The Supreme Court set aside the Election of Appellant Successful Candidate to Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly
The notification under the Representation of the People Act, 1951 was notified for holding the election of U.P. State Legislative Assembly from 34, Suar, District Rampur constituency. Public notice was issued by the Returning Officer fixing the election programme for holding election for the aforestated constituency. According to the schedule of the programme, the appellant and the respondent along with others filed their nomination papers.
The appeal has been filed under Section 116A of the Representation of People Act, 1951 assailing the judgment and order passed by the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, holding the election of the returned candidate (appellant) as void and consequently came to be set aside.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the appellant, submitted that there is a statutory presumption of validity of the nomination papers as reflected under para 6 of Chapter VI of the Handbook of Returning Officers.
He further submitted that the school/academic records on which reliance was placed by the election petitioner/respondent and of which cognizance has been taken by the High Court under the judgment was not disputed by the appellant, but the appellant disputed the contents of the document relied upon by the respondent throughout.
He contended that it was the specific case of the appellant that the date of birth as recorded in his school records i.e. 1st January, 1993 is incorrect and wrongly recorded, in fact, he was born on 30th September, 1990 and to support his date of birth, sufficient primary documentary evidence was placed on record which pertains to the authenticated record of Queen Mary’s Hospital, Lucknow, which is a Government hospital and followed with the birth certificate issued by the competent authority.
Advocate Aadil Singh Boparai, appearing for the respondent, submitted that he was successful in establishing before the High Court that the date of birth of the appellant is 1st January, 1993 by leading evidence and also as per the admissions made by the appellant/witnesses, admittedly the appellant was not qualified to contest the election for the Member of Legislative Assembly, being less than 25 years of age in view of Article 173(b) of the Constitution on the date when nomination papers were filled or the date of declaration of result.
The single judge bench of Justice B.V. Nagarathna viewed that the appellant – successful candidate was not born on 30.09.1990 and was not twenty five years old at the time of filing the nomination as the appellant has been unable to prove the said fact despite the voluminous oral and documentary evidence provided on record.
The court noted that the Class X Secondary School Examination Certificate and Class XII Secondary School Examination Certificate which indicate the date of birth of the appellant as 01.01.1993 even till date, are also in consonance with the earlier passports and visa documents produced by the respondent election petitioner.
It was held by the court that the Aadhar card, driver’s licence and voter ID of the appellant successful candidate, which were issued on the strength of the duplicate certificates issued by the Queen Mary’s Hospital, Lucknow, and the Nagar Nigam, Lucknow, on 21.04.2015 and 21.01.2015, respectively, are not proof of the successful candidate’s date of birth as 30.09.1990.
The bench found that the acceptance of the nomination of the appellant successful candidate was improper.
The court dismissed the appeal.
Case title: Mohd. Abdullah Azam Khan v/s Nawab Kazim Ali Khan
Citation: Civil appeal no(s). 104 of 2020