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No direction can be issued to the Election Commission of India in reference to the internal election of the parties – Madras High Court

“This court took cognizance of the aforesaid to maintain the writ petition seeking free and fair elections to the local bodies in reference to Article 243 of the Constitution. In the instant case, the election is not to local bodies, Assembly or Parliament, but internal elections of the political party.” These were said by the double bench of Hon’ble Mr. Munishwar Nath Bhandari, and Hon’ble Mr. Justice P. D. Audikesavalu in the case of J. Jayachandran v. The Election Commissioner of India (W.P.No.26171 of 2021)

Here in the case writ petition has been filed seeking a writ of mandamus to forbear the first respondent from according its approval for the newly elected posts of Coordinator and Joint Coordinator of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) pursuant to the election notice dated 2.12.2021. An interim injunction is also sought to restrain the fifth and sixth respondents from announcing the election result for the posts of Coordinator and Joint Coordinator pursuant to the election notice, pending disposal of the writ petition.

Learned counsel for the petitioner submited that the petitioner is a loyal and sincere member of the second respondent political party for more than thirty years, who rendered dedicated service for upliftment of the people of the Tamil Nadu at large. The third and fourth respondents jointly announced the election notice on 2.12.2021, where the date of election to the posts of Coordinator and Joint Coordinator was mentioned to be on 7.12.2021 and, accordingly, the fifth and sixth respondents were appointed as Election Commissioners. The third and fourth respondents ignored the mandatory requirement of issuance of notice 21 days prior to the announcement of the elections and the attempt of the respondents was only to allow two nominations excluding others. The third and fourth respondents along with the fifth and sixth respondents did not allow any member to submit their nomination papers and, as a consequence, the third and fourth respondents would definitely get elected pursuant to the elections. The petitioner knowing about the schedule of election and denial of nomination by none other than the third and fourth respondents is left with no option but to prefer this writ petition to safeguard the democratic values of the party and the country.

Learned counsel for the petitioner also referred to the judgment in the case of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam v. State Election Commissioner, 2007 (1) CTC 705, learned counsel for the petitioner submits that a public interest litigation would be maintainable whenever injustice is meted out to large number of people. Learned counsel for the petitioner has given further reference of the judgment of the Apex Court in the case of Board of Control for Cricket in India v. Cricket Association of Bihar and others, (2015) 3 SCC 251, wherein also the objection to the maintainability of the writ petition against the BCCI was raised. The Apex Court did not accept the objection, rather the writ petition was maintained keeping in mind the affairs of the BCCI not only to select the cricket team to represent the country, but even other functions of the BCCI.

The double bench of Hon’ble Mr. Munishwar Nath Bhandari, and Hon’ble Mr. Justice P. D. Audikesavalu ruled out “In the light of the discussion made above, we do not find the writ petition to be maintainable against respondent Nos.2 to 6 and no direction can be issued to the Election Commission of India in reference to the internal election of the parties. Hence, the writ petition would not be maintainable in the present case. It is more so when despite an opportunity to learned counsel for the petitioner, he could not refer to any provision of the Act of 1951 empowering the Election Commission of India to look into the internal elections of the political party.”

For the foregoing reasons, the writ petition fails and is dismissed finding it to be not maintainable.

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Judgement reviewed by Himanshu Ranjan

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