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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Rule 5 of A.P. Panchayat Raj ElectionTribunal in Respect of Gram Panchayat Rules, 1995 (for short the Rules, 1995). - Deposit of Rs.100/- along with Election petition is mandatory - No court can give time beyond the 30 days from the date of original cause of action - Petitioner not vigilant failed to deposit the amount at the time of return of case bundle with objections or after completion of court staff strike by 20-10-2013 - - Election Tribunal cum Junior Civil Judge dismissed the Election petition on the ground of not depositing security amount of Rs.100/- as per Rule 5 - held on 27-7-2013 - Election petition filed on 24-8-2013 with in 30 days - on the same day petition was returned with an objection that security amount of Rs.100/- was not deposited along with petition.-staff of the Court was on strike from 19.8.2013 to 20.10.2013- represented the petition on 11.11.2013 duly complying with objection and filed lodgment schedule on the same day. - Petitioner gave explanation fornon payment of security amount along with petition stating that staff of theCourt was on strike from 19.8.2013 to 20.10.2013.- Lower court dismissed the Election Petition for non compliance of Mandatory Rule - Revision - their Lordships Held that the Anjanamma case is not applicable to this case - in that case Though on a plain reading of Rule 5 of the Rules, 1995 such course is not envisaged; this Court proceeded to give benefit of doubt to a person if Rs.100/- is not paid along with Election Petition when it was originally presented but has complied with the mandate within one month, the limitation prescribed for filing Election Petition -petitioner ought to have been diligent in at-least filing the lodgment schedule immediately after the strike was over i.e., on 20.10.2013. Even after petition was returned, the petitioner did not take steps to file lodgment schedule immediately but filed the same only on 11.11.2013- Revision Dismissed - 2015 Telangana & A.P. msklawreports



Election to the post of Sarpanch and other ward members of
Narasampalli Gram Panchayat  was held on 27.7.2013
Challenging the Grama Panchayat Elections, petitioner filed election petition C.F.No. 2484 of 2013
before the Election Tribunal on 24.8.2013.  
Since the staff of the Court was on
strike from 19.8.2013 to 20.10.2013, the petition was submitted before the
Presiding Officer and the same petition was returned on 28.10.2013 with certain
objections.   
One of the objections taken was on the maintainability of the
petition, since security amount of Rs.100/- was not deposited along with
petition.
Petitioner represented the petition on 11.11.2013 duly complying with objection
and filed lodgment schedule on the same day.  
 Petitioner gave explanation for
non payment of security amount along with petition stating that staff of the
Court was on strike from 19.8.2013 to 20.10.2013.

The Election Tribunal by order dated 13.2.2014 dismissed the
petition on the ground that the petition was not presented along with deposit of
Rs.100/- within 30 days as mandated by Rule 5 of A.P. Panchayat Raj Election
Tribunal in Respect of Gram Panchayat Rules, 1995 (for short the Rules, 1995).

Aggrieved thereby the election petitioner preferred this revision.

Rule 5 of the Rules, 1995.  Rule reads as under:
"5(i) At the time of presentation of the petition, the petitioner shall
deposit with it in cash Rs.100/- (Rupees one hundred only) as security
for the costs of same.
Explanation :-Where the election of more than one returned candidate
is called in question a separate deposit shall be made in respect of
each such returned candidate.
(ii) If the provisions of sub-rule (i) are not complied with, the Election
Tribunal shall dismiss the petition.
(iii) Upon compliance with the provision of sub rule (1) the Election
Tribunal shall proceed to enquire into the petition."

 As seen from the above extracted provision, Rule 5 (i) is in
mandatory terms. 
It mandates election petitioner to deposit Rs.100/- in cash as
security for the costs of the petition.  
Sub Rule (ii) is again in mandatory
terms.
If the mandate of sub rule (i) is not complied with, the Election Tribunal
should
dismiss the petition.  
 It is thus clear that provision in Rule 5 is mandatory
and if
for any reason amount of Rs.100/- is not deposited along with the election
petition, the Election Tribunal has no option but to dismiss the said petition.
Rule does not vest any discretion in the Election Tribunal to entertain the
election
petition even if for justifiable cause and reason the petitioner was restrained
from complying with the said mandate, within the time fixed.
 In ANAJAMMA Vs S PUSHPAMMA AND ANOTHER  this Court            
considered similar issue.   It is held that if petitioner in an election
petition
complied with the mandate of Rule 5 of the Rules in all respects and
presented/represented the petition within one month, such petition is
maintainable. 
Though on a plain reading of Rule 5 of the Rules, 1995 such
course is not envisaged; this Court proceeded to give benefit of doubt to a
person if Rs.100/- is not paid along with Election Petition when it was
originally
presented but has complied with the mandate within one month, the limitation
prescribed for filing Election Petition.
In the case on hand, the 30 days limitation expired long ago and
the fee was not paid within 30 days.    Furthermore, even assuming that the
petitioner has bonafide cause when he originally presented the Election
Petition,
petitioner ought to have been diligent in at-least  filing the lodgment schedule
immediately after the strike was over i.e., on 20.10.2013.  Even after petition
was returned, the petitioner did not take steps to file lodgment schedule
immediately but filed the same only on 11.11.2013.
   In the facts of this case the discretion exercised by this Court in
ANAJAMMA cannot be extended, as the election petition was not presented  
within one month.  There is no error in the decision arrived at by the Election
Tribunal warranting interference by this Court. -2015 Telangana & A.P. msklawreports

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