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Kancharla Bhupal Reddy And … vs Komatireddy Venkat Reddy And … on 27 April, 2018

THE HONBLE SRI JUSTICE A.RAMALINGESWARA RAO

ELECTION PETITION Nos.6 of 2014 and batch

27.04.2018

Kancharla Bhupal Reddy and anotherPetitioners

Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and others. Respondents

Counsel for the Petitioners: Sri B.Venkata Rama Rao
Sri K.V.Bhanu Prasad

Counsel for the Respondents : Sri S.Niranjan Reddy
Sri A.Venkatesh
Sri Y.Shashidhar Reddy
GP for General Administration (TG)
Gist :

Head Note :

? Cases referred
1. (2002) 5 SCC 294
2. (2003) 4 SCC 399
3. 149 (2008) DLT 205 : 2008 (101) DRJ 283 (Elec.P.1/2004,
dated 19.02.2008, High Court of Delhi)
4. (2009) 9 SCC 92
5. (2011) 8 SCC 333
6. 2012 SCC OnLine HP 397 : (2012) 116 AIC (Sum 4) 2
7. (2014) 5 SCC 312
8. (2014) 14 SCC 162
9. (2014) 14 SCC 189
10. (2015) 3 SCC 467
11. 2016 SCC OnLine Bom 10078 : (2017) 98 VST 172
12. 2016 SCC OnLine Mani 30
13. (2017) 2 SCC 487
14. Writ Petition (C) No.784 of 2015, dated 16.02.2018
15. Civil Appeal Nos.9466-9468 of 2016, dated 21.03.2018
16. (2012) 3 SCC 314
17. (2012) 11 SCC 390

THE HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE A.RAMALINGESWARA RAO

ELECTION PETITION Nos.6 and 7 of 2014

COMMON ORDER:
Ekam sat vipra bahudha vadanti
(Truth is one, but the learned speak in different voices)

These two Election Petitions were filed by the unsuccessful
candidates challenging the election of the first respondent who
was elected as a Member of Legislative Assembly from 92-
Nalgonda Legislative Assembly Constituency held in the month
of May 2014. The petitioner in E.P.No.6 of 2014 further prayed
for a declaration that he was duly elected as Member of the 92-
Nalgonda Legislative Assembly Constituency and for punishing
the first respondent under Section 125A(ii) of the
Representation of the People Act, 1951 (for short, the Act).
Hence, these two Election Petitions are taken up together as
they relate to the challenge made to the election of the first
respondent.

It is averred in the Election Petition No.6 of 2014 that the
schedule for General Election was issued on 05.03.2014 and
the election notification for conduct of elections was issued on
02.04.2014. The last date for filing of nomination was
09.04.2014 and the nominations were scrutinized on
10.04.2014. The last date for withdrawal of candidature was
12.04.2014. Polling was held on 30.04.2014 and the votes were
counted on 16.05.2014. The petitioner states that he contested
the elections as an independent candidate, whereas the first
respondent was nominated by the Indian National Congress
party. The third respondent is none other than the petitioner in
E.P.No.7 of 2014. It is further stated that the first respondent
secured 60,774 votes, whereas the petitioner secured 50,227
votes and the petitioner is the second candidate who secured
highest number of votes. The petitioner states that the first
respondent was never elected to any post in the village level,
Mandal level or District level. But, he was elected to the
Legislative Assembly Constituency in the General Elections held
in the year 1999. Thereafter in the elections held in 2004, 2009
and 2014 he was elected. Before his election as Member of
Legislative Assembly (MLA) in 1999, he projected himself and
influenced the voters of his Constituency to believe that he is an
educated youth leader with B.E qualification and was engaged
in the business of contracts. The voters were made to believe
that he is highly educated, rich and influential businessman in
his Constituency. In the General Elections held in the year
2004, the first respondent declared his highest educational
qualification as B.E and completed year of course as 1986 in
the affidavit dated 01.03.2004 filed along with the nomination
paper. In the subsequent elections held in the year 2009 also
he stated the same qualification. The educational qualification
declared by the petitioner was widely published and notified in
the official records since 1999. It is stated that the first
respondent suppressed the true fact that he passed XII
standard (Intermediate) only and made the people of the State
believe, in particular, the voters of his Constituency that he
holds a degree of Bachelor of Engineering (B.E) from CBIT as his
educational qualification. In fact the first respondent
discontinued B.E (Civil) course in CBIT affiliated to Osmania
University, the fact of which was never disclosed. The first
respondent was appointed as the Minister for Information
Technology, Ports and Infrastructure Investment after his
election in the year 2009. He participated in various programs
organized by the Government and public projecting himself to
be an engineering graduate with immense knowledge in that
field. The petitioner is the native of Urumadla Village of
Nalgonda District and resident of Nalgonda Town. He is a
graduate in Commerce and engaged in social service for the last
ten years in the said Constituency. He started his political
career and contested the elections for the first time in 2014.
The petitioner had no occasion to personally verify the
antecedents of the first respondent prior to the General
Elections of 2014. He further states that if the first respondent
did not indulge in misrepresenting his educational
qualifications, he would have succeeded in polling the highest
number of votes and thereby winning the election. After filing
the nomination paper by the first respondent the petitioner
verified his antecedents. He came to know from the local
sources that the first respondent was not an engineering
graduate but gained undue advantage amongst the other
contestants of the Constituency by misinforming the voters
about his educational qualification resulting in the inducement
of electors to cast their votes in favour of the first respondent.
In the affidavit filed along with nomination paper in Form 26
under Rule 4A of the Rules framed under the Representation of
People Act against the column for disclosure of highest
qualification, the first respondent stated 1986 in the column of
year of completion of highest educational qualification and
mentioned B.E in the column of course completed knowingly
that such disclosure/information given by him was false. It is
the case of the petitioner that the first respondent falsely
disclosed that he completed the highest educational
qualification as (B.E) even though he did not complete the same.
The petitioner and the second respondent raised their objection
on the date of scrutiny of nominations on 10.04.2014 before the
fifteenth respondent, Returning Officer, against the false
disclosure of highest educational qualification made by the first
respondent in his affidavit filed along with the nomination
papers. They requested the fifteenth respondent to conduct an
enquiry into the matter and reject the nomination paper of the
first respondent. The fifteenth respondent, through his Memo
No.J/600/2014, dated 10.04.2014, informed the petitioner that
since the first respondent filled all the columns of nomination
paper, he has no authority to reject the said nomination of the
first respondent and the affidavit of the first respondent was
available on the website of the Election Commission for
verification. Thus, the nomination paper of the first respondent
was accepted on 10.04.2014. The petitioner further states that
the first respondent passed only Intermediate examination. As
per the information obtained from the Osmania University
through letters dated 12.06.2014 and 07.06.2014, the first
respondent took admission in B.E., Civil Engineering course in
CBIT in the academic year 1982-83. He failed in most of the
subjects in the first three years. He was caught red handed and
booked by examination authorities for malpractice in the month
of April 1985 and as a measure of punishment, all his papers of
B.E in the third year first semester were cancelled and later he
was given a chance to appear for all the said papers in the next
examination. Thereafter, he did not register for any
examinations and discontinued the B.E course after November,
1989. In spite of the same, the first respondent proclaimed
himself as a B.E graduate and in the book Whos Who
published by the Legislative Assembly during the year 1999 to
2009 it was recorded as B.E. When he was asked in TV9
interview whether he corrected his education qualification in the
website of Legislative Assembly or such other portals/records
made available to the public, he replied that he forgot. The
third respondent filed W.P.No.12066 of 2014 before this Court
challenging the action of the Election Commission of India and
the Chief Electoral Officer for not rejecting the nomination of the
first respondent for giving false information. The said Writ
Petition was disposed of. The first respondent in his counter
affidavit filed in the said Writ Petition admitted that he
discontinued the course in the middle and did not complete the
B.E course. But, in the affidavit presented to the Returning
Officer he made false affirmation. The first respondent made a
false declaration and he cannot getaway by filing a false affidavit
violating Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. He unduly
influenced/interfered with the free exercise of electoral right of
the voters of his Constituency. The result of the elections of
2014 was materially altered/affected by the voting pattern.
Since the voters have a fundamental right to know about the
true particulars of the contesting candidates and the right to
freedom of expression of casting their vote in a free and fair
elections, the first respondent had infringed such right. The
first respondent committed corrupt practice under Section
123(2) and (4) read with Section 100(1)(b) of the Representation
of the People Act.

The petitioner in E.P.No.7 of 2014 stated that he contested
in the elections for the State of Telangana Legislative Assembly
from 92 Assembly Constituency of Nalgonda, Nalgonda District,
on behalf of Telangana Rashtra Samithi. He had formal
education up to 10th class, but he is involved in public activities
for a long time. Earlier he was elected as MPTC on behalf of
Congress party. Thereafter, in the assembly elections held in
the year 2009, he contested on behalf of Praja Rajyam party and
lost. He states that all the other candidates are also having
formal education and in those circumstances, the first respondent
wanted to project himself as a highly qualified person when
compared to other contesting candidates. He has been in the
habit of projecting himself as highly qualified person, though, in
reality he did not possess any such qualification. He passed
Intermediate from N.B.Science College, Pattargatti, Hyderabad,
in the year 1982 and thereafter joined B.E. course but failed in
all subjects. In the Assembly elections held in the year 2009 he
declared that he passed B.E., from Chaitanya Bharati Institute
of Technology, Hyderabad, in the year 1986. As a qualified
engineering graduate he secured a place in the Expert
Committee appointed by the then Honble Chief Minister, Late
Sri Y.S.Rajasekhar Reddy by removing an Engineer, who was
already there in the Committee. In the website of the State
Assembly as well as in the book published by the State
Assembly, in respect of the Members of the 12th and 13th
Legislative Assembly under the title Whos who, the first
respondent was shown as an engineering graduate. He was
getting treatment in political circles as if he is a highly qualified
person and getting opportunities from various programs
undertaken by the Government. In the debate conducted by
ABN Channel about his educational qualifications, he did not
commit himself that he was an engineering graduate. The
petitioner, being a rival candidate, applied to the Osmania
University to furnish information about the educational
qualification of the first respondent under the Right to
Information Act much before the State 13th Legislative Assembly
elections. The required information was furnished on
12.05.2010. As per the said information, the first respondent
appeared for the first semester in August 1983 and failed in all
subjects. He tried to finish the first semester till April 1989,
and thereafter stopped pursuing the matter. He appeared for
the second year first semester in January 1984 and completed
in January 1985. Though he applied for the second year first
semester in June 1984, he was absent. Thereafter, he appeared
for the second year second semester, but failed in all subjects
and he pursued the course up to April 1989. Subsequently, he
appeared for the third year first semester in April 1985 and
committed malpractice to pass through and he was caught. He
failed in all subjects and tried his best to complete the third
year first semester till November, 1989. He pursued the third
year second semester in July 1985 and failed in all subjects and
pursued up to 1989 without any success. He appeared for
fourth year first semester in December 1985 and failed.
However, he completed the fourth year first semester in January
1987 (sic. 1986). He completed the fourth year second semester
in July 1986 with the net result, he failed the first year first
semester, completed the second year first semester, failed in the
second year second semester failed in the third year first
semester, and also failed in the third year second semester, but
completed the fourth year first and second semesters and
stopped pursuing after April 1989. He ultimately stated that
the first respondent being a failed candidate of B.E course
cannot proclaim himself to be possessing engineering degree.
Apprehending opposition complaints, the first respondent
cleverly mentioned in the affidavit enclosed to the nomination
papers by placing B.E in brackets and writing 1986 under the
column course completed. In fact, he has been pursuing
study and writing examinations till 1989. Thus, the
information furnished with regard to the qualification as well as
year of completion is false. The said false information was
furnished intentionally to misguide the public and to show that
he is more qualified than other contesting candidates. The
petitioner gave a complaint to the second respondent on
10.04.2014 and after receiving the same, the second respondent
gave an endorsement on the same day. Though the second
respondent was bound to make a summary enquiry about the
educational qualification of the first respondent, the second
respondent failed to do so and it shows the casual approach of
the second respondent. The complaint was rejected on
10.04.2014 itself stating that the first respondent filled up the
affidavit in Form-26 in full shape without leaving blank columns
and signing the same with attestation of the notary. Under
those circumstances, he gave a representation to all the official
respondents on 12.04.2014 and it did not evoke any response.
When there was no response, he filed W.P.No.12066 of 2014.
Since serious objection was taken with regard to the
maintainability of the Writ Petition, the present Election Petition
was filed by way of abundant caution. Thereafter, W.P.No.12066
of 2014 was disposed of by a Division Bench of this Court on
09.07.2014. The petitioner further submits that the second
respondent should have at least demanded the first respondent
to produce any certificate with regard to his educational
qualifications, but instead of doing so, he simply rejected the
complaint of the petitioner. He states that the second
respondent was a person brought by the first respondent and
he worked as Returning Officer in the previous elections also.
In order to help the first respondent, the second respondent
rejected the complaint of the petitioner deliberately and
intentionally to save him. A news item was published in
Andhra Jyothi Telugu daily on 22.02.2010 stating that Munna
Bhai M.B.B.S., Komati Reddy Beetekku sarcastically. Even at
the time of campaigning, he took margin on the basis of his
false degree against other contesting candidates. The second
respondent had hand-in-glove with the first respondent and
therefore did not entertain the objection of the petitioner. The
false projection of the first respondent as a highly qualified
person when compared to the other contesting candidates has
materially affected the result of the election, as the public
believed that the first respondent was a highly qualified person.
Accordingly, he prayed for declaring the election of the first
respondent from 92 Nalgonda Assembly Constituency, Nalgonda
District, in the Assembly General Elections held in the month of
May 2014 as illegal and void.

