The Gujarat High court has reiterated that removal of a person's name from the voters' list is not an "extraordinary circumstance" warranting invocation of High Court's extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution. It held that a person aggrieved must avail statutory remedy by filing election petition under Rule 28.
A Bench comprising Justice Biren Vaishnav and Justice Sandeep Bhatt affirmed the following observations made by a single judge,
"Once the process of election has been set in motion this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India would not interfere in the election process. Accordingly this Court is not inclined to interfere with the impugned order passed by the respondent No.3 and relegate the writ applicant to avail statutory remedy by filing election petition under Rule 28.
The rejection of the writ-applicant's name from the voters' list results in exclusion of name of the writ-applicant from the voters' list...the writ-applicant can avail the benefit of provisions of Rule 28 of the Rules by filing the election petition. The authority under Rule 28 has wide power to cancel and, confirm and amend the election and also to direct to hold fresh election in case the election is set aside and the remedy under Rule 28 is an efficacious remedy."
It was claimed that the Appellant's name was deleted from the voter's list and vide an LPA, the Appellant's objection to get his name on the voter's list was also rejected.
To Division Bench relied on Daheda Group Seva Sahakari Mandli Limited vs. R. D. Rohit, Authorised Officer and Cooperative Officer (Marketing) 2006 (1) GCD 211 where it was held that the inclusion or exclusion of names in the voter's list could not be termed as extraordinary circumstances warranting interference by the High Court under Art 226.
Reference was made to Ahmedabad Cotton Mfg. Ltd. v. Union of India and Ors. (18 GLR 714) where it was held that even though the extraordinary jurisdiction of the High Court under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution is very wide, yet the Court should be slow in exercising this jurisdiction where there are alternative remedies available.
In this backdrop, the Single Judge had refused to interfere in the matter. It had however granted liberty to the Petitioner approach the competent authority by raising an election dispute as contemplated under Rule 28 of the Rules, if he is aggrieved by the result of election.
"If such petition is filed, it shall be considered by the competent authority independently and uninfluenced by the findings recorded," it had ordered.
The Division Bench herein also refused to take a view different and accordingly, the appeals were rejected.
Case Title: JITENDRABHAI ARJANBHAI ROY Versus THE DIRECTOR OF AGRICULTURAL MARKETING AND RURAL FINANCE
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Guj) 169