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The Thodu Tangle: The Karnataka High Court Validates Villagers’ Concerns on Bridge Construction.

Samad A.A. & Ors. v. State of Karnataka & Ors.

Writ Appeal No.: 636 OF 2024

Court: High Court of Karnataka.

Coram: Hon’ble J. B.M. Shyam Prasad, J. T.G. Shivashankare Gowda.

The High Court of Karnataka delivered a judgment on May 2, 2024, on a writ appeal filed against an interim order dated 18.03. 2024. The interim order directed the Deputy Commissioner of Madikeri to remove a concrete road constructed on a thodu within four weeks.

 

FACTS OF THE CASE

The appellants are the residents of Mugatageri village in Kodagu District. A concrete road has been put up on the thodu (a small stream or water channel) in their locality, which might have resulted in the stagnation of water. The initial petition was filed by Sri K.K. Deepak against various state officials and local authorities responsible for the construction and maintenance of the road. After this, there were directions to remove the concrete road, but actions were yet to be taken due to the election.

 

LEGAL ISSUES

  1. Whether the appellant’s rights would be affected by the implementation of the interim order directing the removal of the concrete land?
  2. Whether the appellants should have been impleaded as parties in the writ petition before passing the interim order?

 

LEGAL PROVISIONS

  • Section 4  of the Karnataka High Court Act, 1961, under which the appeal was filed.
  • Rule 27 of the Writ Proceedings Rules, 1977, states that a certiorari writ petition must include certified or authenticated copies of the order to be quashed and, if applicable, copies of orders from all involved authorities.
  • Additionally, the case involves principles under environmental protection laws concerning water bodies.

CONTENTIONS BY THE APPELLANTS

The learned counsel for the appellants contended that the implementation of the interim order directing the removal of the concrete road would affect their rights as they were not made parties to the original writ petition. Thus, their rights and interests were only considered after passing the interim order. The petitioners argued that the construction of concrete roads over thodu may have led to significant water stagnation, affecting the local land properties. They also contended that despite the direction of the Tahsildar, the Panchayat Development Officer, to remove the concrete road, no action was taken.

CONTENTIONS BY THE RESPONDENTS

The learned Additional Government Advocate, representing the respondents, submitted that the interim order could not be implemented due to the elections during the time of order. However, he did not oppose the appellant’s contention that they should have been included and heard before passing the interim order to address their concerns appropriately.

ANALYSIS OF THE JUDGEMENT

The Hon’ble High Court recognized the environmental issues resulting from the construction of the road over the thodu. It observed that the grievances of the appellants regarding the interim order and their concerns were valid as they were not given an opportunity to present their case in the original writ proceedings. The Court acknowledged the delay due to elections and deemed it necessary to provide the appellants an opportunity to file the applications.

CONCLUSION

The case above is an example of the importance given to the principles of natural justice by the courts. The courts allowed the appellants to be heard before the implementation of an order that might affect their rights. This case highlights the necessity of ensuring that all parties are heard in judicial proceedings. It also underscores the importance of maintaining natural environments and addressing the impact of infrastructure projects on the environment.

Judgement reviewed by Maria Therese Syriac.

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The election allowed to submit a replication in response to the new information presented in the returning candidate’s written statement

Case Title: SHEIKH NOORUL HASSAN Versus NAHAKPAM INDRAJIT SINGH & ORS.

Case No: 1389 OF 2024

Decided on: 8th May , 2024

Quorum: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE MANOJ MISRA

Facts of the case

The case concerns an election petition brought by Nahakpam Indrajit Singh, the first respondent, which aims to declare Sheikh Noorul Hassan’s election as invalid under many provisions of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951. Additionally, the appeal requested that Nahakpam Indrajit Singh be recognized as the legitimate winner of the Kshetrigao Assembly Constituency

Issues

1. Whether Sheikh Noorul Hassan omit any information from the nomination paper/affidavit (Form 26) that would have materially affected the outcome of the election?

