N. T. Veluswami Thevar, Vs. G. Raja
Nainar & Ors  INSC 121 (24 November 1958)
AIYYAR, T.L. VENKATARAMA GAJENDRAGADKAR, P.B.
CITATION: 1959 AIR 422 1959 SCR Supl. (1) 623
CITATOR INFO :
R 1960 SC 368 (9) R 1975 SC1274 (5) R 1976
Election Dispute--Rejection of Nomination
paper by Returning Officer-Validity of rejection raised before Election
Petition--Jurisdiction of Tribunal to entertain grounds of disqualification not
raised before Returning Officer"Improperly rejected ", meaning
of--Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 Of 1951) ss. 7, 36(2),
The nomination paper of the fourth respondent
who was one of the candidates for election to the Legislative Assembly of the
State, was rejected by the returning officer on the ground that as he was the
Headmaster of a Government-aided school he was disqualified under s. 7(d) and
(e) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, to be chosen for election.
One of the voters of the constituency filed a petition praying that the
election of the appellant be declared void under s. 100(1)(c) of the Act on the
ground that the rejection of the nomination paper of the fourth respondent was
improper because the latter had ceased to be a Headmaster at the time of his
nomination and that, further, the institution was a private one. The appellant,
who was the second respondent in the petition, contended that the nomination
paper of the fourth respondent was rightly rejected not only on the-ground put
forward before the returning officer but also for the reasons that he was
interested in Government contracts and that he had agreed to serve as a,
teacher under the District Board. The question was whether in an election
petition challenging the validity of the rejection of a nomination paper under
s: 100(1)(c) of the Act, it was open to the parties to raise grounds 624 of
disqualification other 'than those put forward before the returning officer. It
was contended for the respondent that the proceedings before the Election
Tribunal were really by way of appeal against the decision of the returning
officer and that, therefore, the scope of the enquiry in the election petition
must be co-extensive with that before the returning officer and must be limited
to the grounds taken before him.
Held, that an election petition is an
original proceeding instituted by the presentation of a petition under s. 81 of
the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and that the jurisdiction which a
Tribunal exercises in hearing an election petition even when it raises a
question under s.
100(1)(c) of the Act is not in the nature of
an appeal against the decision of the returning officer.
Held, further, that in considering whether a
nomination paper was improperly rejected under s. 100(1)(c), the real question
for decision would be whether the candidate was duly qualified and was not
subject to any disqualifications as provided in s. 36(2) of the Act. The
Tribunal would, consequently, be competent to entertain grounds of
disqualification other than those put forward before the returning officer.
The expression " improperly rejected
" in s. 100(1)(c) of the Act, explained.
Mengh Raj v. Bhimandas, (1952) 2 E. L. R.
301, Tej Singh v. Election Tribunal, Jaipur, (1954) 9 E. L. R. 193 and Dhanraj
Deshlehara v. Vishwanath Y. Tamaskar, (1958) 15 E. L. R. 260, approved.
Civil APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeals
Nos. 231 and 232 of 1958.
Appeal by special leave from the judgment and
order dated October 21, 1957, of the Madras High Court in Writ Petitions Nos.
675 and 676 of 1957.
R. Ganapathy Iyer, S. B. Adityan and G.
Gopalakrishnan, for the appellant.
A. N. Sinha and P. K. Mukherjee, for
respondent No. 1.
1958. November 24. The Judgment of the Court
was delivered by VENKATARAMA AIYAR., J.-These appeals raise a question of
considerable importance as to the scope of an enquiry in an election petition
wherein election is called in question under s. 100(1)(c) of the Representation
of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951), on the ground that a nomination paper had
been improperly' rejected.