The petitioner in E.P.No.6 of 2014 had shown fifteen
respondents including the contesting candidates apart from the
Returning Officer. This Court, by order dated 09.07.2015, set
respondent Nos.2, 8 and 13 ex parte and, by order dated
12.08.2015, set respondent Nos.4 to 7, 9 to 12 and 14 also ex
parte.

The petitioner in E.P.No.7 of 2014 has shown five
respondents and the Chief Electoral Officer and the Election
Commission of India, who were shown as respondent Nos.3 and
4, were deleted from the array of respondents by the order of
this Court dated 25.03.2015 in Application No.128 of 2015.
Thus, apart from the returning candidate, the Returning Officer
and the District Collector remained as respondents in E.P.No.7
of 2014.

In both the Election Petitions, the returned candidate as
well as the Returning Officer filed separate counter affidavits.

The returned candidate, the first respondent in both the
Election Petitions, filed separate counter affidavits. In E.P.No.6
of 2014 he stated that the Election Petition is a clear abuse of
the process of law as the petitioner failed to make any case for
rendering the election void. The allegations relating to corrupt
practices are vague and the allegation related to educational
qualification, even if it is assumed to be true, it does not
constitute an election offence within the purview of Section 100
of the Act. The petitioner has not submitted any material facts
in support of the said averment, which is a requirement under
Section 83(1) of the Act. Even with respect to the allegation as
regards the incorrect furnishing of educational qualifications in
the nomination papers, the only remedy available to any
aggrieved party is under Section 125A of the Act. This is more
so in view of the opinion of this Court in W.P.No.12066 of 2014
filed by the election petitioner in E.P.No.7 of 2014 and which
was disposed of by this Court on 09.07.2014. He further stated
that he did not hold any elected post in the Village level, Mandal
level or District level prior to being elected for the first time in
the year 1999 and thereafter, in 2004, 2009 and 2014 as MLA
from Nalgonda Assembly Constituency. The said fact is entirely
irrelevant for the purpose of determining of the issues in the
Election Petition. The very fact of getting elected four times
from the same Constituency shows that the general public had
reposed trust and faith in his abilities. The allegation that he
falsely projected himself and influenced the voters of his
Constituency that he is an educated youth leader with B.E
qualification having knowledge in the business and contracts is
entirely misconceived. The averments pertaining to the actions
of the returned candidate from the date of filing of nomination
till the date of the election in question have to be taken into
consideration for the purpose of determining as to whether
there is an election offence or not. The averments not related to
the present election are irrelevant and should be eschewed from
consideration. The educational qualifications published in the
official records and in the records of the State Government of
Andhra Pradesh since 1999 are incorrect and denied as it was
not to his knowledge. The other allegation that he suppressed
the fact that he passed only 12th standard and made the people
of the State believe that he holds B.E degree from CBIT is
denied. The further allegation that had he not indulged in
misrepresenting his educational qualification, the petitioner
would have succeeded in polling highest number of votes and
would have won the election and the petitioner suffered on
account of such a situation was denied as being incorrect and
speculative in nature. He stated that he clarified to the media
and general public that it is a common practice in the State of
Andhra Pradesh to refer to any incomplete course in brackets.
He stated that he had joined engineering course after his
intermediate education and he was under a bonafide impression
that he was required to furnish the full educational
qualifications to the level of education pursued and with that
impression in mind, he referred to B.E course in parenthesis.
The fact of the first respondent not completing B.E course is in
public knowledge and was adequately represented in the press
and public debates. It was discussed before the date of filing of
nomination and election itself. In fact, the petitioner, himself on
various occasions, sought to publicize this fact to the general
public and the electorate so as to influence the minds of the
public prior to the election. The allegation that the petitioner
suffered on account of any malpractice committed by the first
respondent was incorrect and no malpractice was committed by
him and the fact of his not completing the B.E course was in the
knowledge of the public by the time of election. When the
petitioner in E.P.No.7 of 2014 made similar allegation in the
media by addressing a press conference even before the election
about his alleged wrong declaration, he clarified in another
press conference explaining the position with regard to the
qualifications mentioned. Accordingly, he again quoted the
qualification in brackets even in the present Assembly elections
and he never proclaimed himself as having completed the
engineering course nor he is an engineering graduate. The
allegation that he gained undue advantage and induced the
electorate was denied. He stated that he completed the
Intermediate education in the year 1982 and thereafter, he
joined B.E course in CBIT institute and pursued the said course
from 1982 to 1986. He could not continue the course and
finish the same to acquire the degree on account of personal
factors. Since he was under the bonafide impression that he
was required to furnish the information and non-furnishing of
pursuit of degree education may amount to suppression of fact,
he indicated the same as having completed in 1986 by taking
the year of completion of education. Since he did not complete
the course, he put it in brackets. At no point of time, did he
state that he had a degree in Bachelor of Engineering or
represented that he was an engineering graduate. He sought to
give a fair representation of the education pursued by him
without making any false claim of having completed the course.
The petitioner having accepted the memo from the 15th
respondent, ought not to have maintained the present Election
Petition. The information furnished by the Osmania University
clearly bears the fact that he pursued the B.E course from year
1982 to 1986, he but did not complete the same. The first
respondent denied the allegation of having failed in most of the
subjects, caught red handed and booked by the examining
authority for malpractice. In the counter affidavit filed before
the Division Bench, he clearly stated that he only referred to the
fact of his having pursued B.E course and he never admitted
that B.E is his highest educational qualification and he did not
assert that he completed the B.E course. He has not concealed
or suppressed any material information while furnishing the
highest educational qualification and he was not having any
fraudulent intention to provide any incorrect or misleading
information nor did he provide the information knowing it to be
false. The averment that the affidavits dated 04.04.2014 and
05.04.2014 filed by him were without subscription of signatures
and the same were incomplete affidavits was incorrect and
denied. He furnished all the material information as required
by the form. He did not intentionally suppress any material fact
nor did he make any deliberate false statement contrary to the
truth. He denied that he made the voters to believe that he was
an engineering graduate and got his profile published in the
Andhra Jyothi. He also denied the other allegations leveled by
the petitioner.

The first respondent filed a similar counter affidavit in
E.P.No.7 of 2014. He specifically denied that by representing
himself to be engineering graduate, he secured a place in the
Expert Committee constituted by the then Honble Chief
Minister. He stated that the said allegation is irrelevant.

The Returning Officer, who is the fifteenth respondent in
E.P.No.6 of 2014 and the second respondent in E.P.No.7 of
2014, filed separate counter affidavits. In his counter affidavit
filed in E.P.No.6 of 2014 he stated that it is the duty of the
Returning Officer to verify whether all the columns are filled up
by the candidate in Form 26 and if any column is left blank, it
is the duty of the Returning Officer to bring to his notice to fill
up the blanks, but the Returning Officer is not empowered to
verify the genuineness or otherwise of the information made
available by the candidate. He further stated that he acted as
per the guidelines in Circular No.4/2014/SDR-Vol-I, dated
26.04.2014, issued by the Election Commission of India. If a
false information is given, it is a punishable offence under Sub-
clause (2) of Section 125-A apart from liberty available to the
petitioner to give a complaint as per Circular No.4/2014/SDR-
Vol-I, dated 26.04.2014. The Returning Officer has issued the
Memo No.J/600/2014, dated 10.04.2014, to the petitioner
informing that the first respondent has filled up all the columns
of Form 26 and the same was duly attested by notary as
required and the Returning Officer has no authority to reject the
said nominations. He finally stated that the third respondent
filed W.P.No.12066 of 2014 challenging the action of the
Election Commission of India and the Chief Electoral Officer for
not rejecting the nomination of the first respondent and the said
Writ Petition was disposed of on 09.07.2014 giving liberty to the
petitioner to take steps in accordance with law. He further
stated that he acted scrupulously and had followed the Act and
the Rules made thereunder and as such there is no violation in
following the procedure while scrutinizing the nomination paper
of the first respondent. The counter affidavit filed in E.P.No.7 of
2014 is also to the same effect.

On the above pleadings, the following issues were settled
for trial with the consent of the learned Counsel appearing for
the parties:
1. Whether the filing of Form 26 along with the
nomination paper with incorrect/non-disclosure of
correct information and acceptance of the said
nomination paper would amount to improper acceptance
of nomination by the Returning Officer?

2. Whether the insufficient/non-disclosure of
correct information in Form 26 would come within the
scope of Section 100(1)(d)(iv) of the Representation of the
People Act, 1951?

3. Whether the declaration made by respondent
No.1 in his affidavit in Form 26 under Rule 4A of the
Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, would amount to
corrupt practice within the meaning of Section 123(2)(4)
read with Section 100(1)(b) of the Representation of the
People Act, 1951?

4. Whether the incorrect information or
misinformation by respondent No.1 would violate Article
19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India and whether it would
result in declaring the election to be void?

5. Whether respondent No.1 is liable for
prosecution under Section 125A(ii) of the
Representation of the People Act, 1951, for failure to
disclose the correct/complete information/ furnishing
wrong information in Form 26 filed under Rule 4A of the
Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961?

A joint trial was conducted and common evidence was
recorded in E.P.No.6 of 2014.

The petitioner in E.P.No.6 of 2014 was examined as P.W.1
and apart from him, P.Ws.2 to 11 were examined on behalf of
the petitioners. Exs.P1 to P33 were marked on behalf of the
petitioners. The first respondent was examined as R.W.1 and
the Revenue Divisional Officer, who worked as the Election
Officer, was examined as R.W.2, and the Election Officer, who is
now retired, was examined as C.W.1. On behalf of the
respondents, Exs.R1 to R4 were marked. Ex.X1 is the accepted
nomination form of the first respondent, whereas Ex.X2 is the
rejected nomination form of Sri Kuthuru Laxma Reddy.

