Will of the people cannot be allowed to be tinkered with, except in the manner contemplated by law

Punjab and Haryana High Court: In the instant case, the petitioner alleged that the respondent No. 4 is not eligible to sit as Member of the Punjab State Legislative Assembly and prayed before the Division Bench of Hemant Kumar and Lisa Gil, JJ., to treat the Vidhan Sabha seat of Amritsar North as vacant, along with a prayer for the issuance of Writ of quo- warranto questioning the authority of the respondent as the Member of Punjab Legislative Assembly. Upon deliberating over the facts and arguments of the present case, the Court found the petition to be an abuse of process of law; and held that the petitioner is fighting his political battle in Court rather than in the Constituency. The Court further observed that the will of the people cannot be allowed to be tinkered with except in the manner contemplated by law.

As per the allegations of the petitioner (a worker of Congress party), the respondent was not a voter in any electoral list in Punjab, therefore did not possess the qualification specified under Article 173(c) of the Constitution and Section 5(c) of the Representation of People Act, 1951 to hold a seat in the Legislative Assembly, therefore ineligible to be a member of the Punjab State Legislative Assembly. There was an enquiry conducted for the same by the Divisional Commissioner, Jalandhar Division. The counsel for the petitioner Narender Hooda, relied upon K. Venkatachalam v. A. Swamickan, (1999)4 SCC 526, where the appellant did not have the requisite qualification to be elected as Member of the Legislative Assembly in Tamil Nadu, thus the Court held that even if the election petition is not filed, the matter can be examined in a writ petition. The respondent was represented by Senior Advocate, Satya Pal Jain.

Upon perusing the contentions the Court found no merit in the petition. It observed that a candidate or a voter should examine the final printed voter list to determine that whether his name appears in the electoral roll or not. If the name of the elector is not appearing in the voter list, he has the remedy available in Form 6 & 7 as under Rules 13(1); and 26 of the Registration of Electors Rules, 1960 and Sections 22 and 23(1); of the Representation of People Act, 1950 for inclusion of his name in the voter list. The absence of name of respondent No.4 in the final electoral roll would give right to him to seek inclusion of his name in the electoral roll. It was further observed that the Divisional Commissioner was only required to examine that whether name of the respondent appears in the electoral roll of 2012 or not. The Court further added that if the petitioner was so aggrieved with irregularities, then he should have raised objection at the time of filing nomination or filed an election petition. Vaneet Mahajan v. Election Commission of India2015 SCC OnLine P&H 1497, decided on 04.05.2015        

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