625 The facts are that during the general
elections which were held in 1957 six persons including the,, appellant,
Veluswami Thevar, the second respondent' Chellapandian, and the fourth
respondent, Arunachalam, were nominated for election to the Legislative
Assembly of the State of Madras from Alangulam Constituency in the District of
Tirunelveli At the time of the scrutiny which was on February 1, 1957,
Chellapandian raised an objection to the nomination of Arunachalam on the
ground that he was the Head Master of the National Training School,
Tiruchendur, which was a Government-aided school, and that he was therefore
disqualified under s. 7, cls. (d) and (e) of the Representation of the People
Act, 1951 (hereinafter referred to as the Act), as holding an office of profit
under the Government. In upholding this objection, the returning officer
" Sri S. Arunachalam is not present at
the time of scrutiny of nominations nor any authorised agent of his could take
notice of the objection and file a reply.' In view of the objection which has
not been cleared by Sri S. Arunachalam by satisfying me that he is not holding
an office of profit in a concern in which the State Government has financial
interest, the objection is upheld and Sri S. Arunachalam is disqualified under
Sections 7(d) and (e) of Act 43 of 1951.
Accordingly his nomination is rejected."
The five nomination papers were accepted; two of the candidates subsequently
withdrew from the election; the other three went to the polls, and on March 10,
1957, the appellant who secured the largest number of votes was declared
On April 18, 1957, Raja Nainar, the first
respondent, who was not a candidate but a voter filed E. P. No. 109 of 1957
praying that the election of the appellant be declared void on the ground that
the rejection of the nomination paper of Arunachalam was improper, because he
had ceased to be a Head Master at the time of his nomination, and that further
the institution was a private one. The appellant filed a written statement in
which he pleaded that Arunachalam was 79 626 not qualified to be chosen not
merely on the ground put forward by Chellapandian before the returning officer
but also on the grounds that he was interested as a partner in contracts for
the execution of works for the Government, and that further he had entered into
an agreement with the District Board, Chittoor, to serve as a teacher in that
Board, and that his nomination paper was therefore rightly rejected. Raja
Nainar then came out with the application,
1. A. No. 5 of 1957, out of which the present
proceedings arise, to strike out the additional grounds of disqualification
raised in the statement of the appellant on the ground that the Tribunal had no
jurisdiction to enquire into any ground of disqualification which was not taken
before the returning officer, and that accordingly the new grounds put forward
by the appellant should be struck out.
By its order dated August 17, 1957, the
Tribunal held that the question to be decided by it was whether there was a
valid nomination paper, and that to decide that, it could go into grounds other
than those which were put forward before the returning officer, and, in that
view, dismissed the application. The correctness of this order was challenged
by Raja Nainar in two Writ Petitions Nos. 675 and 676 of 1957, preferred under
Art. 226. Therein, he repeated his contention that it was not competent to the
Tribunal to enquire into any but the grounds which had been put forward before
the returning officer, and prayed that a writ of certiorari be issued to quash
the order in 1. A. No. 5 of 1957 and a writ of prohibition, to restrain the
Tribunal from enquiring into the new grounds raised by the appellant.
These applications were heard by a Bench of
the Madras High Court consisting of Rajagopalan and Rajagopals Ayyangar, JJ.,
who upheld the contention of the petitioner, and stated their conclusion in
" We are clearly of opinion that the
enquiry before the Tribunal must be restricted to the objections which the
returning officer had to consider and decide, but not necessarily to the
material placed 627 before the returning officer at the stage of the summary
enquiry. The Tribunal has jurisdiction to adjudicate upon the truth and
validity of those objections on relevant material, even if that material be
other than that placed before the returning officer. The Tribunal has no
jurisdiction to investigate the truth or validity of the objections which were
not put forward before the returning officer, and which he had therefore no
occasion to consider.
