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Chief Election Commissioner Vs. Sat Pal [1993] INSC 262 (5 May 1993)

Venkatachalliah, M.N.(Cj) Venkatachalliah, M.N.(Cj) Mohan, S. (J)

CITATION: 1994 SCC Supl. (1) 150 1993 SCALE (3)246

ACT:

HEAD NOTE:

ORDER

1. At the outset, we take note of the submission made by a certain Digvijay Mote, who seeks to intervene in these proceedings. Having regard to the nature of these proceedings, we reject this application.

2. This special leave petition is by the Chief Election Commissioner of India and is directed against the ex-parte order dated April 29, 1993 of the Punjab & Haryana High Court made in Civil Writ Petition No. 4869 of 1993. The ex parte order reads:

"Notice of Motion for May 7, 1993. Election process to continue."

3. The context in which the writ petition came to be filed was that the bye election to the Legislative Assembly of Haryana from "No.1 Kalka Assembly Constituency", the polling for which, according to the calendar of events, was scheduled to take place on the May 19, 1993, came to be interdicted by an order of the Chief Election Commissioner of India on certain grounds. That order of the Chief Election Commissioner was challenged before the High Court by a candidate. The aforesaid ex parte order came to be made by a Division Bench of the High Court on the same day, the writ petition was filed. This order is assailed by the Chief Election Commissioner on several grounds, including the areas to its maintainability, lack of jurisdiction of the High Court to interfere in an electoral matter, etc.

4. We have heard Shri G. Ramaswamy, learned senior counsel for the Chief Election Commissioner of India and Shri Kapil Sibal, learned senior counsel for the first respondent.

5. We are afraid, in a matter which had such far-reaching consequences, it was inappropriate for the High Court to have made an ex-parte order. We set aside that order, leaving it open to the first respondent to urge the consideration of his interlocutory application for such interlocutory relief as he considers himself entitled to and the High Court will make such orders on it as it may deem fit after affording an opportunity to the petitioner of being heard.

6. It was submitted to us that certain events had taken place pursuant to, consequent upon and on the footing of the ex parte order. We express no opinion as to the validity of those events. They will, of course, abide by the final or the interlocutory orders, as may be made by the High Court in this behalf after hearing the petitioner. We abstain from any pronouncement on the merits of the issues arising in the writ petition.

152

7. The Chief Election Commissioner may appear before the High Court in the writ petition on May 7, 1993, on which date the writ petition is stated to have been listed.

8. With these observations, the special leave petition is disposed of.

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