Krishnamoorthy Versus Sivakumar & Ors.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO.1478 OF 2015

(@ SLP(C) NO. 14918 OF 2009)

Krishnamoorthy … Appellant

Versus

Sivakumar & Ors. …Respondents

 

The instant case is a case of non-disclosure of full particulars of criminal cases pending against a candidate, at the time of filing of nomination and its eventual impact when the election is challenged before the election tribunal. As the factual score is exposited the appellant was elected as the President of Thekampatti Panchayat, Mettupalayam Taluk, Coimbatore District in the State of Tamil Nadu in the elections held for the said purpose on 13.10.2006. The validity of the election was called in question on the sole ground that he had filed a false declaration suppressing the details of criminal cases pending trial against him and, therefore, his nomination deserved to be rejected by the Returning Officer before the District Court Coimbatore in Election O.P. No. 296 of 2006. As the factual matrix would unfurl that Tamil Nadu State Election Commission (TNSEC) had issued a Notification bearing S.O. No.43/2006/TNSEC/EG dated 1.9.2006 which stipulated that every candidate desiring to contest an election to a local body, was required to furnish full and complete information in regard to five categories referred to in paragraph five of the preamble to the Notification, at the time of filing his nomination paper. One of the mandatory requirements of the disclosure was whether the candidate was accused in any pending case prior to six months of filing of the nomination of any offence punishable with imprisonment for two years or more and in which, charges have been framed or cognizance taken by a court of law. It was asserted in the petition that the appellant, who was the President of a cooperative society, on allegations of criminal breach of trust, falsification of accounts, etc., was arrayed as an accused in complaint case in Crime No. 10 of 2001. During investigation, the police found certain other facets and eventually placed eight different charge sheets, being C.C. Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 of 2004 before the Judicial Magistrate-IV, Coimbatore and the Magistrate had taken cognizance much before the Election Notification. Factum of taking cognizance and thereafter framing of charges in all the eight cases for the offences under Sections 120-B, 406,408 and 477-A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’ for short) prior to the cut-off date are not in dispute. The appellant had filed a declaration and the affidavit only mentioning Crime No 10 of 2001 and did not mention the details of the charge sheets filed against him which were pending trial. In this backdrop, the Election Petition was filed to declare his election as null and void on the ground that he could not have contested the election and, in any case, the election was unsustainable….read more