Once again we have to point out that we are
discussing only the position of a candidate whose nomination was rejected, and
not, for instance, that of a returned candidate." " A further
objection was also taken before the learned judges that as the decision of the
Election Tribunal was open to appeal under s. 116A of the Act, the court
should, in exercise of its discretion under Art. 226, decline to entertain writ
petitions against interlocutory orders. But the learned judge held that as the
Tribunal had no jurisdiction to entertain grounds other than those which were
put forward before the returning officer, writs could issue under Art. 226. In
the result, they quashed the order of the Election Tribunal in 1. A. No. 5 of
1957, and issued a writ of Mandamus directing it to dispose of the application
afresh in accordance with law as laid down in the judgment. It is against this
judgment that the present appeals have been preferred on leave granted by this
Court under Art. 136, and the point that arises for decision is whether in an
election petition questioning the propriety of the rejection of a nomination
paper under s. 100(1)(c) of the Act, it is open to the parties to raise grounds
of disqualification other than those put forward before the returning officer.
It will be convenient at this stage to refer
to the provisions of the Act hearing on this question. Section 32 of the Act
provides that, "Any person maybe nominated as a candidate for election to
fill a seat if he is qualified to be chosen to fill that seat under the
provisions of the Constitution and this Act." Under s. 33(1), the
candidate is to deliver to the returning officer a nomination paper completed
in the 628 prescribed form and signed by the candidate and by an elector of the
constituency as proposer. Section 33 (4) enacts that, " On the
presentation of a nomination paper, the returning officer shall satisfy himself
that the names and electoral roll numbers of the candidate and his proposer as
entered in the nomination paper are the same as those entered in the electoral
Provided that the returning officer shall
permit any clerical or technical error in the nomination paper in regard to the
said names or numbers to be corrected in order to bring them into conformity
with the corresponding entries in the electoral rolls; and where necessary,
direct that any clerical or printing error in the said entries shall be
overlooked." Section 35 provides inter alia that the returning officer
shall cause to be affixed in some conspicuous place in his office a notice of
the nomination containing descriptions similar to those contained in the
nomination paper both of the candidate and of the proposer. Section 36,
omitting what is not material, is as follows:
36. (1) " On the date fixed for the
scrutiny of nominations under section 30, the candidates, their election
agents, one proposer of each candidate, and one other person duly authorized in
writing by each candidate, but no other person, may attend at such time and
place as the returning officer may appoint; and the returning officer shall
give them all reasonable facilities for examining the nomination papers of all candidates
which have been delivered within the time and in the manner laid down in
(2) The returning officer shall then examine
the nomination papers and shall decide all objections which may be made to any
nomination, and may, either on such objection or on his own motion, after such
summary inquiry, if any, as he thinks necessary, reject any nomination on any
of the following grounds:(a) that the candidate either is not qualified or is
disqualified for being chosen to fill the seat under any of the following
provisions that may, be applicable, namely 629 Articles 84, 102, 173 and 191,
Part 11 of this Act, or (b) that there has been a failure to comply With any of
the provisions of section 33 or section 34; or (c) that the signature of the candidate
or the pro. poser on the nomination paper is not genuine.
(5) The returning officer shall hold the
scrutiny on the date appointed in this behalf under clause (b) of section 30
and shall not allow any adjournment of the proceedings except when such
proceedings are interrupted or obstructed by riot or open violence or by causes
beyond his control:
Provided that in case an objection is made
the candidate concerned may be allowed time to rebut it not later than the next
day but one following the date fixed for scrutiny, and the returning officer
shall record his decision on the date to which the proceedings have been
(6) The returning officer shall endorse on
each nomination paper his decision accepting or rejecting the same ania, if the
nomination paper is rejected, shall record in writing a brief statement of his
reasons for such rejection." Then, we have s. 100(1)(c), the construction
of which is the main point for determination. It is as follows:
100. (1) " Subject to the provisions of
subsection (2), if the Tribunal is of opinion(c) that any nomination has been
improperly rejected ;......
the Tribunal shall declare the election of
the returned candidate to be void." Now, the whole controversy between the
parties is as to what the expression " improperly rejected " in s.