The evidence on record is as follows:

The petitioner in E.P.No.6 of 2014, who was examined as
P.W.1, stated that he contested as an independent candidate in
the elections conducted to the 92-Nalgonda Assembly
Constituency. The results of the elections for the said
Constituency were declared on 16.05.2014 wherein the first
respondent had polled 60,774 votes and was declared elected
to fill a seat in the House of Legislative Assembly of Andhra
Pradesh from Nalgonda Assembly Constituency. The first
respondent secured 60,774 votes whereas he secured 50,227
votes. The first respondent never held any elected post in the
village, mandal or district level prior to being elected for the first
time in general elections held in the year 1999 as a Member of
Legislative Assembly and thereafter in the year 2004, 2009 and
2014 from Nalgonda Assembly Constituency. Since the
elections of 1999, he has been falsely projecting himself and
influencing the voters of his Constituency to believe that he is
an educated youth leader holding an engineering degree/B.E
and that he was engaged in the business of contracts as Civil
Engineer. He made the voters of his Constituency believe that
he is a highly educated and influential businessman in his
Constituency. In the general elections of 2004, though the first
respondent was not required to declare his incomplete course of
B.E, he falsely declared his highest educational qualification in
the affidavit on oath dated 01.03.2004 under the caption of
educational qualification at para 4 as (B.E) in the column of
course completed and declared 1986 under the column of
year, which is an enclosure to the nomination form for election
to the Legislative Assembly from the said Constituency.
Similarly, in the general elections of 2009 also in the
nomination form, the first respondent declared as such. The
false declaration of the first respondent that he is a B.E
graduate had received wide publicity in the earlier elections and
the said higher educational qualification as declared by him was
published/notified in the official records of different offices of
State Government of Andhra Pradesh (that are made available
to the public at large for their information), including the official
websites of the State Government and various booklets and
diaries of the Government from 1999 onwards. The first
respondent, all through his political career, by suppressing the
true fact that he had passed only Intermediate and
discontinued B.E. Civil course from CBIT, affiliated to Osmania
University, has made the people of the State, in particular, the
voters of his Constituency believe that he holds B.E. Degree. In
the year 2009, while Late Sri Y.S.Rajashekar Reddy was the
Chief Minister, the first respondent was holding the post of
Minister for Information Technology, Ports and also Minister
for Infrastructure Investment. He participated in various
programs organized by the Government and public projecting
himself to be an engineering graduate with immense knowledge
in that field. The petitioner in E.P.No.6 of 2014 contested the
elections for the first time in 2014 and he had no occasion to
personally verify the authenticity of the first respondents
declaration of educational qualification prior to general
elections, 2014, and he believed, like any other voter in the
Constituency, that the first respondent is a qualified B.E
graduate. Had the first respondent did not indulge in
misrepresenting his educational qualifications, he (petitioner)
would have succeeded in polling the highest number of votes
and thereby winning the election. He suffered on account of the
corrupt practice committed by the first respondent which
deprived him of a level of playing field in the electoral contest.
The third respondent in E.P.No.6 of 2014 and himself gave
written objections individually under acknowledgement on the
date of scrutiny of nominations on 10.04.2014 before
respondent No.15/Returning Officer against the false disclosure
of highest educational qualification made by the first
respondent in his affidavit with nomination paper. Though they
requested the Returning Officer to conduct an enquiry into the
matter and reject the nomination paper of the first respondent,
the Returning Officer through his Memo dated 10.04.2014
informed that because the first respondent had filled in all the
columns of nomination paper, he has no authority to reject the
said nomination of the first respondent. Accordingly, the
nomination of the first respondent was accepted on 10.04.2014.
As per the information he obtained from Osmania University
through letters dated 12.06.2014 and 07.06.2014, the first
respondent took admission in B.E Civil Engineering course in
CBIT during the academic year 1982-83 and he failed in most of
the subjects in the first three years. He was caught red-handed
and booked by examination authorities for malpractice in the
month of April, 1985, and as a measure of punishment, all his
papers of B.E in the third year, 1st semester were cancelled and
later, he was given a chance to appear in all the said papers in
the next examination. Thereafter he did not register for any
examinations and discontinued B.E course after November,
1989. Though he discontinued B.E in 1989 he proclaimed
himself to be a B.E graduate. The first respondents educational
qualification is notified in the Whos Who published by the
Legislative Assembly during 1999-2009 as B.E and in the T.V
interviews when he was asked whether he corrected his
educational qualification in the website of Legislative Assembly
or such other portals/records made available to the public, he
replied that he forgot. The third respondent filed W.P.No.12066
of 2014 questioning the action of the Election Commission of
India and Chief Electoral Officer for not rejecting the
nomination of the first respondent for giving false information,
and the first respondent in his counter affidavit filed in the said
Writ Petition admitted that he discontinued B.E in the midst of
the course contrary to the affirmation made in his affidavits
filed along with nomination form before the Returning Officer.
The first respondent, by filing a false affidavit, had violated the
fundamental right of the voters to know correct information
under Article 19 of the Constitution of India as he has a
corresponding obligation to honestly and truthfully make a full,
frank and complete disclosure of his antecedents. The first
respondent has intentionally suppressed the material
fact/furnished false information by disclosing B.E as his highest
educational qualification instead of intermediate before the
election authorities since 1999 onwards, particularly in the
elections 2014, with an ulterior motive to induce the voters of
his Constituency to cast their votes in his favour in the elections
in question. The first respondent got his profile (mentioning his
educational qualification as B.Tech, Civil) published in Andhra
Jyothi Daily newspaper on 08.04.2014, before the date of
polling as Congress candidate contesting the elections from
Nalgonda Assembly Constituency. The first respondent, by
adopting corrupt practice of suppression of truth regarding his
educational qualification, deliberately spread falsehood to
misinform/mislead the voters of the Constituency. In the cross
examination he stated that he filed the objections against the
nomination of the returned candidate on 10.04.2014 on his own
without taking any legal advice. There are 60 villages and 40
wards in Nalgonda Municipality which fall under the Legislative
Assembly Constituency No.92 of Nalgonda. He had covered
maximum wards in Nalgonda Town. He denied the suggestion
that he invented the ground of non-qualification of the returned
candidate only after filing the election petition and he did not
raise it prior to filing of the election petition. When a specific
question was put to him with regard to the raising of the issue
of qualification of the returned candidate after acceptance of
nomination and suggested that he did not raise this issue as he
felt that it was not important, he answered that everyone in the
Constituency knew that the returned candidate was an
engineer. He added that at the time of scrutiny of nominations
itself he raised an objection with regard to the educational
qualification of the first respondent, but the returning officer,
without scrutinizing them properly, accepted the nomination
without caring for his objection. He admitted that he did not
raise the issue of lack of proper qualification by the first
respondent during his campaign. He stated that the third
respondent filed objections to the nomination of the first
respondent after he raised the objection. There was no
controversy relating to the qualifications of the returned
candidate prior to the present elections and everyone knows
that he was an engineer. He further stated that apart from
himself, another candidate possessing engineering graduation
and one more candidate possessing post graduation
qualification also contested the election. He denied the
suggestion that the first respondent filed the nomination papers
clearly indicating (B.E) showing that he had not completed the
engineering course and also the suggestion that the particulars
indicated by the returned candidate with regard to his
educational qualification did not affect the result of the election.

The second witness Sri Y.Yellaiah, who was examined as
P.W.2 stated that he is an agriculturist. He stated that he
knows the first respondent as an engineer, contractor and as an
M.L.A. He came to know that he is an engineer because he has
undertaken the works of SLBC canal situated in Regatta Village
and Purampalli Village, where the witness has lands. The first
respondent has been canvassing as an engineer and seeking
votes. The other candidates canvassed based on their
qualifications. He cast his vote on the basis of the educational
qualification of the candidate with a hope that the educated
man would develop the Constituency. He came to know that
the first respondent was not an engineer, only after declaration
of results. In the cross examination he stated that his younger
brother is in political activity and he held party position in
Telugu Desam party. His sister-in-law is the Sarpanch of a
Village and she belongs to TRS party. He did not enquire with
regard to the educational qualifications of the other candidates
in general and more particularly the active candidates who
contested the elections. He denied the suggestion that he was
deposing at the instance of the election petitioner in E.P.No.6 of
2014. He also denied the suggestion that since he likes Sri
N.T.Rama Rao, he is a sympathizer of TDP party.

One Sri K.Jalandhar Reddy was examined as P.W.3. He
stated that he is resident of Nalgonda Town and he previously
worked as Lecturer in English. He is a voter of Nalgonda
Assembly Constituency and not a member of any political party.
He stated that the successful candidate is a Civil Engineer,
contractor and a Member of Legislative Assembly who held the
position of Minister in the State Cabinet. He came to know from
the profile published in the newspaper stating that the
successful candidate declared himself in the election papers
that he is qualified engineer. He marked the paper publication
as Ex.P19. Apart from the same, he verified the qualification of
the successful candidate through internet. The 1st respondent
was representing the Congress Party in the discussion held on
Jalayagnam in the T.V programme and he was nominated
recognizing him as an engineer. He came to know that he is a
qualified B.E graduate through the visiting cards, letter heads
printed by him and the affidavit filed before the Election Officer.
He came before this Court to depose that the successful
candidate had affected his right to know the correct information
with regard to the candidates contesting in the elections. In the
cross examination he stated that the distance between the
village of the election petitioner and that of his parents is nearly
6 kms and he has no acquaintance with the election petitioner
in E.P.No.6 of 2014. He knew him as a candidate who
contested in the elections of 2014. He further stated that he
enquired about the educational qualifications of the main
contesting candidates. He is a subscriber to the Eenadu Telugu
newspaper. When the Nalgonda edition of Eenadu dated
13.04.2014 was shown to the witness and pointed out that the
said newspaper carried the educational qualification of the first
respondent as B.E discontinued, he denied to have seen that
newspaper. The newspaper was marked as Ex.R2. He admitted
that he does not have sufficient computer knowledge, but has
seen the internet when his friend showed to him the website
containing information relating to the educational qualification
of the candidates who contested in the elections.

One Sri J.Satish was examined as P.W.4 and he stated
that he was working as Supervisor in the real estate firm,
Nalgonda, and he is a voter in the Constituency. He used to go
to the first respondent on personal works now and then. The
first respondent used to help the voters by writing letters to
concerned authorities and he saw the letter head containing his
name and qualification as B.E and MLA. He canvassed in the
elections stating that he is an engineering graduate. He further
stated that he voted for the first respondent imagining that he
would develop the Constituency being an engineer. Though the
first respondent canvassed in the elections as if he is an
engineering graduate, after the declaration of result, he came to
know that he is not an engineering graduate and he was hurt.
In the cross examination he stated that though he was not
associated with any political party, his father was a politician
who belongs to Indian National Congress Party. He is having
acquaintance with the first respondent. He denied the
suggestion that he was deposing due to non-offering of the post
of Chairman of the Agricultural Market Committee to his father.

One Sri Chirumarthi Yadaiah was examined as P.W.5. He
stated that he is the President of Mandal TDP Unit of
Narketpally and is an agriculturist. The first respondent
belongs to their Village. The village falls under Nakrekal
Assembly Constituency since 2009. Previously it was under
Nalgonda Assembly Constituency. He got acquaintance with
the first respondent as an engineer and big contractor. He
came to know that he was an engineer because he was telling
others that he was a qualified engineer and he believed his
version as he has been executing the contracts. The then Chief
Minister Sri Y.S.Rajasekhar Reddy came and inaugurated
Yelimineti Madhava Reddy SLBC project on 04.09.2007 and in
that connection a plaque was installed and on the said plaque
before the name of the first respondent Er was written which
denoted that he was an engineer along with other engineers
named on the plaque. The photo of the plaque was marked as
Ex.P20. In the cross examination he stated that his brother
was an Ex-MLA from Congress Party. He denied the suggestion
that he contested MPTC elections against his brother and lost in
the said elections. He admitted that his brother is a follower of
the first respondent. The petitioner in E.P.No.6 of 2014 belongs
to TDP party and he denied the suggestion that he was speaking
at his instance.

