High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Gogi v. Ranjit Singh & Anr. - FAO-1909-2005  RD-P&H 5325 (8 August 2006)
In the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh.
F.A.O.No.1909 of 2005.
Date of decision:29.8.2006.
Ranjit Singh and another.
Coram: Hon'ble Mr. Justice S. N. Aggarwal.
Present: Mr. J.S.Brar Advocate for the appellant.
Mr.Arvind Kashyap, Advocate for respondent No.1.
S. N. Aggarwal, J.
Elections for Sarpanchship of village Ballan, Tehsil and District Ropar had taken place on 29.6.2003. Smt.Gogi appellant had contested the election while Ranjit Singh,respondent No.1 was the main contestant against her. Smt. Gogi secured 126 votes while Ranjit Singh,respondent No.1 secured only 123 votes. Accordingly, the appellant was declared elected. Ranjit Singh respondent filed the election petition before Election Tribunal, Ropar. The election of Smt.Gogi was challenged on a number of grounds. One of the grounds F.A.O.No.1909 of 2005.
was that her real name was Rajinder Kaur and she had contested the election by disclosing her wrong name as Gogi, thereby she defrauded the villagers. The second ground was that she had adopted corrupt practices by distributing liquor and money to get votes. It was also pleaded that many of his votes were rejected at the time of counting and he has suffered a set back in the election process. He also prayed for recount of votes.
This petition was hotly contested by the appellant on all the grounds.
Both the parties made statement before the Election Tribunal that they have no objection if the votes were recounted.
Accordingly, the entire election record was called by the Election Tribunal. Recounting of the votes was conducted on 9.9.2004. Two votes which were rejected were found to be legal and valid. Those two votes were recounted in the votes secured by Ranjit Singh, respondent.
Therefore, the total number of votes secured by Ranjit Singh after recounting came to be 125 while in the recount, the votes secured by Smt.Gogi were 126 as were counted earlier. Therefore, in the recounting again, Ranjit Singh respondent was the looser.
However, the Election Tribunal held that the real name of Smt.Gogi was Rajinder Kaur and,therefore, she had concealed her real name from the villagers. It was also held that Smt. Gogi had distributed liquor during elections. Accordingly, the Election Tribunal accepted the election petition filed by Ranjit Singh, respondent No.1, vide F.A.O.No.1909 of 2005.
impugned order dated 12.1.2005 and set aside the election of Smt.
Hence, the present appeal.
The submission of learned counsel for the appellant was that in spite of recount, she had secured more votes than Ranjit Singh, respondent No.1. Therefore, the Election Tribunal was not justified in setting aside her election on imaginary grounds. The respondent also made reference to the voters list where her name was mentioned as Gogi wife of Darshan Singh. Even in her ration card, she had given her name as Gogi wife of Darshan Singh. In view of the fact that the name of Smt. Gogi was mentioned as such in the voters list as well as in the ration card,therefore, it cannot be held that she had wrongly given her name as Gogi or if her real name was Rajinder Kaur. This plea adopted by the Election Tribunal in setting aside the election of Smt.Gogi is only imaginary and without basis.
So far as second ground taken by the Election Tribunal is concerned, it, too, falls down for want of substantial evidence. Merely because Gurvinder Singh,one of the witnesses of Ranjit Singh has made a statement to that effect does not prove the allegations against Smt.Gogi conclusively. No specific date is given when liquor was distributed. No name of the person is given to whom liquor was served by her. No person's name is given in whose presence liquor was served.
Therefore, from the alleged statement of Gurvinder Singh, too much has been read against Smt.Gogi.
F.A.O.No.1909 of 2005.
Accordingly, this appeal is accepted and the order passed by the Election Tribunal on 12.1.2005 is set aside. The election of Smt.
Gogi as Sarpanch of village Ballan is up-held.
August 29,2006. ( S. N. Aggarwal )
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