100(1)(c) means. According to the appellant, when the nomination paper of a
candidate who is under no such disqualification as is mentioned in s. 36(2) has
been rejected, that is improper rejection within s. 100(1)(c). According to the
-respondent, when the 630 nomination paper of a candidate is rejected by the
returning officer on the ground that he is subject to a specified
disqualification, the rejection is improper, if it is found that that
disqualification does not exist. If the former view is correct, then the scope
of an enquiry before the Tribunal must extend to all matters which are
mentioned in s. 36(2), and if the latter, then it must be limited to determining
whether the ground on which the returning officer has rejected the nomination
is well-founded. Now, to decide what the expression " improperly rejected
" in s. 100(1)(c) precisely imports, it is necessary to examine the
relevant provisions of the Act bearing on the question and the setting of the
above section therein. Under s. 32 of the Act, any person may be nominated as a
candidate for election if he is duly qualified under the provisions of the
Constitution and the Act. Section 36(2) authorises the returning officer to
reject any nomination paper on the ground that he is either not qualified, that
is, under ss. 3 to 7 of the Act, or is disqualified under the provisions
referred to therein. If there are no grounds for rejecting a nomination paper under
s. 36(2), then it has to be accepted, and the name of the candidate is to be
included in a list. Vide s. 36(8). Then, we come to s. 100(1)(c) and s.
100(1)(d)(1), which provide a remedy to persons who are aggrieved by an order
improperly rejecting or improperly accepting any nomination. In the context, it
appears to us that the improper rejection or acceptance must have reference to
s. 36(2), and that the rejection of a nomination paper of a candidate who is
qualified to be chosen for election and who does not suffer from any of the disqualifications
mentioned in s. 36(2) would be improper within s. 100(1)(c), and that,
likewise, acceptance of a nomination paper of a candidate who is not qualified
or who is disqualified will equally be improper under s.100(1)(d)(1).Section 32
confers a substantive right on a candidate to be chosen to the legislature
subject only to the limitations enacted in Arts. 84, 102, 173 and 191 of the
Constitution and ss. 3 to 7 of the Act, and ss. 36 and 100 provide the machinery
for the exercise and enforcement of that right. It is a sound 631 rule of
construction that procedural enactments should be construed liberally and in
such manner as to render the enforcement of substantive rights effective.
100(1)(c) in the context of the whole
enactment, we think that an enquiry before the Tribunal must embrace all the
matters as to qualification and disqualification mentioned in s. 36(2), and
that it cannot be limited to the particular ground of disqualification which was
taken before the returning officer.
It was contended for the respondent that the
proceedings before the Tribunal are really by way of appeal against the
decision of the returning officer, and that, therefore, the scope of the
enquiry in the election petition must be coextensive with that before the
returning officer, and must be limited to the ground taken before him. It was
argued that a decision could be said to be improper only with reference to a
ground which was put forward and decided in a particular manner by the
returning officer, and that therefore the expression " improperly rejected
" would, in its true connotation, restrict the scope of the enquiry before
the Tribunal to the ground taken before the returning officer. We are unable to
agree with this contention. The jurisdiction which a Tribunal exercises in
hearing an election petition even when it raises a question under s. 100(1)(c)
is not in the nature of an appeal against the decision of the returning
officer. An election petition is an original proceeding instituted by the
presentation of a petition under s. 81 of the Act. The respondents have a right
to file written statements by way of reply to it;
issues have to be framed, and subject to the
provisions of the Act, the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure regulate
the trial of the petition. All the parties have the right to adduce evidence,
and that is of the essence of an original proceeding as contrasted with a
proceeding by way of appeal. That being the character of the proceedings, the
rule applicable is that which governs the trial of all original proceedings;
that is, it is open to a party to put forward all grounds in support of or
negation of the claim, subject only to such limitations as may be found in the
632 It should be noted in this connection
that if a petition to set aside an election on the ground of improper rejection
of a nomination paper is in the nature of an appeal against the decision, of
the returning officer, then logically speaking, the decision of the Tribunal
must be based only on the materials placed before the returning officer given
with respect to the ground which was urged before him, and no fresh evidence
could be admitted before the Tribunal except in accordance with 0. 41, R. 27.