2. Whether Sections 100(1)(d)(i)(ii)(iv) and 100(1)(b) of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951, is Sheikh Noorul Hassan’s election deemed invalid?

3. Whether Nahakpam Indrajit Singh, the candidate for the relevant legislative seat, considered duly elected?

Legal Provisions

The Representation of Peoples Act, 1951, contains the majority of the relevant legal requirements, specifically: Regarding grounds for declaring an election illegal due to incorrect acceptance or rejection of nominations or malpractices, see Section 100(1)(d)(i)(ii)(iv). Section 100(1)(b): Addresses the reasons for nullifying an election in case it isn’t carried out in compliance with the Act’s guiding principles

Appellant’s Contentions

The appellant, Sheikh Noorul Hassan, said that in addition to the written statement’s examination of the accusations of non-disclosure and improper disclosure, more data were presented to refute the election petitioner’s assertions

Respondent’s Contentions

The defendant, Nahakpam Indrajit Singh, contended that Sheikh Noorul Hassan omitted information about his bank account status and balances on Form 26, his liabilities, and his ownership of a car with the license plate DL4CNB47761.

Court Analysis and Judgement

The Supreme Court denied Sheikh Noorul Hassan’s appeal, maintaining the Manipur High Court’s ruling in Imphal that permitted the election petitioner to submit a replication in response to the new information presented in the returning candidate’s written statement. Justice Manoj Misra delivered the ruling, which was in opposition to the High Court’s 14.03.2023 order allowing the election petitioner to submit a replication.

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Judgement Analysis Written by – K.Immey Grace

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Tamil Nadu high court by ruling on Eligibility of Candidates Based on Political Affiliation disposes off the writ petition

Case Title: M.L.Ravi vs Chief Election Commissioner

Case No: W.P.Nos.27375 of 2019 & 12684 of 2021

Decided on: 09.01.2024

Coram: The Hon’ble Mr. Sanjay V. Gangapurwala, Chief Justice

               The Hon’ble Mr. Justice D. Bharatha Charavarthy 

 

 Facts of the Case

The petitioner alleges irregularities in the election process related to respondents 10-14 and 3-10. They claim these candidates illegally contested on a different party’s symbol despite belonging to another party. This allegedly violates guidelines set by the Election Commission under Article 324 of the Constitution and Section 29A of the Representation of People Act, 1951. The petitioner argues that false affidavits were filed claiming non-membership in other parties, and the acceptance forms for these candidates should be declared invalid, rendering their election results null and void.

Issue

  • Whether the petitioners are members of 2 political parties or one?
  • Whether petitioners are members of the political party on whose symbol they contested election?

Legal Provision

Article 324 of the Constitution of India, gives power to the Election Commission to direct, control, and conduct elections to all Parliament, to the Legislature of every state and of elections to the offices of the President and Vice President held under the Constitution. It vests the “superintendence, direction and control of elections” in an Election Commission consisting “of the Chief Election Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time fix”.

Article 329B of the Constitution of India provides that the election of a legislative candidate can only be assailed by way of an election petition

Section 29A of the Representation of People Act, 1951 talks about Registration with the Election Commission of associations and bodies as political parties

Court Analysis & Decision

The counsel for petitioner during his submission relied on the judgement of supreme court in K.Venkatachalam v. A.Swamickan [Appeal (Civil) 1719 of 1986].

The respondents contesting the election countered the petitioner’s claims by asserting membership in the party whose symbol they used and cite the Election Symbols Order requiring candidates backed by specific state parties to adopt that party’s reserved symbol. Furthermore, they invoke Article 329B of the Constitution, specifying that challenges to legislative election results must be filed through formal election petitions. In essence, they argued their adherence to election rules and emphasize the proper legal course for contesting their victory.

Despite relying on a precedent where an ineligible candidate was disqualified, the court ruled differently in this case. Disputed factual questions surrounding the respondents’ party affiliations made them unsuitable for resolution through a writ petition. The court emphasized the need for proper legal channels like election petitions to address such contested matters, ultimately dismissing the petitioner’s claims.

