Title: Bastin Babu v. State of Kerala
Decided on: 15 November, 2023
+ WP (C) No. 18229 of 2023
CORAM: HON’BLE Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas
The Kerala High Court noted that the voter’s purpose was determined by the ballot paper and not by any prior or subsequent expressions when it denied a voter who was also a candidate. The voter said that since he cast his ballot for himself, it should be accepted.
Facts of the Case
The petitioner and the sixth respondent, who were running for the position of chairman of the Cochin Corporation’s Standing Committee on Education and Sports, made an accusation against each other, which the court was reviewing. They were both Cochin Corporation council members. As a candidate, the petitioner claimed that the sixth respondent had not properly voted for himself in accordance with Rule 11 of the Kerala Municipality Standing Committee Rules, 2000. The returning officer declined to take the accusations into consideration, despite them being made during the election. The sixth respondent received four votes out of the seven total that were counted, and they were elected. The petitioner used the Right to Information Act to get copies of the ballot papers and then filed the writ petition. According to the petitioner, the sixth respondent did not cast their vote in accordance with Rule 11’s guidelines. The election process for the Chairman was outlined in Rule 11. Members are required by law to cast their votes by writing a ‘X’ next to the candidate’s name on the ballot. The voter next has to sign his name and paste his signature on the back of the ballot paper.
Courts analysis and decision
The petitioner’s name and the name of the sixth respondent were marked on the ballot, the court observed after looking through it. It was mentioned that although Rule 11 required the alphabet “X” to be indicated, the sixth respondent’s marked sign was unclear and did not resemble the alphabet “X.” Consequently, the Court denied the sixth respondent’s vote and granted the writ petition. Additionally, it overturned the choice of the sixth respondent to lead the Cochin Corporation’s Standing Committee on Sports and Education.
“PRIME LEGAL is a full-service law firm that has won a National Award and has more than 20 years of experience in an array of sectors and practice areas. Prime legal fall into a category of best law firm, best lawyer, best family lawyer, best divorce lawyer, best divorce law firm, best criminal lawyer, best criminal law firm, best consumer lawyer, best civil lawyer.”
Written by- Hargunn Kaur Makhija