Sri P.Mahender Reddy was examined as P.W.6. He stated
that he was working as a reporter of Andhra Jyothi Telugu Daily
in Nalgonda Town since 2002. During 2014 assembly elections
he sent a report of news and the news relating to the Congress
candidate of the Nalgonda Assembly under Ex.P19 was sent by
him. He sent the same on the information that was made
available on the notice board of the Revenue Divisional Office,
Nalgonda. During his tenure as press reporter since 2002 he
never sent any report with regard to the first respondent.
Nothing relevant was elicited in the cross examination.

The election petitioner in E.P.No.7 of 2014 was examined
as P.W.7. He marked Exs.P21 to 31. He stated that he
contested from 92 Assembly Constituency of Nalgonda on behalf
of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi Party, and the first
respondent contested the elections on behalf of the Indian
National Congress party. He got third position in the elections.
He was elected as MPTC on behalf of the Congress party and in
the elections held in 2009 he contested on behalf of Praja
Rajyam party and lost. The first respondent wanted to project
himself as a highly qualified person when compared to other
contesting candidates. In the affidavit filed along with his
nomination papers he projected himself as a highly qualified
person, though he did not possess any such qualification. He
further stated that the first respondent has been doing this
mischief from 2009 onwards and styling himself as engineering
graduate. By projecting himself as engineering graduate he
secured place in Expert Committee appointed by then Honble
Chief Minister late Sri Y.S.Rajasekhar Reddy. The Honble Chief
Minister held a party meeting for discussion of Jala Yagnam
programme. In the said Committee, the first respondent
mislead everybody including the then Chief Minister late Sri
Y.S.Rajasekhar Reddy. Believing that the first respondent was
an engineering graduate, the then existing engineer was
removed from the Committee and the first respondent was
appointed in his place. In the same way, in the website of State
Assembly of the Andhra Pradesh and also in the book published
by the State Assembly for 12th and 13th Legislative Assembly
with a caption Whos Who wherein all the details of the MLAs
and Ministers would be published, the educational qualification
of the first respondent was mentioned as B.E and this book
would be published on the basis of the information furnished by
each candidate. It was shown in the said book that the first
respondent is an engineering graduate. Therefore, the first
respondent who failed in all engineering subjects and who also
indulged in malpractice during the examination, declared
himself as an engineering graduate. Prior to 1990, the first
respondent never held any elected post in the village or mandal
but all through he used to give impression among the public
that he is an engineering graduate and highly qualified person
in the Constituency. But, in reality, he possesses only
intermediate qualification and he does not possess any other
degree to add. Having come to know from reliable sources that
the first respondent is not an engineering graduate but a failed
candidate, he applied to the Osmania University authorities
under the Right to Information Act on 29.03.2010. The
authorities of the University furnished information through the
proceedings dated 12.05.2010 which is filed as Ex.P27. A
perusal of the said details furnished by the Osmania University
shows that the first respondent did not pass engineering from
the first year to final year except in few semesters. He
mentioned in the affidavit that he completed B.Tech course in
the year 1986. In fact, he joined in the year 1982 and took first
year examination in August, 1983. He failed in all the subjects.
In 3rd year, he attempted to do malpractice i.e., in April 1985
and was caught. Therefore, the University authorities clearly
mentioned that he committed malpractices in 3rd year. In this
backdrop, the first respondent cannot claim himself as a
candidate who discontinued B.E. He is definitely a failed
candidate and does not possess engineering qualification. The
first respondent having joined in the year 1982 could not
complete engineering course till November, 1989. However, he
mentioned in the affidavit that he completed the course in the
year 1986, while keeping the (B.E) in bracket and writing on the
top of it course completed. This mention was definitely
intended to mislead the voters and it is nothing but playing
malpractice. Thereafter, he has not registered or attempted to
pursue his study after November, 1989. He lodged a complaint
to the Returning Officer and the objection was rejected by him
on 10.04.2014 stating that the affidavit filed by the first
respondent was in full shape without leaving any blank column,
signed by the candidate and attested by the notary and
therefore there are no grounds to reject the nomination. The
false information given by the first respondent as an engineering
graduate was spread widely and the same was published in
Andhra Jyothi daily on 22.02.2010 itself with the caption
Munnabai MBBS Komati Reddy Beetekku and in a live T.V
interview the first respondent categorically stated that he is an
engineering graduate and he unnecessarily came into politics.
The first respondent has been trying to mislead one and all
including the public at large that he is a highly qualified person
when compared to other contesting candidates. In the cross
examination he stated that he has been active in politics and a
member of Indian National Congress from 1990 to 2008. He
knows the first respondent during the year 1995-96 and they
both worked together in the party. He held the position of Ward
Member and Director of Cooperative Society in the year 1997.
He also held the post of MPTC in the year 2001. He left the
Indian National Congress party in the year 2008 and joined
Praja Rajyam party. Later on, he joined TRS party in the year
2012. He came to know that the first respondent did not
complete the engineering degree in or about the year 2012 or
2013. When he filed objections and no action was taken he
filed a Writ Petition and thereafter the present E.P.No.7 of 2014
was filed, since the Writ Petition was disposed of giving liberty
to file an election petition. He denied the suggestion that he
was aware of the incorrect qualification possessed by the first
respondent prior to 2012.

One Sri Mohd.Mumtaz Ali was examined as P.W.8. He
stated that he is a voter of Nalgonda Assembly Constituency
and President of Minority Wing of Indian National Congress
party for Nalgonda District. He worked for the first respondent
and canvassed stating that he is an engineering graduate. The
returned candidate gave him the vehicle and asked him to
canvass that he is a well educated person and asked to solicit
votes. In the cross examination he stated that he was a
Member of Indian National Congress for the past 40 years and
recently resigned to the post of President and continued to be
the member of the party. He never aspired for any party ticket
from the Congress party in any election. He denied the
suggestion that he is speaking falsely after leaving the congress
party and joining the TRS party.

One Sri B.Hari Prasad Reddy was examined as P.W.9 and
he stated that he was working as a Journalist in Nalgonda
District for the last ten years. He thought that the first
respondent was a graduate in Bachelor of Engineering (B.E),
but after publication of a news item captioned as Munnabai
MBBS, he came to know that the first respondent did not
possess B.E degree. Thereafter, he enquired with regard to the
educational qualifications. In the cross examination he stated
that he does not remember the date on which the news item
captioned as Munnabai MBBS was published. But, he stated
that he remembered that it was published in the first page. In
the cross examination he stated that he cannot say anything
with regard to the personal rivalry between Sri Dubbaka
Narasimha Reddy and the first respondent, but he knows to the
extent that they contested on behalf of different political parties
in the elections.

Sri Md.Azizuddin deposed as P.W.10 and stated that he is
a businessman and he knows the first respondent. He also
contested the Assembly elections from Nalgonda Constituency
in the year 2014 as an independent candidate. He came to
know that the first respondent is not an engineering candidate
in view of the news item published in the newspaper. After the
elections, he came to know that he is not an engineering
graduate as claimed by 50% of the people. In the cross
examination he stated that he was not present at the time of
scrutiny of nominations and he does not belong to any political
party. The news item stating that the first respondent was not
an engineering graduate was published for the first time in the
year 2010 and the people also came to know about the same in
the same year.

One Sri K.Ravinder Rao was examined as P.W.11. He
stated that he was enrolled as an advocate in the year 1994 and
practiced till 2004. Presently he is an agriculturist. He came to
know that the first respondent was an engineering graduate as
per the bio-data of the candidate published immediately after
the election notification. There was a discussion among the
public with regard to the educational qualification of the first
respondent and they opined that they were misled thinking that
he was an engineering candidate. In the cross examination he
stated that before the elections, a live telecast of the interview of
the first respondent came in TV wherein he stated that during
NSUI period he left studies after completing intermediate course
and also said that he is an engineering graduate. He was
nominated as a representative of one of the independent
candidates and he was present in the office of the RDO at the
time of scrutiny of nominations and as such he came to know
about the contents of the affidavit. The petitioner in E.P.No.7 of
2014 submitted a written representation objecting to the
affidavit.

