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Anil Bhanudas Chaudhari vs. State of Maharashtra and Ors. - (High Court of Bombay) (29 Mar 2022)

Once the election process has been set in and the programme has been published, the whole process cannot be halted for one or the other reasons



The brief facts of the case are that, the Petitioner is running a fair price shop and had filed a nomination form for contesting the Committee Election for the year 2022 from the constituency of General Aadivasi Loanee Account Holder Representative Group.

According to the Petitioner, Respondent namely, Suresh Mahadeo Shrirame, who is also contesting the election of the said society preferred an objection and requested to reject/not to accept the Petitioner's nomination on the ground that, the Petitioner is the fair price shop license holder of APMC Bhadravati which also runs the sub market at Chandankheda, and without giving the Petitioner a fair opportunity of hearing the Respondent No. 2, Returning Officer, rejected the nomination of the Petitioner. Being aggrieved, the Petitioner preferred an appeal before Respondent No. 3, Assistant Registrar Co-operative Society, but the said appeal also came to be dismissed. Hence, present writ petition.

It is seen from the record that, the election programme for Aadivasi Vividh Karyakari Co-operative Society, Chandankheda, Tahsil Bhadravati has already been issued. The scrutiny of the nomination form has already been done.

The process of election involves rejection or acceptance of the nomination paper and is very much essential part of the whole election process. It is also clear from the record that the appellate authority i.e. Respondent No. 3 Assistant Registrar, Cooperative Society after hearing both the parties on merits upheld the rejection order passed by the Respondent No. 2, Returning Officer. Thus, it cannot be said that, no opportunity was given to Petitioner before appellate authority.

If at this stage, the Petitioner is allowed to participate in the election process, that would tantamount to obstructing and protracting unduly the whole election process, which is not desirable and permissible. It is now well recognised that once the election process has been set in and the programme has been published, it is not desirable to install the whole process for one or the other reasons.

Since, the rejection of nomination paper is very much part and parcel of the whole election process, the same cannot be called in question under Article 226 of the Constitution of India clearly, the Petitioner has an alternate remedy of filing the election petition. This being so, at this stage, the writ petition under article 226 of the Constitution of India can not be entertained, particularly when not only the programme of election process has been published but the stage of nomination has also crossed and the only thing now remains to be done is allotment of symbol, publication of final list and the date of voting. Petition dismissed.


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