Apex Law Journal
Apex Law Journal
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Neha Goel, Advocate

Advisory Board

S.C. Khunger, Advocate

Rohit Bansal, Advocate

Varinder Singh Kanwar, Advocate

Hittan Nehra, Advocate

Judgments on Election

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Election — Re-counting of votes — Doctrine of Prejudice — Having regard to the consequences emanating from the direction of re-counting, which may even breach the secrecy of ballot, the doctrine of prejudice is an irrelevant factor for ordering re-count.


Election — Re-counting of votes — A narrow margin of votes between the returned candidate and the election petitioner does not per se give rise to a presumption that there had been an irregularity or illegality in the counting of votes.


Election — Onus to prove the allegation of irregularity, impropriety or illegality in the election process on the part of the Election Officer is on the election petitioner and not on the Election Officer.        


Election — Order for inspection and re-count of the ballot papers — Held, since an order for inspection and re-count of the ballot papers affects the secrecy of ballot, such an order cannot be made as a matter of course.


Election — Secrecy of ballot — In the entire election process, the secrecy of ballot is sacrosanct and inviolable except where strong prima facie circumstances to suspect the purity, propriety and legality in the counting of votes are made out — The importance of maintenance of secrecy of ballots and the circumstances under which that secrecy can be breached, has been considered by this Court in several cases — It would be trite to state that before an Election Tribunal can permit scrutiny of ballot papers and order re-count, two basic requirements viz. (i) the election petition seeking re-count of the ballot papers must contain an adequate statement of all the material facts on which the allegations of irregularity or illegality in counting are founded, and (ii) on the basis of evidence adduced in support of the allegations, the Tribunal must be, prima facie, satisfied that in order to decide the dispute and to do complete and effectual justice between the parties, making of such an order is imperatively necessary, are satisfied — Broadly stated, material facts are primary or basic facts which have to be pleaded by the election petitioner to prove his cause of action and by the defendant to prove his defence — But, as to what could be said to be material facts would depend upon the facts of each case and no rule of universal application can be laid down.

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