The first respondent was examined as R.W.1 and he stated
that in terms of the requirements specified by the Election
Commission of India, he had filed the affidavit by furnishing all
the information as per the proforma. The candidate is required
to furnish the highest educational qualification and since he
studied upto the level of B.E (Bachelor of Engineering) after
qualifying in the intermediate examination, he was required to
furnish full information of the level up to which he pursued his
education. He completed intermediate education in the year
1982 and thereafter joined B.E course in CBIT Institute and
pursued the said course from 1982 to 1986. He could not
continue and finish the same on account of personal factors.
Since he joined the said course and had continued till the
fourth year, he was required to furnish the information and in
fact, the non-mentioning of the pursuit of degree education up
to that stage would amount to suppression of facts and hence,
he indicated the year 1986 up to which he had continued his
education in B.E course. He filed a copy of the bonafide
certificate issued by the institution as Ex.R3. Since he could
not complete the course to earn the degree, the course in which
he had continued was indicated in brackets. It clearly shows
that he did not complete and was not qualified in attaining the
said B.E course. He clarified to the media and general public
on various occasions that it is a common practice in the State of
Andhra Pradesh to refer to any incomplete course in brackets.
Since he joined engineering course after his intermediate
education, he was under a bonafide impression that furnishing
full educational qualifications to the level of education pursued
had to be given and with that impression in mind, he referred to
the B.E course in brackets. His non-completion of B.E course is
in the public knowledge and was adequately represented in the
press and public debates and it was extensively discussed
before the date of filing of nomination and during election itself.
Copies of the newspaper articles dated 22.02.2010 and
23.02.2010 are marked as exhibits and they were published in
Andhra Jyothi newspaper. When the petitioner in E.P.No.7 of
2014 approached this Court in W.P.No.12006 of 2014, to reject
his nomination on the ground that he had furnished incorrect
details in respect of his educational qualifications in the
nomination papers and the affidavit, the same was widely
published in the local media. The people of his Constituency
have reposed their faith in him in spite of the negative campaign
indulged by the petitioners in E.P.Nos.6 and 7 of 2014 and
voted in his favour keeping his track record in mind of serving
them as their representative and hence, the question of his
committing malpractice does not arise. The petitioner in
E.P.No.7 of 2014, P.W.7, held a press conference about the
wrong declaration and he also addressed a press conference
explaining the correct position. The petitioners and other
contesting candidates had widely campaigned about his
educational qualifications in the election campaign conducted
by them and he never proclaimed himself that he had completed
the engineering course nor that he is an engineering graduate.
The said declaration was made by him in his previous election
affidavits also. The voters were aware that he is not an
engineering graduate and the said fact was made clear by
denoting the qualification in brackets. He provided the correct
information with regard to his educational qualifications with
respect to the courses he had pursued and not completed by
including his B.E degree in brackets. In the cross examination
he stated that he is a native of Brahmana Vellamla Village,
Narkatpally Mandal, Nalgonda District. He resides both in
Nalgonda and Hyderabad. His native village was within the
Constituency of Nalgonda till 2004. Thereafter, from the
general elections of 2009, the village was included in the
Nakrekal Assembly Constituency. He is aware of the book
Whos Who published by the erstwhile State Legislature in the
year 1999 and the details published as against his name under
Ex.P16 was not based on the information furnished to the
publisher and he did not give any information to the publisher.
The information was not correct. He did not give any biodata to
the Telangana Legislative Secretary after his election as the
Member of Legislative Assembly in the year 2014 and he does
not know whether any book containing the biodata of the
members was published by the Legislative Secretariat. He did
not complete his bachelor course in engineering. He completed
his study of four years, but did not obtain the degree. He
completed his studies in 1986 by attending the classes. He
attended the examinations during the year 1987, but thereafter
he could not attend the examinations. He knows that a degree
is put in brackets when the degree is not completed. He denied
the suggestion that there is no practice to put the incomplete
course in brackets. He filled up the nomination paper on his
own after obtaining legal advice and he is aware of the
instructions issued by the Election Commission of India
regarding filing of nomination. He filled up the nomination
papers after understanding the format and the questions asked
therein. He knows the information required to be given in the
nomination form. He is aware that he is supposed to declare
correct facts without concealing or mis-representing the facts
and his signature is not available above the verification
statement but is available below the verification statement in
Ex.P7. In Ex.P6 his signature is found above verification
statement. He denied the suggestion that because his signature
was not found above the verification statement in Form 26
(affidavit) as an enclosure to the nomination papers, his
nomination should not have been accepted. He admitted that
his signature is not found on part A as well as B of Ex.P7 above
the word deponent. He stated that he personally sworn in
before the Returning Officer and complied with all the
formalities of nomination at the time of filing nomination by
himself. At the time of scrutiny of his nomination papers he
was not present and his agent was present. Thus, he was not
aware of the objection raised at the time of scrutiny of the
nominations. He does not remember the name of the agent who
was present at the time of scrutiny of the nomination papers.
He does not remember the names of the persons who proposed
his nomination. He appointed one Sri Poreti Narasimha Reddy
as his election agent. He came to know about the objections
raised on his nomination form from the news item published in
the newspaper on the next day of scrutiny. He does not know
whether the affidavit filed by him along with the nomination will
be displayed on the notice board in the office of the Returning
Officer for information to the public. He knows that the
contents of the nomination along with the affidavit of all the
contesting candidates will be uploaded by the Election
Commission of India in its website. He is not aware of the
contents of Ex.R2 and similarly he does not have the knowledge
of the contents of Ex.P19 and nobody informed him about the
same. When a specific question was put to him, he answered
that as per item 10 of Part A of affidavit in Form 26 (Ex.P7), he
had to furnish the information indicating the completed
qualified educational course with full form of certificates.
Accordingly, he furnished the information relating to SSC,
Intermediate and B.E. Since he did not complete the B.E, he
put the same in brackets. He furnished the said information
since he attended the college upto 1986. Even though he did
not complete the B.E., he had furnished the information on the
assumption that if he did not furnish that information, it may
amount to suppression of fact. To another specific question, he
stated that as per item No.11 of Part B of affidavit in Form 26
(Ex.P7), he had to indicate the highest completed qualified
educational course with full form of certificate and accordingly,
he had furnished B.E in brackets, since he attended the college
upto 1986 during his study. He denied the suggestion that his
highest educational qualification is intermediate and added that
he furnished the information relating to incomplete B.E as he
was under the impression that if he does not furnish the
information it would amount to suppression of fact. When he
was put a specific question with regard to the thinking of the
electorate, he stated that he does not know as to what the
electorate thinks of him. He also denied the suggestion that
disclosure of B.E in brackets as his highest educational
qualification in the affidavit (Ex.P7) is contrary to oath
affirmation and verification and the requirements of Election
Commission of India. He also denied the suggestion that he
indicated the qualification as B.E in brackets in order to
mislead the voters. When the letterhead printed with his name
and the educational qualification was shown, he denied the
letterhead and also the signature on the same. He also denied
the suggestion that the information published in Ex.P32 was
based on the information furnished by him and he was
purposely denying the same. He admitted that the pylon was
erected in his Village and the same appears as in Ex.P20. It
was erected at the time of laying the foundation stone by the
then Honble Chief Minister at the time of inauguration of
irrigation project when he was MLA. The department might
have put his name on the plaque in the pylon. He admitted that
he was present when the pylon was erected. He stated that he
has no idea with regard to forfeiture of his admission when
backlog subjects are not cleared within a particular period. He
admitted that in the affidavit he was not asked to furnish the
details regarding the years of study or backlogs and also denied
that he had attended the examinations till 1989. He stated that
he might have attended one or two examinations after
completion of course in the year 1986 and was assisting his
brother who was doing contract works. According to his
understanding, the highest qualification possessed by him is
B.E incomplete. He stated that in his Constituency educated
voters are more than uneducated voters. He admitted that the
Returning Officer who received the nominations in the elections
of 2014 also acted as Returning Officer in the previous
elections. He denied the suggestion that the Returning Officer
who worked in the previous elections was appointed as
Returning Officer in the present election by using his influence.
He stated that he does not remember whether he stated in the
interview in TV9 expressing his dissatisfaction for entering into
politics even though he is an engineering graduate. Similarly he
denied the suggestion that he was appointed as Member of the
Committee by replacing the Superintending Engineer on the
ground that he was a graduate in engineering when the
committee was constituted by the then Honble Chief Minister.
He is not aware of Ex.P32 and hence he could not take steps in
making corrections in respect of the contents.

When R.W.2 filed an affidavit and stood for cross
examination it was pointed out by the learned Counsel
appearing for the petitioners that the witness was not the
Returning Officer at the time of scrutiny of nomination papers of
the first respondent, and hence, his evidence in the affidavit
filed in lieu of chief examination was eschewed without
conducting the cross examination.

The Returning Officer who worked at the relevant time was
examined as C.W.1 and when questions were put by this Court
he stated that he retired from service in July 2015 and worked
as RDO in Nalgonda from May 2008 to June 2010 and May
2013 to September 2014. He discharged the duties of
Returning Officer during the said period for the elections to 92-
Nalgonda Assembly Constituency in the year 2014. He
scrutinized the nominations of 15 candidates during the said
elections including that of the petitioner in E.P.No.6 of 2014
and the first respondent. He identified Ex.X1 as the accepted
nomination and Ex.X2 as the rejected nomination. In the cross
examination he stated that he worked as Returning Officer in
respect of Nalgonda Assembly Constituency once in 2009 and
again in 2014. He denied the suggestion that he was posted as
RDO only to act as Returning Officer in respect of the elections
held in 2009 and 2014. He admitted Ex.P33, the handbook
given to him at the time when he worked as Returning Officer.
He does not remember the total number of nominations, but the
accepted nominations were 15 and 5 nominations were rejected.
He indicated the reasons for rejection in column 23 of the
nominations. He stated that he complied with the instructions
issued by the Election Commission of India in respect of the
affidavit filed by the candidates including the returned
candidate. Whenever he finds omissions in the nominations
filed by the candidates, he can call the candidates and ask them
to fill up the omissions. Though there was no need to print
deponent, it was printed, and deponent is needed only in
Part B and accordingly deponent was printed in Part B. He
admitted receiving the objections with regard to the nomination
filed by the first respondent and stated that the petitioner in
E.P.No.6 of 2014 filed the objections and Ex.P11 is the objection
petition. After receiving the objection, he informed the agent of
the first respondent with regard to the substance of the
objection and asked for his explanation, but he did not give any
clarification. He has not conducted any summary enquiry, but
verified the information furnished against the respective
columns. No reasons need be given for accepting the
nominations, whereas in case of rejection, reasons have to be
given. He denied the suggestion that he accepted the
defective/incomplete nomination papers submitted by the first
respondent under his influence and at his instance. He stated
that he did not get any doubt with regard to the qualification
possessed by the first respondent and that the petitioner in
E.P.No.7 of 2014, P.W.7, filed an objection with regard to the
educational qualification possessed by the first respondent and
it is in Ex.P30. He admitted that he rejected the objection. He
denied the suggestion that he had accepted the nomination of
the first respondent in order to help him even though he did not
fill up all the columns correctly, in particular, the educational
column. In the cross examination conducted by the learned
Counsel for the first respondent, he stated that he is not
concerned with the genuinity of the information furnished
against each column, but he should see whether information
was furnished against each column or not. He has no power to
make a summary enquiry with regard to the objections raised at
the time of scrutiny of nominations, when the candidate filled
up the relevant columns with information as per para 5.20.5 of
the Hand Book for Returning Officer, 2014. He accepted the
nomination of the first respondent as per the procedure in the
Hand Book for Returning Officer, 2014. He did not issue any
notice to the first respondent on the contents of the objection or
supplied a copy of the objection drawing his attention for
explanation on the objection.

After closure of evidence, the petitioner in E.P.No.6 of
2014 filed Election Application Nos.1101, 1102 and 1103 of
2016 for reopening the evidence of PW1, for recalling PW1 for
the purpose of marking of documents and for receiving the
documents respectively. Election Application No.1150 of 2016
was also filed to summon the Secretary, Telangana State
Legislature, Nampally, Hyderabad, for the purpose of giving
evidence as to publication of information in Exs.P16, P32,
P32(a), (b) and (c) in respect of the book published in the year
2014, WHOS WHO. The said applications were dismissed by
a common order dated 05.01.2017 on the ground that the
documents sought to be produced now are not relevant for the
purpose of the controversy and the evidence was already
completed. The said order was challenged before the Supreme
Court in Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (C) Nos.4454-
4457 of 2017 and they were dismissed on 23.01.2018.

Learned Counsel for the petitioner in E.P.No.6 of 2014
submitted that the information furnished by the first
respondent in his nomination form was incorrect,
misinformation and wrong information and, hence, his
nomination should have been rejected. He submitted that the
same is in violation of Section 100(1)(d)(iv) read with Rule 4A of
the Conduct of Elections Rules. In support of his submission,
he pointed out the information at serial No.10 of Part A of Form
26 and serial No.11 of Part B of Form 26 and Note 3 of the
affidavit. He relied on Union of India v. Association for
Democratic Reforms , Peoples Union for Civil Liberties
(PUCL) v. Union of India , Sh.Jaspal Singh v.
Sh.O.P.Babbar , Vijay Narayan Thatte v. State of
Maharashtra , Order of the Election Commission of India
bearing No.3/ER/2003/JS-II, dated 27.03.2003, Fuerst Day
Lawson Limited v. Jindal Exports Limited , Bhagwan Dass v.
State of H.P , Arikala Narasa Reddy v. Venkata Ram Reddy
Reddygari , Kisan Shankar Kathore v. Arun Dattatray
Sawant , Resurgence India v. Election Commission of
India , Krishna Moorthy v. Sivakumar , M/s.Zamil Steel
Buildings India Pvt. Ltd. v. The State of Maharashtra ,
Pukhrem Sharatchandra Singh v. Mairembam Prithviraj ,
Mairembam Prithviraj v. Pukhrem Sharatchandra Singh ,
Lok Prahari v. Union of India and Madiraju Venkata
Ramana Raju v. Peddireddigari Ramachandra Reddy . He
further submitted that since the first respondent could not
complete the B.E course within the double period of original
course permitted, he cannot style himself as B.E graduate after
14 years. He pointed out Ex.R3 in support of his case. He
finally submitted that the Returning Officer failed to discharge
his duty in asking for any explanation from the first respondent.

The said argument of the learned Counsel for the
petitioner in E.P.No.6 of 2014 was supported by the learned
Counsel for the petitioner in E.P.No.7 of 2014. His submissions
are as follows:
i) The first respondent suppressed and gave false
information at two places in Form 26 with regard to the year of
completion of the course and mentioning the highest
qualification in brackets as (B.E.). He submitted that he
appeared for examinations till 1989 as per Ex.P27 and hence
mentioning the year as 1986 was wrong.

ii) The information furnished by him is not the required
information.

iii) When the petitioner raised an objection, the Returning
Officer ought to have sought for explanation from the first
respondent and he should not have accepted the nomination
without seeking the explanation.

iv) The Returning Officer has not properly scrutinized the
affidavit and in a hurried manner accepted the nomination
without the signature above deponent in Form 26 under
column 10.

v) Since the Legislative Assembly publishes Whos Who
on the basis of the information furnished by the Members of the
Legislative Assembly, the information published in Ex.P32 is
also incorrect information. He finally submitted that in deciding
the issue, the earlier conduct is also relevant and the first
respondent has been in the habit of styling himself as a B.E
graduate.

