The Madhya Pradesh High Court has dismissed the election petition challenging election of Congress MLA Sanjay Yadav from Bargi Assembly Seat in Jabalpur district.
The court held ‘resultantly, Election Petition No.21/2019 filed by Election
Petitioner Jitendra Kumar Awasthi against Returned Candidate Sanjay
Yadav fails and is dismissed’.
The election petitioner admittedly did not submit his nomination
form upto the prescribed time and admittedly he was removed from the
Office by the Returning Officer after 3:00 PM, therefore, Issue No.A as to
whether the election petitioner was illegally removed by the Returning
Officer is answered in negative, the court order said.
In the State Assembly Election for the Constituent Assembly
No.96, Bargi Vidhan Sabha for which the voting took place on
28.11.2018 and the results were declared on 11.12.2018, the total number
of voters were 220702, Returned Candidate Sanjay Yadav got 86901
votes and 14 other eligible candidates contesting the election got 83365
votes and 3091 voters selected Option “None Of The Above”, therefore,
in the light of the above-mentioned statistics, it cannot be said that the
absence of the election petitioner in the election fray could have
materially affected the election of the Returned Candidate Sanjay Yadav
requiring it to be declared as void, Issue No.B too needs to be answered
against the election petitioner, the court order said.
In the present case, as discussed above, the affidavit did not contain
signatures of the candidate. The material details, which were to be filled,
were left blank, which demonstrates that the nomination paper was
incomplete. Coupled with the fact that the nomination form was not
submitted and no attempt is seen to submit such nomination form besides
it being incomplete in all respects and not being filed within the
prescribed time, it cannot be said that the nomination form was tendered
to the authorities and the authorities were required to scrutinize it, the court order said.
Section 100(1)(c) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951
deals with improper rejection of a nomination form. A nomination form
not tendered cannot be subject to either acceptance or rejection. Even if
non-acceptance is hypothetically extended to mean improper rejection
then also to prove his case within the parameters of Section 100(1)(c) of
the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the election petitioner is
required to demonstrate that he had complete nomination form in terms of
the proviso below Section 31(1) of the Representation of the People Act,
1951 and it was tendered within the time prescribed under Section 31(1), the court order said.
Since both these aspects are missing, therefore, it cannot be said
that the nomination form was improperly rejected. There is no evidence
of any corrupt practice against Returned Candidate Sanjay Yadav. As the
election petitioner has accepted that there was no corrupt practice on the
part of the Returned Candidate, therefore, when there are no allegations
that the Returning Officer refused to accept the nomination at the instance
of the Returned Candidate or to favour the Returned Candidate and as
discussed above, the Returning Officer was not made a party in his
individual capacity to permit him to rebut the personal allegation, in my
opinion, none of the issues framed are made out, the court order said.
The Election Petition is filed by Jitendra Kumar Awasthi being
aggrieved of the action of authority in not permitting him to fill his
nomination form for the State Assembly Election for the Constituent
Assembly No.96, Bargi Vidhan Sabha for which the voting took place on
28.11.2018 and the results were declared on 11.12.2018 claiming that not permitting the Election Petitioner to contest the election in an arbitrary
and illegal manner has rendered the election as void and, therefore, the
election to the said Constituent Assembly No.96 Bargi Vidhan Sabha be
declared as void.
Awasthi submits that he had purchased nomination form after depositing a sum of Rs.10,000/- prior to the last date of filling up of the nomination form on 9.11.2018. Election Petitioner Jitendra Kumar Awasthi alongwith his Proposer Pyare Lal Jadiya were available in the election room at about 2:55 PM i.e. prior to the notified timing of 3:00 PM. At the time of his entering in the election room where the nomination forms were to be filled, Assistant Returning Officer Smt.Preeti Nagendra after seeking all the papers of the Election Petitioner Jitendra Kumar Awasthi had given him a Token Slip No.4, which was an indication that the election petitioner is entitled to fill
nomination form and had entered in the election room prior to the
At about 3:04 PM, Returning Officer Rohit Singh on a dispute
having arisen in regard to photograph of another prospective candidate
Smt.Keertan Vyas with her counsel or representative had thrown that
person out of the room and had threatened his subordinate officers. The
election petitioner was carrying a mobile phone in his hand. Returning
Officer Rohit Singh thought that he was recording the proceedings,
therefore, on such doubt, his mobile phone was taken and upon checking,
it was returned back to the election petitioner and when the election
petitioner had made a request that he be not insulted, he was threatened
and according to the election petitioner, the Returning Officer Rohit Singh had said that he can even use force but without any provocation,
the Returning Officer had thrown the election petitioner out of the
election room without accepting his nomination form and that became the
bone of contention for which the election petitioner had immediately
informed the election supervisor and thereafter had given a complaint to
the District Election Officer i.e. District Collector.
The election petitioner has filed an election petition in terms of the
provisions as contained in Section 80 on the grounds enumerated in
Section 100 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. It is alleged
that there is violation of the provisions as contained in Section 100(1)(c)
of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which is the foundation of
this election petition, namely, any nomination has been improperly
Returning Officer Rohit Singh admits that 9.11.2018 was the last
day of filling up of the nomination form and it was his responsibility to
accept the nomination forms of all the persons, who were granted entry in
the election room upto 3:00 PM. Returning Officer Rohit Singh admits
that nobody present in the election room could be forcefully thrown out
provided that the person available has a valid nomination form or the
person available is a Proposer of such candidate.
In reply to Question No.2 before the High Court, Returning Officer
Rohit Singh admits that the token arrangement is enforced so that all the
persons, who are available in the election room upto 3:00 PM, may wait
in the election room for their turn to file their nomination forms. He also
admits that all the officers involved in the work of election are trained.