1. The petnr. filed a petn. to set aside the election of the resp. to the Vellampalli Firka in the Dist. Board, Guntur. The petn. came up for hearing before the Election Comr. on 21-3-1950 when the resp's counsel prayed for time. His appln. tor adjournment was, however, refused & the Election Comr. went on with the enquiry & examined the witnesses tendered by the petnr. On the evidence before him he passed an order setting aside the election of the resp. Subsequently the resp. filed an appln. purporting to be under Order 9 Rule 7 & Section 151, C. P. C. praying the Election Comr. to set aside the order by which his election was set aside. The Election Comr. found that the resp. had sufficient cause for not attending the hearing & allowed the appln. The petnr. seeks to have this order quashed on the ground that the Election Comr. had no jurisdiction to entertain an appln. under Order 9 Rule 7, C. P. C.
2. The question is whether this provision of the C. P. C. applies to the case of an election petn. Under Rule 1 Sub-rule 3 of the rules with respect to the decision of disputes as to validity of election, an election Comr. exercising jurisdiction under these rules shall be deemed to exercise such jurisdiction as a 'persona designata' & not in his capacity as a Judge or other officer of Govt. as the case may be. It has been held time & again by this Ct. that the order of the Election Comr. is not subject to interference by this Ct. under its revisional powers under Section 115, C. P. C. The decision in 'Mahabaleswarappa v. Gopalasami Mudaliar', 58 Mad 954: AIR 1935 Mad 673: 36 Cr LJ 895 on which reliance was placed by the resp. is not inconsistent with the position that the Election Comr. is not a civil Ct. within the meaning of the Civil Courts Act or the C. P. C. It is evidently because the Election Comr, cannot be deemed to be an ordinary civil Ct. governed by the C. P. C. that a special rule had to be framed in regard to the procedure to be followed by him In the enquiry of an election petn. Rule 6 provides that,
'Every election petn. shall be' enquired into by the Election Comr. as nearly as may be in accordance with the procedure applicable under the C. P. C., 1908, to the trial of suits provided that it shall only be necessary for the Election Comr. to make a memorandum of the substance of the evidence of any witness examined by him.'
The explanation to this rule specially vests the Election Comr. with powers which are generally vested in a Ct. under the C. P. C. in respect of certain matters like discovery & inspection, enforcing the attendance of witnesses, compelling the production of documents etc.
3. It Is clear from this rule that the C. P. C. in its entirety Is not applicable to an election petn. Nor has the Election Comr. all the powers & jurisdiction vested in an ordinary civil Ct. governed bythe C. P. C. If the Election Comr. were such acivil Ct., then Section 115 would also have been applicable. The provisions of Rule 6, no doubt render theprocedure applicable under the C. P. C. to the trialof suits applicable also to the enquiry of electionpetns. But, we are not prepared to hold that theprovisions of the C. P. C. which deal with mattersarising after the final disposal of a suit would alsoapply to an election petn. To give an instance,we have no hesitation in holding that the jurisdiction to review a final order which is conferred onan ordinary civil Ct. under Order 47 Rule 1 of the Codeis not vested in an Election Comr. Logically it mustfollow that the power to set aside a final order onthe ground that one of the parties was preventedby sufficient cause from taking part in the trial ofthe suit must also be deemed not to nave beenconferred on the Election Comr. Mr. Munikanniah, learned counsel for the resp. was, unable tocite any authority in support of the position, thatprocedure applicable to trial would also compriseproceedings to set aside final orders. In the absenceof an express provision empowering him to setaside his own orders either by way of review or byway of applns. under Order 9, C. P. C., the ElectionComr. will have no jurisdiction to do so. Theorder in question must therefore be quashed. Therewill be no order as to costs.