to which he belongs. In other words, his representation before the Election Officer was that Abhan Singh in the nomination paper and Abhan Singh Rajput in the electoral roll mean the same person and as his identity was not in question, the said discrepancy in the nomination paper should not have been made a ground for rejection of his nomination paper. There being no challenge to the identity of the petitioner, the Election Officer was not justified in rejecting the nomination paper of the petitioner.
4. In the facts and circumstances of the case, we have no hesitation to quash the order dated 24-12-1983 (Annexure 2) and declare that the petitioner should have been nominated as a candidate for the election in question. Consequently, the election held on 28-1-1984 to the office of Sarpanch of the Raighara Grama Panchayat is declared invalid and we direct that a fresh election be held for the office of Sarpanch of the Raighara Grama Panchayat in accordance with law.
There would be no order for costs.
G.B. Patnaik, J.
5. I agree.