THE DISPUTED ELECTIONS (PRIME MINISTER AND SPEAKER) ACT, 1977
THE DISPUTED ELECTIONS (PRIME MINISTER AND SPEAKER) ACT, 1977
Title : THE DISPUTED ELECTIONS (PRIME MINISTER AND SPEAKER) ACT, 1977
Year : 1977
(1) Subject to any rules made in this behalf, the Authority for the trial of any petition shall hold the trial at New Delhi.
(2) The Authority shall dismiss the petition-
(a) If the petition has not been presented within the period specified in sub-section (1) of section 5;
(b) If the petition does not comply with the provisions of sub-section (3) or sub-section (4) of section 5 or section 6.
Explanation.-An order dismissing a petition under this sub-section shall be deemed to be an order made under clause (a) of section 16.
(3) Any candidate not already a respondent to a petition shall, upon application made by him to the Authority within fourteen days from the date of commencement of the trial and subject to any order as to security for costs which may be made by the Authority, be entitled to be joined as a respondent.
Explanation.-For the purposes of this sub-section and of section 15 the trial of a petition shall be deemed to commence on the date fixed for the respondents to appear before the Authority and answer the claim or claims made in the petition.
(4) The Authority may, upon such terms as to costs and otherwise as it may deem fit, allow the particulars of any corrupt practice alleged in the petition to be amended or amplified in such manner as may in its opinion be necessary for ensuring a fair and effective trial of the petition, but shall not allow any amended of the petition which will have the effect to introducing particulars of a corrupt practice not previously alleged in the petition.
(5) The trial of a petition shall, so far as is practicable consistently with the interests of justice in respect of the trial, be continued from day to day until its conclusion, unless the Authority finds the adjournment of the trial beyond the following day to be necessary for reasons to be recorded.
(6) Every petition shall be tried as expeditiously as possible and endeavour shall be made to conclude the trial within six months from the date of commencement of the trial.
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act and of any rules made there under, every petition shall be tried by the Authority, as nearly as may be, in accordance with the procedure applicable under this Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908.) to the trial of suits:
Provided that the Authority shall have the discretion to refuse, for reasons to be recorded in writing, to examine any witness or witnesses, if it is of the opinion that the evidence of such witness or witnesses is not material for the decision of the petition or that the party tendering such witness or witnesses is doing so on frivolous grounds or with a view to delay the proceedings.
(2) For the purposes of any such trial, the Authority shall have all the powers of a Civil Court while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908.), in respect of the following matters, namely:-
(a) Summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;
(b) Requiring the discovery and production of any document;
(c) Receiving evidence on affidavits;
(d) Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office;
(e) Issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents;
(f) Such other matters as may be prescribed.
(3) The provisions of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (1 of 1872.), shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be deemed to apply in all respects to the trial of a petition.
(4) Any proceeding before the Authority shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of section 193 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860.).
No witness or other person shall be required to state for whom he has voted at an election.
(1) No witness shall be excused from answering any question as to any matter relevant to a matter in issue in the trial of a petition upon the ground that the answer to such question may criminate or may tend to criminate him, or that it may expose or may tend to expose him to any penalty or forfeiture:
(a) A witness, who answers truly all questions which he is required to answer shall be entitled to receive a certificate of indemnity from the Authority; and
(b) An answer given by a witness to a question put by or before the Authority shall not, except in the case of any criminal proceeding for perjury in respect of the evidence, be admissible in evidence against him in any civil or criminal proceeding.
(2) When a certificate of indemnity has been granted to any witness, it may be pleaded by him in any court shall be a full and complete defence to or upon any charge under Chapter IXA of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860.) or Part VII of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951.), arising out of the matter to which such certificate relates, but it shall not be deemed to relieve him from any disqualification in connection with an election imposed by this Act or any other law.
The reasonable expenses incurred by any person in attending to give evidence before the Authority may be allowed by it to such person, and shall, unless the Authority otherwise directs, be deemed to be part of the costs.
(1) When in a petition a declaration that any certificate other than the returned candidate has been duly elected is claimed, the returned candidate or any other party may give evidence to prove that the election of such candidate would have been void if he had been the returned candidate and a petition had been presented calling in question his election:
Provided that the returned candidate or such other party, as aforesaid shall not be entitled to give such evidence unless he has, within fourteen days from the date of commencement of the trial, given notice to the Authority of his intention to do so and has also given the security and the further security referred to in sub-sections (4), (5) and (6) respectively of section 5.
(2) Every notice referred to in sub-section (1) shall be accompanied by the statement and particulars required by section 7 in the case of a petition and shall be signed and verified in like manner.
At the conclusion of the trial of a petition the Authority shall make an order-
(a) Dismissing the petition; or
(b) Declaring the election of all or any of the returned candidates to be void; or
(c) Declaring the election of all or any of the returned candidates to be void and the petitioner or any other candidate to have been duly elected.
(1) At the time of making an order under section 16, the Authority shall also make an order-
(a) Where any charge is made in the petition of any corrupt practice having been committed at the election, recording-
(i) A finding whether any corrupt practice has or has not been proved to have been committed at the election, and the nature of that corrupt practice; and
(ii) The names of all persons, if any, who have been proved at the trial to have been guilty of any corrupt practice and the nature of that practice; and
(b) Fixing the total amount of costs payable and specifying the persons by and to whom costs shall be paid:
Provided that a person who is not a party to the petition shall not be named in the order under sub-clause (ii) of clause (a) unless-
(a) He has been given notice to appear before the Authority and to show cause why he should not be so named; and
(b) If he appears in pursuance of the notice, he has been given an opportunity of cross-examining any witness who has already been examined by the Authority and has given evidence against him, of calling evidence in his defence and of being heard.
(2) In this section and in section 18, the expression "agent" has the same meaning as in section 123 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951.).
(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 the 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.
If any person who has lodged a petition has, in addition to calling in question the election of the returned candidate, claimed a declaration that he himself or any other candidate has been duly elected and the Authority is of opinion-
(a) That in fact the petitioner or such other candidate received a majority of the valid votes; or
(b) That but for the votes obtained by the returned candidate by corrupt practices the petitioner or such other candidate would have obtained a majority of the valid votes,the Authority shall after declaring the election of the returned candidate to be void declare the petitioner or such other candidate, as the case may be, to have been duly elected.
The Authority shall, as soon as may be after the conclusion of the trial of a petition, intimate the substance of the decision to the Election Commission and the Speaker or the Chairman, as the case may be, of the House of Parliament and, as soon as may be thereafter, shall send to the Election Commission an authenticated copy of the decision.
Costs shall be in the discretion of the Authority:
Provided that where a petition is dismissed under clause (a) of section 16, the returned candidate shall be entitled to the costs incurred by him in contesting the petition and accordingly the Authority shall make an order for costs in favour of the returned candidate.
No order made by an Authority under this Act shall be called in question in any court.
(1) An order made by an Authority under this Act shall take effect as soon as it is pronounced by the Authority.
(2) Whereby an order under section 16 the election of a returned candidate is declared to be void, acts and proceedings in which that returned candidate has, before the date thereof, participated as a member of Parliament or, as the Prime Minister or as the Speaker of the House of People shall not be invalidated by reason of that order, nor shall such candidate be subjected to any liability or penalty on the ground of such participation.
This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Persons accessing this site are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice in India abroad regarding their individual legal, civil criminal issues or consult one of the experts online.