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Absence of the date and place in the affirmation does not affect the contents of the declaration: Kerala High Court

The absence of the date and place in the affirmation part does not in any manner substantially affect the contents of the declaration. This was observed by the Court, in the matter of SUNIL BABU T.C vs. THE KERALA STATE CO-OPERATIVE ELECTION COMMISSION & ORS. [WP(C).No.3653 OF 2021(F)]. The judgement was pronounced by HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE SUNIL THOMAS.

The petition states that nomination of the petitioner as a candidate in the election to the governing body of the third respondent/Co-operative Society to the SC/ST reserved vacancy was rejected by the Returning Officer on the premise that the nomination paper was incomplete since place and date was not written in the declaration, by the candidate.

Evidently, the rejection of the application was on the ground that, nomination paper was incomplete. But it was established that the appending of their signatures by the candidate in the declaration and of the proposer and the seconder in the nomination is of vital importance. Any defect in it can render the nomination invalid.

The contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner was that, from the averments in the body of the affirmation, there is nothing to doubt the identity of the candidate. The place and date assume no relevance in so far as the contents of the affirmation were concerned, it was contended. To substantiate this contention, learned counsel relied on the decisions reported in Pankajaksha Panicker v. Venugopalan Nair (1993 KHC 389) and Santhosh v. Joint Registrar (1994 KHC 314).

The judgement stated, “It is clear that, absence of the date and place in the affirmation part does not in any manner substantially affect the contents of the declaration. Incomplete nature of the nomination does not in any manner vitally affect the affirmation. Having considered in this perspective, I find that, rejection of nomination by Ext.P3 order was on legally unsustainable grounds. Necessarily, impugned order is liable to be set aside. In the result, Writ Petition is allowed. Ext.P3 order is set aside and Ext.P2 nomination will stand accepted. All consequential steps shall be taken by the Returning Officer in this regard. Returning Officer shall proceed with the election in accordance with the Rules.”

The writ petition was hence allowed and the nomination of the petitioner was accepted.

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