18. Grounds for declaring election to be void.-
(1) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), if the Authority is of opinion-
(a) that on the date of his election a returned candidate was not qualified, or was disqualified, to be chosen to fill the seat under the Constitution or the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) or this Act or the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963 (20 of 1963); or
(b) that any corrupt practice has been committed by a returned candidate or his election agent or by any other person with the consent of a returned candidate or his election agent; or
(c) that any nomination has been improperly rejected; or
(d) that the result of the election, in so far as it concerns the returned candidate, has been materially affected-
(i) by the improper acceptance of any nomination, or
(ii) by any corrupt practice committed in the interests of the returned candidate by an agent other than his election agent, or
(iii) by the improper reception, refusal or rejection of any vote or the reception of any vote which is void, or
(iv) by any non-compliance with the provisions of the Constitution or of this Act or of any rules or orders made under this Act,
the Authority shall declare the election of the returned candidate to be void.
(2) If in the opinion of the Authority a returned candidate has been guilty by an agent, other than his election agent, of any corrupt practice but the Authority is satisfied-
(a) that no such corrupt practice was committed at the election by the candidate or his election agent, and every such corrupt practice was committed contrary to the orders, and without the consent, of the candidate or his election agent;
(b) that the candidate and his election agent took all reasonable means for preventing the commission of corrupt practices at the election; and
(c) that in all other respects the election was free from any corrupt practice on the part of the candidate or any of his agents, then the Authority may decide that the election of the returned candidate is not void.