1. This is an application to revise the order of the District Judge of Anantapur, declining to set aside an election on the ground of violation of the rules. The petitioner's allegation in the petition was that one of the voters, instead of marking a cross against the name of the candidate, wrote his name (the candidate's name), in the space provided and that this was against the rules governing elections. The learned Judge held that it would be inexpedient, to construe too strictly the rules, regulating the conduct of unlettered persons like many of these voters. One of these rules regulating the conduct of election is that the voter should only place his mark against the name of the candidate for whom he wants to vote, but should not write his own name, or the name of the candidate; for, by doing so, the very object of the secret ballot will be lost. It is essential that, in the case of secret ballot, it should not be known for whom a particular voter recorded his vote. It is admitted that a voter who writes the name of the candidate against the space left for the cross-mark commits a breach of the election rules. These rules are not merely directory but mandatory. This violation of these rules nullifies the vote, and such vote should be declared invalid. The contention of Mr. Ramdoss, for the respondent, is, that this is a revision under Section 115, and the learned Judge has neither exercised a jurisdiction not vested in him by law, nor has he declined to exercise a jurisdiction vested in him. If the learned Judge has only misconstrued the rule it would not be a proper ground for interference; but he seems to think that the rule should not be strictly construed, in the case of illiterate voters. Whether the voters are literate or illiterate, the rule is the same. That being so, I think this is a case for this Court to interfere. It is very unfortunate that this matter comes up, nearly two and half years, after the date of the election. It is add that an order now passed would unseat the respondent and would entitle the petitioner to a seat. Considering that the result turned upon a single vote, I think this is a case in which the lower Court's order should be sat aside. I, therefore, set aside the order of the District Judge and the result will be that the petitioner will be declared elected and he will be entitled to take his seat and the respondent will lose his seat.
2. The petitioner will be entitled to costs only in this Court.