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Kollipara Venkata Manikya Rao and ors. Vs. Chitturu Bhadrachalam and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectElection
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1938Mad507; (1938)1MLJ375
AppellantKollipara Venkata Manikya Rao and ors.
RespondentChitturu Bhadrachalam and ors.
Excerpt:
- .....commissioner (the district munsiff) of bezwada, an election petition which dealt with a certain election dispute, and for quashing his order declaring the election void. the main contention put forward in support of the application is that the absence of a finding by the election commissioner that the illegal rejection of certain votes by the election officer had materially affected the result of the election deprives the election commissioner of jurisdiction to decide the dispute. i am unable to accept this contention though it may appear to find some support in the cases relied upon by the petitioner's learned advocate. the jurisdiction to decide the election dispute in question was undoubtedly with the election commissioner, and indeed no other person or tribunal had legal.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Pandrang Row, J.

1. This is an application under Clause 7 of the Letters Patent for the issue of a writ of certiorari calling for the record of the proceedings in O.P. No. 136 of 1936 on the file of the Election Commissioner (the District Munsiff) of Bezwada, an election petition which dealt with a certain election dispute, and for quashing his order declaring the election void. The main contention put forward in support of the application is that the absence of a finding by the Election Commissioner that the illegal rejection of certain votes by the Election Officer had materially affected the result of the election deprives the Election Commissioner of jurisdiction to decide the dispute. I am unable to accept this contention though it may appear to find some support in the cases relied upon by the petitioner's learned Advocate. The jurisdiction to decide the election dispute in question was undoubtedly with the Election Commissioner, and indeed no other person or tribunal had legal authority to decide that dispute. It cannot be said that the jurisdiction which existed at the outset was lost merely because the Election Commissioner did not record a particular finding. What is really meant by the decisions relied upon is that if a statutory tribunal performs its duties in disregard of the ordinary law or of the procedure and conditions imposed upon it by the law which gives it jurisdiction, the High Court can and should interfere to prevent an abuse of the power conferred by the statute; but it does not follow that the tribunal which obviously is the only tribunal having jurisdiction loses it by such disregard. In this particular case, I have no doubt that the decision of the Election Commissioner was right. The omission to record a finding is obviously due to oversight. The case was not contested before the Election Commissioner and he decided it ex parte. The evidence on which his decision was based is sufficient to show that the result of the election was materially affected by the improper rejection not only of votes but also of nomination papers and indeed by reason of the exclusion of large number of persons entitled to take part in the election from the place in which the election was held. The learned Election Commissioner has found that the Election Officer rejected these votes with a view to favour one of the two parties who were contesting the election. In another place he observes that the Election Officer must have played into the hands of the other party. When such were the conclusions he came to, it is mere hair-splitting to argue that because he did not in so many words say that the result of the election was materially affected by the rejection of votes, and exclusion of voters his order must be deemed to be without jurisdiction. The irregularity and indeed the illegality that attended the election was apparently so open and patent that the petition for setting aside the election was not contested and was heard ex parte. It is not alleged that the ex parte hearing of the petition was improper or unjust. It is clear that the petitioners who now desire to have the order of the Election Commissioner quashed were not prepared to appear before the Election Commissioner and contest the allegations made against the validity of the election. To encourage such persons would not, in my opinion, further the cause of justice. I do not think it is necessary or even desirable that this Court should exercise its special powers in order to assist persons who have profited by illegal practices.

2. The application is therefore dismissed with costs of the contesting respondents. Advocate's fee is fixed at Rs. 50 (Memo of costs will follow).


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