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False Affidavit By Election Candidate Would Not Amount To ‘Corrupt Practice’ If It Was Rectified Before Scrutiny: Supreme court

“This, according to us, is obviously a mere mistake committed by the returned candidate while submitting the statutory form which has been duly corrected by filing an affidavit.”

 

The Supreme Court has observed that if a candidate rectifies the incorrect information that was given in the Nomination Paper, before its scrutiny by the returning officer, it would not amount to ‘corrupt practice’.

The allegations in the election petition filed against Jibontara Ghatowar was that she did not disclose the fact of the pendency of a criminal case, in the affidavit/ statutory form submitted under section 33A of the Representation of People Act. As per this provision, a candidate is bound to declare if he/she is accused of any offence punishable with imprisonment for two years or more in a pending case in which a charge has been framed by the court of competent jurisdiction. At the time of filing of nomination papers, there was a criminal case pending against the respondent in which she was accused for offences under sections 420/468/193 of the Indian Penal Code.

Jibontara Ghatowar was the returned candidate in the General Election held in 2012 to the Moran Legislative Assembly Constituency in Assam.

The returned candidate, defended these allegations in the Election petition by contending that she had furnished an affidavit subsequently pointing out that the information given by her in the statutory form was not wholly correct and in fact, a criminal case being was pending against her in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dibrugarh.

The High Court had then dismissed the election petition observing that it had materially affected the result of the returned candidate because of ‘improper acceptance’ of nomination paper.

Before the Apex court bench, assailing the High Court order, it was contended that the suppression of pendency of criminal case in the statutory form was a clear commission of the corrupt practice of undue influence. Disagreeing with the said contention, the bench comprising of Justice SA Bobde, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Deepak Gupta said:

“This argument may have been worth considering if the respondent – returned candidate had not furnished an affidavit subsequently pointing out that the information given by her in the statutory form was not wholly correct and in fact, a criminal case being Complaint Case No.123c/2006 was pending against her in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dibrugarh. The respondent – returned candidate had also given the details of the criminal case in her affidavit. This, according to us, is obviously a mere mistake committed by the returned candidate while submitting the statutory form which has been duly corrected by filing an affidavit. Incidentally, there is no particular form prescribed for corrigenda.”

The court also observed that this act of the returned candidate would not amount to corrupt practice since the mistake occurred at the stage of filing the nomination form and the incorrect information that was given in the statutory form was admittedly corrected in the affidavit which was filed by her later on, but before the scrutiny. “The Returning Officer was thus possessed of the correct information at the time of scrutiny. It is obvious that no votes were sought on the basis of the mistaken information supplied.” said the bench, upholding the High Court order

ibontara Ghatowar was the returned candidate in the General Election held in 2012 to the Moran Legislative Assembly Constituency in Assam. The returned candidate, defended these allegations in the Election petition by contending that she had furnished an affidavit subsequently pointing out that the information given by her in the statutory form was not wholly correct and in fact, a criminal case being was pending against her in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dibrugar

https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/false-affidavit-if-rectified-before-scrutiny-would-not-amount-to-corrupt-practice–143300

was the returned candidate in the General Election held in 2012 to the Moran Legislative Assembly Constituency in Assam. The returned candidate, defended these allegations in the Election petition by contending that she had furnished an affidavit subsequently pointing out that the information given by her in the statutory form was not wholly correct and in fact, a criminal case being was pending against her in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate

https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/false-affidavit-if-rectified-before-scrutiny-would-not-amount-to-corrupt-practice–143300

ibontara Ghatowar was the returned candidate in the General Election held in 2012 to the Moran Legislative Assembly Constituency in Assam. The returned candidate, defended these allegations in the Election petition by contending that she had furnished an affidavit subsequently pointing out that the information given by her in the statutory form was not wholly correct and in fact, a criminal case being was pending against her in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dibrugar

https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/false-affidavit-if-rectified-before-scrutiny-would-not-amount-to-corrupt-practice–143

ibontara Ghatowar was the returned candidate in the General Election held in 2012 to the Moran Legislative Assembly Constituency in Assam. The returned candidate, defended these allegations in the Election petition by contending that she had furnished an affidavit subsequently pointing out that the information given by her in the statutory form was not wholly correct and in fact, a criminal case being was pending against her in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dibrugar

https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/false-affidavit-if-rectified-before-scrutiny-would-not-amount-to-corrupt-practice–143300

ibontara Ghatowar was the returned candidate in the General Election held in 2012 to the Moran Legislative Assembly Constituency in Assam. The returned candidate, defended these allegations in the Election petition by contending that she had furnished an affidavit subsequently pointing out that the information given by her in the statutory form was not wholly correct and in fact, a criminal case being was pending against her in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dibrugar

https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/false-affidavit-if-rectified-before-scrutiny-would-not-amount-to-corrupt-practice–143300

ibontara Ghatowar was the returned candidate in the General Election held in 2012 to the Moran Legislative Assembly Constituency in Assam. The returned candidate, defended these allegations in the Election petition by contending that she had furnished an affidavit subsequently pointing out that the information given by her in the statutory form was not wholly correct and in fact, a criminal case being was pending against her in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dibrugar

https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/false-affidavit-if-rectified-before-scrutiny-would-not-amount-to-corrupt-practice–143300

ibontara Ghatowar was the returned candidate in the General Election held in 2012 to the Moran Legislative Assembly Constituency in Assam. The returned candidate, defended these allegations in the Election petition by contending that she had furnished an affidavit subsequently pointing out that the information given by her in the statutory form was not wholly correct and in fact, a criminal case being was pending against her in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dibrugar

https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/false-affidavit-if-rectified-before-scrutiny-would-not-amount-to-corrupt-practice–143300

Jibontara Ghatowar was the returned candidate in the General Election held in 2012 to the Moran Legislative Assembly Constituency in Assam. The returned candidate, defended these allegations in the Election petition by contending that she had furnished an affidavit subsequently pointing out that the information given by her in the statutory form was not wholly correct and in fact, a criminal case being was pending against her in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dibrugarh.

https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/false-affidavit-if-rectified-before-scrutiny-would-not-amount-to-corrupt-practice–143300

ibontara Ghatowar was the returned candidate in the General Election held in 2012 to the Moran Legislative Assembly Constituency in Assam. The returned candidate, defended these allegations in the Election petition by contending that she had furnished an affidavit subsequently pointing out that the information given by her in the statutory form was not wholly correct and in fact, a criminal case being was pending against her in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dibrugar

https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/false-affidavit-if-rectified-before-scrutiny-would-not-amount-to-corrupt-practice–143300

Jibontara Ghatowar was the returned candidate in the General Election held in 2012 to the Moran Legislative Assembly Constituency in Assam. The returned candidate, defended these allegations in the Election petition by contending that she had furnished an affidavit subsequently pointing out that the information given by her in the statutory form was not wholly correct and in fact, a criminal case being was pending against her in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dibrugarh.

https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/false-affidavit-if-rectified-before-scrutiny-would-not-amount-to-corrupt-practice–1433

Jibontara Ghatowar was the returned candidate in the General Election held in 2012 to the Moran Legislative Assembly Constituency in Assam. The returned candidate, defended these allegations in the Election petition by contending that she had furnished an affidavit subsequently pointing out that the information given by her in the statutory form was not wholly correct and in fact, a criminal case being was pending against her in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dibrugarh.

https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/false-affidavit-if-rectified-before-scrutiny-would-not-amount-to-corrupt-practice–14330

( Courtesy livelaw )

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