S.K. Kapur, J.
1. By this petition the petitioner seeks to challenge the two orders passed by the Election Commission of India (Respondent No. 1) dated 23rd May, 1964, appointing Delhi as the place for the further trial of the Election Petition No. 225 of 1962 and dated 6th August, 1964 rejecting the application of the petitioner for retransfer of the petition to another Tribunal at Ludhiana.
2. The petitioner contested election to the Punjab Legislative Assembly for Ludhiana, North Constituency in February, 1962. He was got elected and respondent No. 3 was one of the defeated candidates. Harbhagwan respondent No. 3 filed an election petition being No. 225 of 1962 under Sections 80 and 81 of Representation of the People Act challenging the election of the petitioner. By notification No. 82/225/62 dated the 2nd Tune 1962 the Election Commission, respondent No 1 appointed Shri Chander Gupta Suri the then District and Sessions Judge, Kapurthala, respondent No. 2, as a member of the Election Tribunal constituted for the trial of the said petition. The commission in exercise of powers under Section 88, fixed Ludhiana as the place of trial. Shri Chander Gupta Suri was then transferred as District and Sessions Judge, Ludhiana and he continued to try the petition. On 30th April, 1964 Shri Suri was transferred to Delhi and he adjourned the case sine die. By notification No. 82/225/62/1051, dated the 29th May, 1964 annexure A-l to the petition the Commission appointed Delhi as the place for further trial or the said election petition The petitioner's application for transfer of case to some other Tribunal at Ludhiana was rejected by the Election Commission (Respondent No. 1) by order dated 6th August, 1964 and the petitioner filed this writ petition impugning the correctness of the said two orders.
3. Mr. K. C. Sharma learned counsel for the petitioner submits that on the correct construction of Section 88 of the Representation of the People Act the Election Commission respondent No. 1, was obliged to fix a place in Punjab for the trial of the said election petition and in appointing Delhi the Election Commission has acted outside its authority conferred on it under Section 88. In the submission of the learned counsel the words 'shall be held at such place' as the Election Commission may appoint in Section 88 must mean at such place within the State in which the election to which the petition relates took place. He submits that the proviso and the section must be read together and when so read it becomes apparent that no place outside Punjab could be appointed for the trial of the petition. In proviso to Section 88 of the Act, a Tribunal has been given a discretion to sit for any part of the trial at any other place in the State. According to the learned counsel the words 'at any other place in the State' were indicative of the limitation that must be placed on otherwise wide language of the opening part of Section 88. If under Section 88 any place outside the State could be fixed then the words 'any other place' would not have been used in the proviso. The words 'any other place in the State' mean a place other than a place in the State appointed by the Election Commission. The learned counsel relies in this connection on Hari Vishnu v. Ahmad Syed, AIR 1954 Nag 166 (182) (FB), where it was held that.
'the argument of the learned counsel ignores from consideration the proviso to Section 88. In my opinion the main section and the proviso have to be read together and after they are so read, it is clear that the place of the trial must be situate within the State from which the petition arises '
It is well established that terms of an intelligible proviso may throw considerable light on the ambiguous import of the statutory words and a proviso may in certain cases be a useful guide in the selection of one or other of two possible constructions of the words in an enactment We are in respectful agreement with the view expressed in the said Nagpur decision.
4. The order of the Election Commission, respondent No. 1, dated the 29th of May 1964 is therefore, outside the scope of its authority under Section 88 and has to be struck down. The order dated the 6th August 1964 is merely consequential and would fall with the order dated the 29th May 1964. In the result the petition is allowed, and the orders dated the 29th May 1964 and 6th August, 1964 of respondent No. 1 quashed. There will, however, be no order as to costs.
5. I agree.