Learned Counsel for the first respondent, on the other
hand, submitted that by disclosing the complete information,
the voter would have a choice and there is nothing wrong in
providing the highest qualification which the first respondent
pursued. Even as per the arguments of the learned Counsel for
the petitioners, since the information in parenthesis should be
treated as extra information only, the said extra information
which is not a wrong information would not make the
nomination form as invalid. He further submitted that since no
affidavit was filed by the rival candidate as contemplated in the
circular issued by the Election Commission, one should take
into account the condonable lapses and substantial lapses
while examining the issue and ignore condonable lapses, if any.
He buttressed his arguments with a further submission that a
candidate is expected to give full information, lest it would be
understood that he suppressed some information. He relied on
Mangani Lal Mandal v. Bishnu Deo Bhandari and Shambhu
Prasad Sharma v. Charandas Mahant . He finally submitted
that the Election Petitions are liable to be dismissed as they do
not contain the averments relating to corrupt practice as
provided under Section 83(1)(b) of the Act.

The issues framed in the instant case are interconnected
and mainly related to the submission of information in Form 26
and the consequential effect thereof, and hence, all the issues
are considered together.

Before deciding the case, it is necessary to extract the
relevant provisions applicable to the cases as the petitions were
filed under Sections 100(1)(d)(i) and (iv) of the Act.
100.Grounds for declaring election to be void.(1) Subject to
the provisions of sub-section (2) if the High Court is of opinion

(d) that the result of the election, insofar as it concerns a
returned candidate, has been materially affected
(i) by the improper acceptance or any nomination, or

(iv) by any non-compliance with the provisions of the
Constitution or of this Act or of any rules or orders made under
this Act,
the High Court shall declare the election of the returned candidate
to be void.

125A. Penalty for filing false affidavit, etc.- A candidate who
himself or through his proposer, with intent to be elected in an
election, –

(i) fails to furnish information relating to sub-section
(1) of Section 33A; or

(ii) gives false information which he knows or has
reason to believe to be false; or

(iii) conceals any information,

in his nomination paper delivered under sub-section (1) of Section
33 or in his affidavit which is required to be delivered under sub-
section (2) of Section 33A, as the case may be, shall,
notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time
being in force, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which
may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both.

Other relevant provisions are Sections 33, 33A, 33B, 34, 35
and 36 of the Act, which are as under:

33.Presentation of nomination paper and requirements
for a valid nomination.(1) On or before the date appointed
under clause (a) of Section 30 each candidate shall, either in
person or by his proposer, between the hours of eleven o’clock in
the forenoon and three o’clock in the afternoon deliver to the
Returning Officer at the place specified in this behalf in the notice
issued under Section 31 a nomination paper completed in the
prescribed form and signed by the candidate and by an elector of
the constituency as proposer:

33A.Right to information.(1) A candidate shall, apart from
any information which he is required to furnish, under this Act or
the rules made thereunder, in his nomination paper delivered
under sub-section (1) of Section 33, also furnish the information as
to whether

(i) he 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;

(ii) he has been convicted of an offence other than any offence
referred to in sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), or covered in sub-
Section (3) of Section 8 and sentenced to imprisonment for one
year or more.

(2) The candidate or his proposer, as the case may be, shall, at
the time of delivering to the Returning Officer the nomination
paper under sub-section (1) of Section 33, also deliver to him an
affidavit sworn by the candidate in a prescribed form verifying the
information specified in sub-section (1).

(3) The Returning Officer shall, as soon as may be after the
furnishing of information to him under sub-section (1), display the
aforesaid information by affixing a copy of the affidavit, delivered
under sub-section (2), at a conspicuous place at his office for the
information of the electors relating to a constituency for which the
nomination paper is delivered.

33B. Candidate to furnish information only under the
Act and the rules:- Notwithstanding anything contained in any
judgment, decree or order of any court or any direction, order or
any other instruction issued by the Election Commission, no
candidate shall be liable to disclose or furnish any such
information, in respect of his election, which is not required to be
disclosed or furnished under this Act or the rules made
thereunder.

34. Deposits.(1) A candidate shall not be deemed to be duly
nominated for election from a constituency unless he deposits or
causes to be deposited

(a) in the case of an election from a Parliamentary
constituency, a sum of twenty-five thousand rupees or where the
candidate is a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe, a
sum of twelve thousand five hundred rupees; and

(b) in the case of an election from an Assembly or Council
constituency, a sum of ten thousand rupees or where the
candidate is a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe, a
sum of five thousand rupees:

Provided that where a candidate has been nominated by more
than one nomination paper for election in the same constituency,
not more than one deposit shall be required of him under this sub-
section.

(2) Any sum required to be deposited under sub-section (1)
shall not be deemed to have been deposited under that sub-section
unless at the time of delivery of the nomination paper under sub-
section (1) or, as the case may be, sub-section (1-A) of Section 33
the candidate has either deposited or caused to be deposited that
sum with the Returning Officer in cash or enclosed with the
nomination paper a receipt showing that the said sum has been
deposited by him or on his behalf in the Reserve Bank of India or
in a Government Treasury.

35.Notice of nominations and the time and place for their
scrutiny.The Returning Officer shall, on receiving the
nomination paper under sub-section (1) or, as the case may be,
sub-section (1-A) of Section 33, inform the person or persons
delivering the same of the date, time and place fixed for the
scrutiny of nominations and shall enter on the nomination paper
its serial number, and shall sign thereon a certificate stating the
date on which and the hour at which the nomination paper has
been delivered to him; and shall, as soon as may be thereafter,
cause to be affixed in some conspicuous place in his office a notice
of the nomination containing descriptions similar to those
contained in the nomination paper, both of the candidate and of
the proposer.

36.Scrutiny of nominations.(1) On the date fixed for the
scrutiny of nominations under Section 30, the candidates, their
election agents, one proposer of each candidate, and one other
person duly authorised in writing by each candidate, but no other
person, may attend at such time and place as the Returning
Officer may appoint; and the Returning Officer shall give them all
reasonable facilities for examining the nomination papers of all
candidates which have been delivered within the time and in the
manner laid down in Section 33.

(2) The Returning Officer shall then examine the nomination
papers and shall decide all objections which may be made to any
nomination and may, either on such objection or on his own
motion, after such summary inquiry, if any, as he thinks
necessary, reject any nomination on any of the following grounds

(a) that on the date fixed for the scrutiny of nominations the
candidate either is not qualified or is disqualified for being chosen
to fill the seat under any of the following provisions that may be
applicable, namely
Articles 84, 102, 173 and 191,
Part II of this Act and Sections 4 and 14 of the Government of
Union Territories Act, 1963 (20 of 1963); or

(b) that there has been a failure to comply with any of the
provisions of Section 33 or Section 34; or

(c) that the signature of the candidate or the proposer on the
nomination paper is not genuine.

(3) Nothing contained in clause (b) or clause (c) of sub-section
(2) shall be deemed to authorise the rejection of the nomination of
any candidate on the ground of any irregularity in respect of a
nomination paper, if the candidate has been duly nominated by
means of another nomination paper in respect of which no
irregularity has been committed.

(4) The Returning Officer shall not reject any nomination paper
on the ground of any defect which is not of a substantial character.

(5) The Returning Officer shall hold the scrutiny on the date
appointed in this behalf under clause (b) of Section 30 and shall
not allow any adjournment of the proceedings except when such
proceedings are interrupted or obstructed by riot or open violence
or by causes beyond his control:

Provided that in case an objection is raised by the Returning
Officer or is made by any other person the candidate concerned
may be allowed time to rebut it not later than the next day but one
following the date fixed for scrutiny, and the Returning Officer
shall record his decision on the date to which the proceedings have
been adjourned.

(6) The Returning Officer shall endorse on each nomination
paper his decision accepting or rejecting the same and, if the
nomination paper is rejected, shall record in writing a brief
statement of his reasons for such rejection.

(7) For the purposes of this section, a certified copy of an entry
in the electoral roll for the time being in force of a constituency
shall be conclusive evidence of the fact that the person referred to
in that entry is an elector for that constituency, unless it is proved
that he is subject to a disqualification mentioned in Section 16 of
the Representation of the People Act, 1950 (43 of 1950).

(8) Immediately after all the nomination papers have been
scrutinised and decisions accepting or rejecting the same have
been recorded, the Returning Officer shall prepare a list of validly
nominated candidates, that is to say, candidates whose
nominations have been found valid, and affix it to his notice
board.

A copy of the affidavit of the first respondent filed under
Form 26 is marked as Ex.P7. The copy of the complaints dated
10.04.2014 of the petitioners in E.P.Nos.6 and 7 of 2014 are
marked as Exs.P11 and P12. The Memo issued by the
returning officer is marked as Ex.P13. The copy of the
information furnished by the Osmania University relating to the
malpractice of the first respondent is marked as Ex.P14. The
copy of the information furnished by the Osmania University in
respect of the marks memo of the first respondent is Ex.P15. In
respect of item No.10 of Part A of the nomination paper and
serial number 11 of Part B of the nomination paper, the first
respondent stated as follows:
(10) My educational qualification is as under:

(Give details of highest School/University education with full form of
the certificate/diploma/degree course (Name of the
School/College/University and year in which the course was
completed.

Name of the School/University Year Course completed

Amarajeevi Potti Sreeramulu 1980 S.S.C.
High School, Malakpet, Hyderabad

N.B.Science College, Pathargatti 1982 Intermediate
Hyderabad

Chaitanya Bharati Institute of 1986 (B.E)
Technology, Hyderabad

DEPONENT

PART-B

(11) ABSTRACT OF THE DETAILS GIVEN IN (1) TO (10) OF PART A:

11. Highest Educational qualification:

Name of the School/University Year Course completed

Chaitanya Bharati Institute of 1986 (B.E)
Technology, Hyderabad

It is found that there is a slight variation in the printed
nomination form with regard to column (10) in Part A and
column (11) of Part B from the form prescribed as per the
Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, and the prescribed form reads
as follows:
(10) My educational qualification is as under-
.

(Give details of Highest School/University education
mentioning the full form of the certificate/diploma/degree
course, name of the School/College/University and the year
in which the course was completed.)

PART B

(11) Abstract of the details given in (1) to (10) of Part A:

11. Highest educational qualification:

(Give details of highest
school/University education
mentioning the full form of the
certificate/diploma/degree course,
name of the School/
College/University and the year in
which the course was completed.)

The entire case of the petitioners is directed against the
last entry in serial No.10 of Part A disclosing the name of the
College, year of study and the course completed. Since Part B
contains the summary of serial Nos.1 to 10 of Part A, there
cannot be any dispute with regard to entry at serial No.11. In
serial No.10, with regard to the educational qualifications, it
was stated in brackets that the details of highest
school/university education with full form of certificate/
diploma/degree course, name of the school/college/university
and year in which the course was completed should be given. It
is the case of the first respondent that he joined the course of
B.E in Civil Engineering in 1982 in CBIT, Hyderabad, and
pursued the said course from 1982 to 1986. He attended the
college upto 1986. Though he attended the examinations till
1989, he could not obtain the degree. In response to the
request made by the petitioner in E.P.No.6 of 2014, the
Osmania University furnished the information stating that the
first respondent was admitted during the year 1982-1983 for
B.E Civil Engineering in CBIT College of Engineering,
Hyderabad. It was also stated that he appeared for the
examinations from August 1983 to April 1989 and completed
the second semester of fourth year in June/July 1986. This
document was exhibited as Ex.P15. The information thus
obtained by the petitioner in E.P.No.6 of 2014 is in consonance
with the oral evidence given by the first respondent. There is no
contradiction or misstatement made by the first respondent.
What was required to be given under serial No.10 of Part A of
the nomination form is with regard to the highest course
completed by the candidate and, admittedly, he completed the
course of B.E in 1986, but was not qualified to obtain the said
degree. The entire case is based on misconception assuming
that what was required in column No.10 is the qualification,
but not the course. Admittedly, the first respondent did not
obtain B.E degree, but completed the course of B.E. He stated
B.E in brackets under the heading, course completed and it
could not have made any difference had he stated B.E without
brackets also, because, what is required is the information
relating to the course, but not the degree obtained by him. It
is not the case of the petitioners that the first respondent did
not join the B.E course in the said College nor did he complete
the course in 1986. The entire case of the petitioners is that the
first respondent did not obtain the degree, but stated B.E in
brackets, which is a violation of the provisions of the
Representation of Peoples Act and the rules made thereunder.