The learned judges in the court below, however, observe that though the enquiry
before the Tribunal is restricted to the particular ground put forward before
the returning officer, it is not restricted to the material placed before him,
and that all evidence bearing on that ground could be adduced before the
This, in our view, is quite correct. The
enquiry which a returning officer has to make under s. 36 is summary in
character. He may make " such summary enquiry, if any, as he thinks
necessary "; he can act suo motu. Such being the nature of the enquiry,
the right which is given to a party under s. 100(1)(c) and s. 100(1)(d)(1) to
challenge the propriety of an order of rejection or acceptance of a nomination
paper would become illusory, if the Tribunal is to base its decision only on
the materials placed before the returning officer.
It was contended for the respondent that even
with reference to the ground taken before the returning officer, no evidence
other than what was placed before him could be brought before the Tribunal, and
he relied on the following observations of the learned judges in Charanjit Lal
v. Lehri Singh (1) :
" Whether a nomination has been
improperly rejected or not, has to be considered in relation to the state of
evidence before the returning officer at the time of the scrutiny.
The testimony of the returning officer shows
that he rejected the nomination, because it did not appear to him that on the
question of age the candidate Shri Pirthi was qualfied to stand for election'
" (1) A. I. R. 1958 punj. 433. 435.
633 There,, a nomination paper had been
rejected by the returning officer on the ground that the candidate did,, not
appear to possess the age qualification required by Art.
173. The correctness of this order was
challenged in an election petition. Evidence was taken as to the age of the
candidate in this petition, and eventually it was held that the order of the
returning officer was right. In the order of rejection, the returning officer
" The nomination is rejected as the age
is not mentioned in the nomination paper. Neither the candidate nor the
proposer or any person duly authorised on his behalf is present to testify to
his age." Now, the argument before the High Court was that the failure to
mention the age in the nomination paper was a formal defect which should have
been condoned under s. 36(4) of the Act. The learned judges held that the
defect was not merely one of failure to mention the age but of want of the
requisite qualification in age, and that that could not be cured under s.
36(4). In this context, the observations relied on could not be read as meaning
that no evidence could be adduced even in respect of a ground which was urged
before the returning officer, as, in fact, evidence was taken before the
Tribunal and a finding given, and if they meant what the respondent suggests
they do, we do not agree with them. It is to be noted that in many of the cases
which came before this Court, as for example, Durga Shankar Mehta v. Thakur
Raghuraj Singh and others (1), the finding of the Tribunal was based on fresh
evidence admitted before it, and the propriety of such admission was never
questioned. And if the true position is, as we have held it is, that it is open
to the parties to adduce fresh evidence on the matter in issue, it is difficult
to imagine how the proceedings before the Tribunal can be regarded as in the
nature of appeal against the decision of the returning officer.
In support of his contention that it is only
the ground that is urged before the returning officer that (1)  1 S.C.R.
80 634 can be raised before the Tribunal, Mr.
Sinha, learned counsel for the respondent, relies on the provision in s.
36(6) that when a nomination paper is
rejected, the returning officer should record his reasons therefor. The object
of this provision, it is argued, is to enable the Tribunal to decide whether
the order of the returning officer is right or not, and by implication it
confines the scope of the enquiry before the Tribunal to the ground put forward
before the returning officer. This contention is, in our opinion, unsound. Now,
when a nomination paper is accepted, s. 36(6) does not require that any reason
should be recorded therefor. If the contention of the respondent is right, it
would follow that acceptance of a nomination paper can never be questioned. But
that would be against s. 100(1)(d)(1), and it must therefore be held that an
acceptance can be questioned on all the grounds available under s. 36(2).