 

 

 

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Written by- Bhawana Bahety

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The Telangana High Court stated that the Electoral Registration Officer to be approached for changes in Electoral, not the High Court

Title: Mohammed Feroz Khan v. Election Commission of India  

WP.No.28593 of 2023

Decided on: 12/10/2023

CORAM: THE HON’BLE CHIEF JUSTICE ALOK ARADHE AND THE HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE N.V.SHRAVAN KUMAR

Introduction: 

The Telangana High Court decided on the writ petition of mandamus directing the respondents to undertake a special revision of electoral rolls to delete/remove the names of bogus shifted, duplicate, and persons, who are already dead, from the electoral roll of Nampally Assembly Constituency. The writ petition was dismissed by the Hon’ble High Court of Telangana. The Electoral Registration Officer has already undertaken the work of revision of the electoral roll and the revised electoral roll was published on 04.10.2023.

Facts of the Case:

Feroz Khan, a politician of the Indian National Congress, who has contested and lost election three times from Nampally Assembly Constituency, filed a writ petition seeking special revision of the final electoral rolls of Nampally Assembly Constituency. He had contended that the electoral roll of Nampally Constituency contains the names of  10473 voters, who have already died; contains the names of bogus voters to the extent of 34867; contains the names of 45567 voters, who have already shifted from Nampally Assembly Constituency.

The learned counsel for the Election Commission of India submits that the Electoral Registration Officer under section 21(2)(a) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 had already initiated the work of revision of electoral rolls, and the same was published on 21.08.2023. The objections for it could have been filed between 21.08.2023 to 19.09.2023. It was further submitted that the claims and objections have been decided on 28.09.2023 and the final electoral roll has been published on 04.10.2023.

Court’s Analysis and Decision:

The High Court of Telangana highlighted that under Section 22 and Section 23(3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 “provides for no amendment, transposition or deletion of any entry shall be made under Section 22 and no direction for the inclusion of a name in the electoral roll of a constituency shall be given under this Section, after the last date of making the nominations for election in that constituency”

And in the aforesaid case, the validity of the revised electoral roll, published on 04.10.2023, can not be challenged through the writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

Hence no case was made out in the present writ petition and the writ petition was disposed of, the High Court of Telangana added that in case the aggrieved person approaches the Electoral Registration Officer, either under Section 22 or under Section 23 of the 1950 Act, such a petition shall be dealt with in accordance with the law.

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Delhi High Court dismissed the appeal filed against the judgement passed by the single judge bench upholding the candidature of respondents

Title: MR KISHOR BANDEKAR AND ORS vs MR MAHESH CANDOLKAR AND ORS

Reserved on: 03rd July, 2023

Pronounced on: 06th July, 2023

+ LPA 504/2023 & CAV 312/2023, CM APPLs. 32400-32403/2023, 32711/2023

CORAM: HON’BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE MR. SATISH CHANDRA SHARMA

HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SANJEEV NARULA

Introduction

Delhi High Court dismissed the appeal filed against the judgement dated 02nd June, 2023 passed by the learned Single Judge in W.P.(C) 15097/2021, upholding the order dated 14th December, 2021 passed by Appellate Authority of All-India Chess Federation, New Delhi [“AICF”].

Facts of the Case

The Goa Chess Association [“GCA”] is a state-level sports organisation that is affiliated with both the AICF and the Sports Authority of Goa. It was established in accordance with the Societies Registration Act, 1860. The GCA’s Memorandum of Association (hence, “MoA”) and Rules and Regulations, all of which have been endorsed by the association’s General Body, serve as the framework for its governance.

A crucial adjustment to the GCA’s constitution was made by the General Body at its meeting on January 8th, 2017, raising the number of elected members of the Executive Committee from seven to twelve.

