1. The question here is whether where only one candidate for the Presidentship of a Local Board has been no-minated and in accordance with the rules has been deemed to be elected, an election petition will lie against his appointment. The question has been considered by Jackson, J. in Srinivasa Chariar v. Venkatarama Aiyar : (1924)47MLJ762 and he has come to the conclusion that no such petition will lie. His opinion is based on the wording of Rule 1 of the Rules for the Decision of Disputes. This decision is in a case under the Madras District Municipalities Act, whereas the question here arises under the Madras Local Boards Act, but the rules framed under each of these Acts are practically identical. The important words are in Rule 1, that is,
No election... shall be called in a question except by an election petition... by any candidate or elector against the candidate (herein after called the returned candidate) who has been declared by the President of a Local Board to have been duly elected.
2. In the present case a successful candidate who can hardly be called the 'returned candidate' as he was the only one nominated has not been declared by the President of the Local Board to have been duly elected, but under the rules he is deemed to have been elected. Similarly, it is difficult to hold that there was any other candidate who could present a petition or even any elector when no election has been held. Election means selection of one out of two or more and therefore the return of a solitary candidate is not, strictly speaking, an election by the electors, for the electors have had no say whatever in the matter. For these reasons we agree with the view taken by Jackson, J. The authority to the contrary in Sarvothama Rao v. The Chairman, Municipal Council, Saida-pet 45 M.L.J. 23 is hardly in point, because this question was not argued before that Bench. The question there was whether Civil Courts had jurisdiction to entertain certain suits, and there is an observation in the judgment that the remedy lay by means of an election petition, but the point now taken was not discussed there. The petition is accordingly dismissed with costs.