Section 100(1)(d)(1) deals with improper acceptance of a nomination paper, and
if the word " improper " in that provision has reference to the
matters mentioned in s. 36(2), it must have the same connotation in s. 100(1)(c)
as well. The word " improper " which occurs in both s. 100(1)(c) and
s. 100(1)(d)(1) must bear the same meaning in both the provisions, unless there
is something in the context to the contrary, and none such has been shown.
There is another difficulty in the way of
accepting this argument of the respondent. A candidate may be subject to more
than one disqualification, and his nomination paper may be questioned on all
those grounds. Supposing that the returning officer upholds one objection and
rejects the nomination paper on the basis of that objection without going into
other objections, notwithstanding that under s. 36(2) he has to decide all the
objections, is it open to the respondents in the election petition to adduce
evidence on those objections ? According to the respondent, it is not, so that
if the decision of the returning officer on the objection on which he rejected
the nomination paper is held to be bad, the Tribunal has no option but to set
aside the election under s. 100(1)(c), even though the candidate was, in fact,
disqualified and his nomination paper was rightly rejected. Mr. Sinha for the
respondent concedes that the result would be anomalous, but he says that the
Law of Election is full of anomalies, and this is one of them, and that is no
reason for not interpreting the law on its own-terms. It is no doubt true that
if on its true construction, a statute leads to anomalous results, the Courts
have no option but to give effect to it and leave it to the legislature to
amend and alter the law. But when on a construction of a statute, two views are
possible, one which results in an anomaly and the other not, it is our duty to
adopt the latter and not the former, seeking consolation in the thought that
the law bristles with anomalies. Anomalies will disappear, and the law will be
found to be simple and logical, if it is understood that when a question is
raised in an election petition as to the propriety of the rejection of a
nomination paper, the point to be decided is about the propriety of the
nomination and not the decision of the returning officer on the materials
placed before him, and that decision must depend on whether the candidate is
duly qualified and is not subject to any disqualifications as provided in s.
36(2) It remains to deal with one more contention advanced on behalf of the
respondent, and that is based on the following observations in Hari Vishnu
Kamath v. Syed Ahmad Ishaque and others (1):
" Under this provision R. 47(4), the
Tribunal is constituted a court of appeal against the decision of the returning
officer, and as such its jurisdiction must be co-extensive with that of the
returning officer and cannot extend further." The argument is that if the
jurisdiction of the Tribunal is co-extensive with that of the returning
officer, then the enquiry before it must be confined to the grounds which were
urged before the returning officer. Now, the observations quoted above were
made statedly with reference to R. 47, and assuming that they apply to an
enquiry under s. 100(1)(c), the question still remains, what is the
jurisdiction of the returning officer in hearing objections to nomination
papers? (31)  1 S.C.R. 1104, 1132.
636 His jurisdiction is defined in s. 36(2),
and the Tribunal must therefore have jurisdiction to decide all the questions
which can be raised under that section. The fact that a particular ground whichcould
have been raised was not, in fact, raised before the returning officer does not
put an end to his jurisdiction to decide it, and what he could have decided if
it had been raised, could be decided by the Tribunal, when raised.
Mr. Ganapathy Iyer, learned counsel for the
appellant, invited our attention to the decisions of the Election Tribunals on
the question whether grounds other than those raised before the returning
officer could be put forward in an enquiry in an election petition. They held,
with one solitary exception, that it is permissible, and indeed, it is stated
in Mengh Raj v. Bhimandas (1) as settled law that the rejection of a nomination
paper can be sustained on grounds not raised before the returning officer. If
the legislature which must be taken to have knowledge of the law as interpreted
in those decisions wanted to make a departure from it, it would have said so in
clear terms, and in the absence of such an expression, it would be right to interpret
s. 100(1)(c) as not intended to alter the law as laid down in those decisions.
