Case: Charan Lal Sahu & Others Vs Giani Zail Singh & Another
Petitioners: Charan Lal Sahu
Respondent: Giani Zail Singh
Date of Judgement: December 13, 1983
- Constitution of India 1950
- Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act 1952
- Indian Penal Code
- For the election to the office of the President of India, the Returning officer accepted the nomination papers Of only two candidates.
- The election was held on July 12,1982, and Giani Zail Singh was declared as the successful candidate.
- The petitioners in Election had filed their nomination papers, contested the election on various grounds and alleged that Respondent 1 Giani Zail Singh exercised undue influence over the voters through his confidants.
- It was contended that petitioners was a `candidate’ within the meaning of Section 13(a) of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952
- In the instant case, neither of the two petitioners was duly nominated.
- The nomination papers filed by them were not subscribed by ten electors as proposers and ten electors as seconders.
- It was precisely for this reason that their nomination papers were rejected by the Returning Officer.
- The nomination papers of the two petitioners were not subscribed as required by Section 5B (1) (a) of the Act, it follows that they were not duly nominated as “candidates” at the election.
- An election petition can be filed only by a person who was a candidate at the election, the petitioners has no standing to file the petitions.
- Whether the petitioner have locus standi to maintain the petition on the ground that he was not a `candidate’ within the meaning of Section 13(a) read with Section 14A of Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act 1952 or not?
Contentions of Petitioner:
- The petitioner claimed to have been duly nominated as a candidate though his nomination paper was rightly rejected on the ground of non-compliance with the provisions of Sections 5B and 5C of the Act.
- Petitioner affirm that Giani Zail Singh was not a “worthy person” for holding the high office of the President of India Petitioners affirm that the Act would be unconstitutional if it is interpreted as restrict the challenge to the Presidential or Vice- Presidential election to the grounds set forth in Section 18(1).
- Petitioner contended that provisions hold in Article 71(1) of the Constitution which says: “All doubts and disputes arising out of or in interrelation with the election of a President or Vice-President shall be investigated into and decided by the Supreme Court whose decision shall be final“.
- Petitioner urged that the Constitution has conferred upon the Supreme Court the power to inquired into and decide upon every kind of doubt or dispute arising out of or in interrelation with a Presidential election and since, Section 18(1) restricts that power to the grounds stated therein. it is ultra vires Article 71(1).
Contentions of Respondent:
Respondent argued that even after assuming that the aforesaid allegation were true but petitioners did not disclose any cause of action for setting aside the election of respondent
The petitioners have no locus standi to file the petitions against election since no one of two were duly nominated not either can they claim to have been duly nominated as candidates at the Presidential election.
The rights arising out of elections, including the right to contest or challenge an election, are not common law rights.
Three pre-requirements govern an election petition by which a Presidential election is challanged. In the first attention such a petition has to be filed in the Supreme Court.
Secondly, the petition must reveal a challenge to the election on one or more grounds specified in sub-section (1) of Section 18 or Section 19.
Thirdly an election petition can be confer only by a person who was a candidate at the presidential election or by twenty or more electors. Joined together as petitioners.
The definition of the word `candidate’ in Section 13 (a) of the Act consists of two parts.`Candidate’ means a person who has either been duly nominated as a candidate at a Presidential election or a person who state to have been duly nominated.
Section 5B (1) (a) of the Act provides that on or before the date appointed for making nominations, each candidate shall deliver to the Returning Officer a nomination paper completed in the prescribed form, subscribed by the candidate as assenting to the nomination, and “in the case of Presidential election, also by at least ten electors as proposers and at least ten electors as seconders”.
In the instant case, no one of two petitioners was duly nominated. The nomination papers filed by them were not subscribed by ten electors as proposers and ten electors as seconders.
It was precisely for this grounds that their nomination papers were denied by the Returning Officer. Because the nomination papers of the two petitioners were not subscribed as required by Section 5B (1) (a) of the Act, it follows that they were not duly nominated as “candidates” at the election.
It was held that the petitioner could not state to have been duly nominated and was consequently not a “candidate”.
The election petition was dismissed by the Court on the justification that the petitioner did not have the locus standi to sustain it.
The rights rise out of elections, including the right to contest or challenge an election, are not common law rights. They are creatures of the Act which create, confer or restriction those rights. consequently, for deciding the question whether an election can abrogate on any alleged ground, the courts have to consult the provisions of law governing the specific election.
They have to function within the framework of the law and cannot go beyond it. Only those persons on whom the right of permit is conferred by the statute can vote at the election.
Drafted By: Sangeeta N, Presidency University, Bangalore
Edited By: Tanvi Mahajan, Publisher, Law Insider
Published On: February 23, 2022 at 21:40 IST