The GCA announced the elections for the Executive Committee on July 22, 2021. The list of accepted nomination forms was made public on August 5, 2021, and on August 10, 2021, the Presiding Officer (the “PO”) announced the names of the candidates elected to the North and South Goa Taluka Associations. The nomination forms of Respondents Nos. 1 through 4 were also ruled to be invalid, and a number of candidates from the talukas of Barder, Tiswadi, Ponda, and Salcete were found to have won their elections without opposition.

Respondents Nos. 1 to 4 contested the aforementioned PO disqualification of candidature before the AICF Ethics Commission in line with the AICF Code of Ethics. The Commission reversed PO’s decision through an order that was signed on October 19, 2021, and instructed that the voting procedure be completed within two weeks of the day that the order was received. The Appellants filed an appeal against this ruling with the AICF Appellate Authority, but it was denied on December 14 of that year, and the Ethics Commission’s judgement was upheld.

2.5. Invoking Article 226 of the Constitution of India, 1950, the appellants filed W.P.(C) 15097/2021 after being dissatisfied with the Appellate Authority’s ruling.

However, on June 2, 2023, the learned Single Judge dismissed the appeal and upheld Appellate Authority’s decision.

Analysis & Decision of the court

The Delhi high court held that The General Body meeting on January 8, 2017, when it was decided to expand the number of elected members of the GCA’s Executive Committee, is where the dispute’s origins may be found. This choice was made in order to permit additional committee members who might aid in the growth of chess in Goa and broaden the association’s operations. The MoA and GCA Rules and Regulations modifications were authorised by the resolution that came out of this meeting. Twelve elected members and one nominated member from each associated Taluka Chess Association will make up the Executive Committee of the GCA, according to the updated bye-laws and MoA.

 The challenged ruling exhibits a careful consideration of the provisions of the MoA and Rules and Regulations of GCA. The prerequisites for a candidate, the election process, the tenure of the Committee members, and the mechanism for filling any vacancies on the Executive Committee are all outlined in Rule 42(i)(a) (extracted above). Additionally, it describes the election process, including the criteria for nominations, the review of nominations, and the roles of the President, Secretary, and designated Presiding Officer. Contrary to what Mr. Nayyar has emphasised, this clause does not support his allegation. The aim to expand the number of delegates is mentioned in the minutes of the meeting, but it is not stated expressly that these representatives should be equally divided across all talukas. That would imply that it is possible for a taluka to have more than one representative on the Executive Committee.

This viewpoint is reinforced by the modified Clause 13 of the Memorandum of Agreement, which stipulates that one delegate from each associated taluka should be a member of the Executive Committee, however it leaves open the possibility of electing an unlimited number of office holders from each taluka. The number of office bearers who can be chosen from a particular taluka is not limited under Rule 42(i)(a) of the GCA’s Rules and Regulations. The language employed in Rule 42(ii)(a), which requires that candidates for the Executive Committee elections be delegates with voting rights of and sponsored by Taluka Associations, supports the learned Single Judge’s view. According to this regulation, eligibility is dependent on being a delegate and instead of the number of representatives per taluka, voting rights.

Rule 42(i)(a), which is instrumental in the formation of Executive Committee comprising of both elected and nominated representatives, does not impose any limitations as canvassed by the Appellants. There is no requirement to guarantee that each taluka is represented on the Executive Committee under Rule 42(i)(a). This interpretation conforms to the erudite Single Judge’s opinion, which we also agree with.

We see no justification for interfering with the challenged finding relating to the PO’s judgement since we do not think the Appellants’ objection to the interpretation of such regulations has any validity. Therefore, the learned Single Judge’s opinion is still unchallengeable with regard to this matter as well. In conclusion, the erudite Single Judge’s interpretation based on the explicit wording employed in the GCA’s Rules and Regulations as well as the General Body resolution, appears to be accurate. Instead than restricting the number of office bearers per taluka, it appears that the stated requirements’ main goal is to increase representation and guarantee that each taluka has at least one delegate on the Executive Committee.

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Written By – Shreyanshu Gupta

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