The pleadings and evidence on this aspect are as follows:
In E.P.No.6 of 2014, the petitioner stated that he had no
occasion to personally verify the antecedents of the first
respondent prior to the General Elections of 2014. He stated
that the first respondent suppressed the fact that he passed
12th Standard (Intermediate) only and made the people of the
State, in particular the voters of his Constituency, believe that
he holds the degree of Bachelor of Engineering (B.E) from CBIT
as his educational qualification. In fact, he discontinued B.E
(Civil) course in CBIT from Osmania University. In the affidavit
filed along with the nomination paper in Form 26 under Rule 4A
of the Rules framed under the Representation of the People Act,
against column for disclosure of highest qualification, the first
respondent stated 1986 in the column of year of completion
of highest educational qualification and mentioned (B.E) in
the column of course completed. It was his case that not only
that, such disclosure/information given by him was false. The
petitioner further stated that the first respondent falsely
disclosed that he completed the highest educational
qualification (B.E) even though he did not complete the same.
As per the information obtained from the Osmania University,
the first respondent took admission in B.E (Civil) Engineering
course in CBIT in academic year 1982-83.

In his oral evidence, the petitioner in E.P.No.6 of 2014 as
P.W.1 stated that as per the information he obtained from
Osmania University through letters dated 12.06.2014 and
07.06.2014, the first respondent took admission in B.E Civil
Engineering course in CBIT during the academic year 1982-83
and he failed in most of the subjects in the first three years.
Though he discontinued B.E in 1989, he proclaimed himself to
be a B.E graduate. He denied the suggestion that the first
respondent filed the nomination papers clearly indicating B.E
in brackets showing that he had not completed the Engineering
Course and also the suggestion that the particulars indicated by
the returned candidate with regard to his educational
qualification did not affect the result of the election.

Similarly, the petitioner in E.P.No.7 of 2014 stated in his
petition that he applied to the Osmania University to furnish
the information about the educational qualification of the first
respondent under the Right to Information Act much before the
State 13th Legislative Assembly elections. As per the
information obtained, though the first respondent appeared for
the first year first semester in August 1983 and failed in all the
subjects and completed the fourth year first and second
semesters, he stopped pursuing after April 1989. But, the first
respondent cleverly mentioned in the affidavit enclosed to the
nomination papers by placing B.E in brackets and writing 1986
under the column course completed.

In his deposition as P.W.7, he stated that in reality, the
first respondent possesses only intermediate qualification and
he does not possess any other degree to add. Having come to
know from reliable sources that the first respondent is not an
engineering graduate but a failed candidate, he applied to the
Osmania University authorities under the Right to Information
Act on 29.03.2010. The authorities of the University furnished
information through the proceedings dated 12.05.2010 which is
filed as Ex.P27. A perusal of the said details furnished by the
Osmania University shows that the first respondent did not
pass engineering from the first year to final year except in few
semesters. He mentioned in the affidavit that he completed
B.Tech course in the year 1986. In fact, he joined in the year
1982 and took first year examination in August, 1983. He
failed in all the subjects. In 3rd year, he attempted to do
malpractice i.e., in April 1985 and was caught. Therefore, the
University authorities clearly mentioned that he committed
malpractices in 3rd year. In this backdrop, the first respondent
cannot claim himself as a candidate who discontinued B.E. He
is definitely a failed candidate and does not possess engineering
qualification. The first respondent having joined in the year
1982 could not complete engineering course till November,
1989. However, he mentioned in the affidavit that he completed
the course in the year 1986, while keeping the (B.E) in bracket
and writing on the top of it course completed. This mention was
definitely intended to mislead the voters and it is nothing but
playing malpractice. Thereafter, he has not registered or
attempted to pursue his study after November, 1989.

The first respondent in his deposition as R.W.1 stated as
follows:

The candidate is required to furnish the highest
educational qualification and since he studied upto the level of
B.E (Bachelor of Engineering) after qualifying in the
intermediate examination, he was required to furnish full
information of the level up to which he pursued his education.
He completed intermediate education in the year 1982 and
thereafter joined B.E course in CBIT Institute and pursued the
said course from 1982 to 1986. He could not continue and
finish the same on account of personal factors. He filed a copy
of the bonafide certificate issued by the institution as Ex.R3.
Since he could not complete the course to earn the degree, the
course in which he had continued was indicated in brackets. It
clearly shows that he did not complete and was not qualified in
obtaining the said B.E degree. Since he joined engineering
course after his intermediate education, he was under a
bonafide impression that furnishing full educational
qualifications to the level of education pursued had to be given
and with that impression in mind, he referred to the B.E course
in brackets. He provided the correct information with regard to
his educational qualifications with respect to the courses he
had pursued and not completed by including his B.E degree in
brackets. When a specific question was put to him, he
answered that as per item 10 of Part A of affidavit in Form 26
(Ex.P7), he had to furnish the information indicating the
completed qualified educational course with full form of
certificates. Accordingly, he furnished the information relating
to SSC, Intermediate and B.E. Since he did not complete the
B.E, he put the same in brackets. He furnished the said
information since he attended the college upto 1986. Even
though he did not complete the B.E., he had furnished the
information on the assumption that if he did not furnish that
information, it may amount to suppression of fact. To another
specific question, he stated that as per item No.11 of Part B of
affidavit in Form 26 (Ex.P7), he had to indicate the highest
completed qualified educational course with full form of
certificate and accordingly, he had furnished B.E in brackets,
since he attended the college upto 1986 during his study.

The above evidence of the petitioners in E.P.Nos.6 and 7 of
2014 and that of the first respondent would clearly show that
the first respondent studied the course of B.E (Civil)
Engineering in CBIT, Hyderabad, during the years 1982 1986.
Though he attended the examinations till 1989, he could not
obtain a degree. What was required in Form 26 under the
Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, is the details of highest
school/University education mentioning the full form of the
certificate/diploma/degree course with name of the
school/college/University and the year in which the course
was completed. It does not speak of obtaining a degree, but
the completion of the course only. The first respondent
completed the course in 1986, but did not obtain the degree.
He gave the particulars of the course completed with regard to
SSC, Intermediate and B.E in the said form and this Court finds
that the said information does not amount to suppression or
misrepresentation.

There is nothing in the evidence on record to show that he
did not complete the course in the year 1986. Though an
attempt was made stating that his admission itself was
cancelled for his not obtaining the degree within the maximum
period of permissible years for sitting in the examinations, it is
of no avail for ascertaining the year of completion of course and
finding out whether such information is true or not correct.
Thus, the admitted fact is that the first respondent was
admitted to the course of B.E Civil Engineering in 1982 and
completed the said course in June/July 1986. He made an
attempt to clear the examinations till November 1989 and
thereafter he did not obtain the B.E degree. In such
circumstances, the information furnished by the first
respondent in the nomination form with regard to the course
completed in respect of highest educational qualification cannot
be held to be false. The entire case was woven around this
misconceived fact and it falls to the ground.

The distinction between the course and degree is
known to all. Course is the number of years study leading to
the degree and it is known as such in all the academic circles.
Whereas, the degree is a recognition of qualification obtained
by qualifying in the required examination or lectures by virtue
of the academic pursuit of the course. This distinction was lost
sight of by the petitioners as well as by the learned counsel for
the first respondent. But in the pleadings, the first respondent
made a correct averment.

As per the dictionary found in Google, the meanings of
course and degree are as follows:

course: a series of lectures or lessons in a
particular subject, leading to an examination or
qualification.

“a business studies course”

synonyms: programme of study, course of
study, educational programme, set of
lectures, curriculum, syllabus, schedule; classes,
lectures, studies
“he’s taking a course in art history”

degree: an academic rank conferred by a college
or university after examination or after
completion of a course, or conferred as an
honour on a distinguished person.

“a degree in zoology”

In P.Ramanatha Aiyars The Law Lexicon 2nd Edition, the
terms course and degree are defined as follows:

Course: 3. an educational unit usually
at a high school, college or university level
consisting of a series of instruction periods
dealing with a particular subject; a series of such
courses coordinated to constitute a curriculam
and leading to a degree

degree: 3. A title conferred, making
a stage of proficiency in studies

In view of this, this Court holds that the information
furnished in Form 26 along with the nomination papers
contains correct information.

In view of the fundamental absence and misconception
relating to the foundation to the case, which is not even a shaky
foundation but is totally absent, it is unnecessary for this Court
to embark upon the ratio in the decisions cited across the bar
by the learned Counsel, based on the non-existing foundation.
However, this Court feels it proper to consider the decisions
cited by parties for proper disposal of the case.

Learned Counsel for the petitioners mainly laid stress on
Association for Democratic Reformss case (supra) and
submitted that the voter has a right to get relevant information
such as assets, qualification and involvement in offence for
being educated and informed for judging the suitability of a
candidate contesting election as MP or MLA. The said case
arose out of a Writ Petition filed by the Association before the
High Court of Delhi for a direction to implement the
recommendations made by the Law Commission in its 170th
Report and to make necessary changes under Rule 4 of the
Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961. It was based on the
recommendation made by the Law Commission for debarring a
candidate from contesting an election if charges have been
framed against him by a Court in respect of certain offences
and necessity for a candidate seeking to contest election to
furnish details regarding criminal cases, if any, pending against
him. It was also suggested that true and correct statement of
assets owned by the candidate, his/her spouse and dependent
relations should also be disclosed. In spite of the report of the
Vohra Committee, since the Governments failed to take any
action, the petition was filed for implementation of the said
reports and for a direction to the Election Commission to make
it mandatory for every candidate to provide information by
amending Forms 2-A to 2-E prescribed under the Conduct of
Elections Rules, 1961. The High Court of Delhi held that it is
the function of the Parliament to make necessary amendments
in the Representation of the People Act, 1951, or the Election
Rules, and hence, the Court cannot pass any order, as prayed,
for amending the Act or the Rules. However, with regard to the
information to be furnished by the candidate, the Court directed
the Election Commission to secure to voters the following
information pertaining to each of the candidates contesting to
Parliament and to the State Legislatures and the parties they
represent:

1. Whether the candidate is accused of
any offence(s) punishable with imprisonment. If
so, the details thereof.

2. Assets possessed by a candidate, his or
her spouse and dependent relations.

3. Facts giving insight into the
candidates competence, capacity and suitability
for acting as a parliamentarian or a legislator
including details of his/her educational
qualifications.

4. Information which the Election
Commission considers necessary for judging the
capacity and capability of the political party
fielding the candidate for election to Parliament
or the State Legislature.

The Union of India challenged the said order before the
Supreme Court. The questions considered by the Supreme
Court are as follows:

1. Whether the Election Commission is
empowered to issue directions as ordered by the
High Court?

2. Whether a voter a citizen of this
country has right to get relevant information,
such as assets, qualification and involvement in
offence for being educated and informed for
judging the suitability of a candidate contesting
election as MP or MLA?