It is now necessary to refer to the decisions
which have been cited before us. In Durga Shankar Mehta's case (2), the
election was to a double-member constituency. The appellant who obtained the
largest number of votes was declared elected to the general seat and one
Vasantarao, to the reserved seat. The validity of the election was challenged
on the ground that Vasantarao was below the age of 25 years, and was, therefore,
disqualified to stand. The Election Tribunal upheld that objection, and set
aside the entire election. The decision was taken in appeal to this Court, and
the point for determination was whether the election of the appellant was
liable to be set aside on account of the disqualification of Vasantarao. It was
held that the matter fell within s. 100(2)(c) as it then stood and not under s.
100(1)(c), and that the election of the appellant could not be declared void.
(1)  2 E.L.R. 301, 31O.
(2) [19551 1 S.C.R. 267.
637 This is not a direct pronouncement on the
point now in controversy, and that is conceded. In Vashist Narain Sharma v. Dev
Chandra and others (1), a question was raised as to what would be "
improper acceptance " within the meaning of s. 100; but in the view taken
by this Court, no opinion was expressed thereon.
The question now under consideration came up
directly for decision before the High Court of Rajasthan in Tej Singh v. Election
Tribunal, Jaipur (2), and it was held that the respondent to an election
petition was entitled to raise a plea that the nomination of the petitioner
rejected on one ground by the returning officer was defective on one or more of
the other grounds mentioned in s. 36(2) of the Act, and that such a plea, if
taken, must be enquired into by the Election Tribunal. In Dhanraj Deshlehara v.
Vishwanath Y. Tamaskar (3), it was observed by a Bench of the Madhya Pradesh
High Court that in determining whether a nomination was improperly rejected,
the Election Tribunal was not bound to confine its enquiry to the ground on
which the returning officer rejected it, and that even if the ground on which
the returning officer rejected the nomination could not be sustained, the
rejection could not, be held to be improper if the Tribunal found other fatal
defects in the nomination.
An unreported judgment of the Andhra Pradesh
High Court in Badrivishal Pitti v. J. V. Narsing Rao (4) has been cited before
us, and that also takes the view that in an enquiry before the Election Tribunal,
it is open to the parties to support an order of rejection of a nomination
paper on grounds other than those which were put forward before the returning
officer. We are in agreement with these decisions.
As the question has also been raised as to
the propriety of interfering in writ petitions under Art. 226 with
interlocutory orders passed in the course of an enquiry before the Election
Tribunal, we shall express our opinion thereon. The jurisdiction of the High
Court to issue writs against orders of the Tribunal is (1)  1 S.C.R. 509.
(2)  9 E.L.R.193 (3)  15 E.L.R.
(4) Special Appeal No. 1 Of 1957.
638 undoubted; but then, it is well settled
that where there is another remedy provided, the court may properly exercise
its discretion in declining to interfere under Art. 226. It should be
remembered that under the election law as it stood prior to the amendment
in1956, election petitions were dismissed on preliminary grounds and the
correctness of the decision was challenged in applications under Art. 226 and
in further appeals to this Court, with the result that by the time the matter
was finally decided, the life of the legislatures for which the election was
held would have itself very nearly come to an end thus rendering the
proceedings infructuous. A signal example of a case of this kind is to be found
in the decision reported in Bhikaji Keshao Joshi and another v. Brijlal Nandlal
Biyani and others (1). It is to remedy this defect that the legislature has now
amended the law by providing a right of appeal against a decision of the
Tribunal to the High Court under s. 116-A, and its intention is' obviously that
proceedings before the Tribunal should go on with expedition and without
interruption, and that any error in its decision should be set right in an
appeal under that section. In this view, it would be a proper exercise of
discretion under Art. 226 to decline to interfere with interlocutory orders.
In the result, we allow the appeals, set
aside the orders of the court below, and dismiss the writ petitions. filed by
the respondent, with costs here and in the court below.
Appeal allowed (1)  2 S.C.R. 428.