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Instead of giving an opportunity to the petitioner to cure the defect, the nomination form which was once accepted, has been rejected immediately: HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH AT INDORE

The petition stands allowed and disposed of by HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH AT INDORE in the case of KRISHNA BAI V. THE STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH through HON’BLE JUSTICE SUBODH ABHYANKAR

FACTS OF THE CASE
This petition has been filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India challenging order dated 07.06.2022 passed by the Returning Officer Village Kotada Bujurg, Tehsil Garoth, District Mandsaur whereby the petitioner’s Nomination Form for the unreserved woman post of Sarpanch for Gram Panchayat Kotada Bujurg, Janpad Panchayat Garoth on the ground that the no dues certificate in respect of the electricity bill was not of the petitioner as the electricity bill is in the name of the husband of the petitioner and the no dues certificate has been issued by the electricity company in the name of the petitioner’s husband Dinesh Kumar Patidar. It is submitted that it was only a technical objection which ought to have been allowed to be cured by the Returning officer. Counsel for the petitioner has submitted that the petition has been filed also on the ground that initially the petitioner’s nomination form was accepted by the Returning Officer, which is apparent from the document wherein the Returning Officer has clearly stated that the Form of the petitioner being in accordance with law is accepted on 07.06.2022, however, the aforesaid Form has been rejected on the same day holding that the no dues certificate is not in the name of the petitioner. The aforesaid rejection of Nomination form after accepting is not permissible under any law.

JUDGEMENT
In view of the aforesaid dictum of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, it is apparent that the proceedings which can be questioned on the touch stone of fairness and justice and on the ground of mala fide or arbitrary exercise of powers being made out or the authority has acted in breach of law, and that too to further completion of a fair election, to subserve the progress of the election and facilitates the completion of the election, can be assailed in a writ petition which would be maintainable. Thus, in the light of the aforesaid mandate of law, the Returning Officer was obliged to ask the petitioner to cure the defect, which was technical in nature, however, instead of giving an opportunity to the petitioner to cure the defect, the nomination form which was once accepted, has been rejected immediately. Thus, without going into the mandate whether the Returning Officer had the authority to review and cancel the nomination form once accepted, this Court finds it expedient to quash the impugned order dated 07.06.2022, and directs the Returning Officer to allow the petitioner to cure the defect within three days time and proceed further as per the election programme. With the aforesaid, present petition stands allowed and disposed of.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY SHREYA NIDHI

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