With regard to the first question, the Supreme Court observed
that the Constitution has made comprehensive provision under
Article 324 to take care of surprise situations and it operates in
areas left unoccupied by legislation. Ultimately, the Supreme
Court held as follows:

48. The Election Commission is directed
to call for information on affidavit by issuing
necessary order in exercise of its power under
Article 324 of the Constitution of India from each
candidate seeking election to Parliament or a
State Legislature as a necessary part of his
nomination paper, furnishing therein,
information on the following aspects in relation
to his/her candidature:

(1) Whether the candidate is
convicted/acquitted/discharged of any
criminal offence in the past if any whether
he is punished with imprisonment or fine.

(2) Prior to six months of filing of nomination,
whether the candidate is accused in any
pending case, of any offence punishable with
imprisonment for two years or more, and in
which charge is framed or cognizance is taken
by the court of law. If so, the details thereof.

(3) The assets (immovable, movable, bank
balance etc.) of a candidate and of his/her
spouse and that of dependents.

(4) Liabilities, if any, particularly whether there
are any overdues of any public financial
institution or government dues.

(5) The educational qualifications of the
candidate.

49. It is to be stated that the Election
Commission has from time to time issued
instructions/orders to meet with the situation
where the field is unoccupied by the legislation.
Hence, the norms and modalities to carry out
and give effect to the aforesaid directions should
be drawn up properly by the Election
Commission as early as possible and in any case
within two months.

After the said decision the Representation of the People
(Amendment) Ordinance, 2002, was promulgated on 24.08.2002
and it was later replaced by the Representation of the People
(Third Amendment) Act, 2002, (72 of 2002) and it received the
assent of the President on December 28th, 2002. Sections 33-A
and 33-B were inserted by the said Amendment Act and they
were extracted above.

The validity of Section 33-B was challenged before the
Supreme Court and the Supreme Court with a unanimous view
in Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)s case (supra) held
Section 33-B as illegal, null and void. However, it was held that
the judgment would not have any retrospective effect but would
be prospective. But, the view of Honble Sri Justice
P.Venkatarama Reddi holding that the directives given by the
Court in Association for Democratic Reformss case (supra)
were temporary in nature and the failure to provide for
disclosure of educational qualification does not in practical
terms infringe the freedom of expression, was not accepted by
the majority.

The Election Commission of India issued a revised order
on 27.03.2003 as follows:

(1) Every candidate at the time of filing his
nomination paper for any election to the Council
of States, House of the People, Legislative
Assembly of a State or the Legislative Council of
a State having such a council, shall furnish full
and complete information in regard to the
matters specified by the Honble Supreme Court
and quoted in paras 13 and 14 above, in an
affidavit, the format whereof is annexed hereto as
Annexure-1 to this order.

(2) The said affidavit by each candidate shall be
duly sworn before a Magistrate of the First Class
or a Notary Public or a Commissioner of Oaths
appointed by the High Court of the State
concerned.

(3) Non-furnishing of the affidavit by any
candidate shall be considered to be violation of
the order of the Honble Supreme Court and the
nomination of the candidate concerned shall be
liable to rejection by the returning officer at the
time of scrutiny of nominations for such non-
furnishing of the affidavit.

(4) The information so furnished by each
candidate in the aforesaid affidavit shall be
disseminated by the respective returning officers
by displaying a copy of the affidavit on the notice
board of his office and also by making the copies
thereof available freely and liberally to all other
candidates and the representatives of the print
and electronic media.

(5) If any rival candidate furnishes information to
the contrary, by means of a duly sworn affidavit,
then such affidavit of the rival candidate shall
also be disseminated along with the affidavit of
the candidate concerned in the manner directed
above

Thereafter, the Election Commission of India vide letter
dated 02.06.2004 directed the Chief Electoral Officers of all the
States and Union Territories that where any complaint
regarding furnishing of false information by any candidate is
submitted by anyone, supported by some documentary
evidence, the Returning Officer concerned should initiate action
to prosecute the candidate concerned by filing formal complaint
before the appropriate authority.

The facts in Resurgence Indias case (supra) is that the
petitioner Resurgence India, is a non-governmental
organization and it undertook a massive exercise under the
banner Punjab Election Watch and affidavits pertaining to the
candidates of six major political parties in the State were
analyzed in order to verify their completeness. During such
campaign, large scale irregularities were found in most of the
affidavits filed by the candidates. It submitted a representation
to the Election Commission of India on 09.02.2007 bringing it
to its notice the large number of non-disclosures in the
affidavits filed by the contestants in the State of Punjab and
poor level of scrutiny by the Returning Officers. The Election
Commission of India vide letter dated 20.02.2007 expressed its
inability in rejecting the nomination papers of the candidates
solely due to furnishing of false/incomplete information in the
affidavits in view of the judgment in Peoples Union for Civil
Liberties (PUCL)s case (supra). Challenging the same, the
petitioner filed a petition before the Supreme Court. The
Supreme Court examined the case in the light of Section 33-A,
36 and 125-A of the Representation of People Act and held as
follows:

29. What emerges from the above discussion
can be summarized in the form of following
directions:

29.1. The voter has the elementary right to know
full particulars of a candidate who is to represent
him in the Parliament/Assemblies and such
right to get information is universally recognized.
Thus, it is held that right to know about the
candidate is a natural right flowing from the
concept of democracy and is an integral part
of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.
29.2. The ultimate purpose of filing of affidavit
along with the nomination paper is to effectuate
the fundamental right of the citizens
under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India.
The citizens are supposed to have the necessary
information at the time of filing of nomination
paper and for that purpose, the Returning Officer
can very well compel a candidate to furnish the
relevant information.

29.3. Filing of affidavit with blank particulars
will render the affidavit nugatory.

29.4. It is the duty of the Returning Officer to
check whether the information required is fully
furnished at the time of filing of affidavit with the
nomination paper since such information is very
vital for giving effect to the right to know of the
citizens. If a candidate fails to fill the blanks even
after the reminder by the Returning Officer, the
nomination paper is fit to be rejected. We do
comprehend that the power of Returning Officer
to reject the nomination paper must be exercised
very sparingly but the bar should not be laid so
high that the justice itself is prejudiced.
29.5. We clarify to the extent that Para 73 of
Peoples Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India
((2003) 4 SCC 399) will not come in the way of
the Returning Officer to reject the nomination
paper when affidavit is filed with blank
particulars.

29.6. The candidate must take the minimum
effort to explicitly remark as NIL or Not
Applicable or Not known in the columns and
not to leave the particulars blank.

29.7. Filing of affidavit with blanks will be
directly hit by Section 125-A(i) of the RP Act.
However, as the nomination paper itself is
rejected by the Returning Officer, we find no
reason why the candidate must be again
penalized for the same act by prosecuting
him/her.

In Kisan Shankar Kathores case (supra) the Supreme
Court examined the appeal preferred by the unsuccessful
candidate of Ambernath Constituency, Thane District,
Maharashtra. His election was challenged in the High Court of
Judicature of Bombay. In the said election there were five
candidates in the fray and the appellant was declared elected.
His election was challenged by the first respondent, who is a
voter in the said Constituency. The election petitioner
submitted that the appellants nomination had been improperly
accepted by the Returning Officer and the election was void due
to non-compliance with the provisions of Constitution of India
and the Representation of the People Act. It was mainly
contended that in the nomination form filled in by the appellant,
he had suppressed his dues payable to the Government,
suppressed the assets of his spouse and also suppressed the
information and assets of a partnership firm of which is a
partner. His plea was accepted by the High Court holding that
the nomination form of the appellant was defective and should
not have been accepted by the Returning Officer. Accordingly,
the election of the appellant was set aside. The Supreme Court
observed that there was no dispute on facts as the appellant
had not disclosed such information as pointed out by the High
Court in his nomination form. The Supreme Court examined
whether there was substantial compliance by the appellant in
the form of information given by him or it amounted to non-
disclosure of material information warranting rejection of his
nomination. The Supreme Court examined each of the grounds
of non-disclosure and considered the following issues:

36. In view of the aforesaid, two facets of the
issue, which require consideration, are as
follows:

36.1. Whether there is a substantial compliance
in disclosing the requisite information in the
affidavits filed by the appellant along with the
nomination paper?

36.2. Whether non-disclosure of the information
on account of aforesaid four aspects has
materially affected the result of the election?

In respect of the first aspect, since there was a bonafide dispute
about the outstanding dues in respect of the first electricity
meter, the feeling expressed by the appellant was bonafide and
the non-disclosure of such information should not be treated as
a material lapse. Ultimately, the Supreme Court held that it
would depend on the facts and circumstances of each case as to
whether such a non-disclosure would amount to material lapse
or not. With regard to non-disclosure of the bungalow in the
name of the appellants wife, it was found to be a substantial
lapse. Similarly, the non-disclosure of the appellants
interest/share in the partnership firm was found to be very
serious and major lapse. The Supreme Court finally dismissed
the appeal with the following observations:

43. When the information is given by a
candidate in the affidavit filed along with the
nomination paper and objections are raised
thereto questioning the correctness of the
information or alleging that there is non-
disclosure of certain important information, it
may not be possible for the returning officer at
that time to conduct a detailed examination.
Summary enquiry may not suffice. Present case
is itself an example which loudly demonstrates
this. At the same time, it would not be possible
for the Returning Officer to reject the nomination
for want of verification about the allegations
made by the objector. In such a case, when
ultimately it is proved that it was a case of non-
disclosure and either the affidavit was false or it
did not contain complete information leading to
suppression, it can be held at that stage that the
nomination was improperly accepted. Ms.
Meenakshi Arora, learned senior counsel
appearing for the Election Commission, rightly
argued that such an enquiry can be only at a
later stage and the appropriate stage would be in
an election petition as in the instant case, when
the election is challenged. The grounds stated
in Section 36(2) are those which can be
examined there and then and on that basis the
Returning Officer would be in a position to reject
the nomination. Likewise, where the blanks are
left in an affidavit, nomination can be rejected
there and then. In other cases where detailed
enquiry is needed, it would depend upon the
outcome thereof, in an election petition, as to
whether the nomination was properly accepted
or it was a case of improper acceptance. Once it
is found that it was a case of improper
acceptance, as there was misinformation or
suppression of material information, one can
state that question of rejection in such a case
was only deferred to a later date. When the Court
gives such a finding, which would have resulted
in rejection, the effect would be same, namely,
such a candidate was not entitled to contest and
the election is void. Otherwise, it would be an
anomalous situation that even when criminal
proceedings under Section 125A of the Act can
be initiated and the selected candidate is
criminally prosecuted and convicted, but the
result of his election cannot be questioned. This
cannot be countenanced.

The case of filing false affidavit in respect of the
qualification of a candidate came up for consideration before the
High Court of Manipur at Imphal in Pukhrem Sharatchandra
Singhs case (supra). The successful candidate in the elections
filed an affidavit stating that he passed MBA in 2004 from
Mysore University and when an objection was taken and the
Returning Officer directed him to furnish/produce documents
in support of his affidavit, he failed to produce the same. In
spite of the same, his nomination was accepted. The High
Court found that the candidate did not possess MBA from
Mysore University as stated by him in the affidavit, and hence,
he filed the false affidavit. By following the Resurgence Indias
case (supra), the High Court held that the defect in furnishing
the information of the educational qualification is substantial in
nature and the nomination was improperly accepted. The
election of the returned candidate was held to be void. The said
case went before the Supreme Court as the candidate whose
election was declared void preferred an appeal. It was
considered in Mairembam Prithvirajs case (supra). The
Supreme Court considered two issues as follows:

8. Two issues fall for our consideration
in this appeal which are:

8.1 (a) Whether a false declaration
relating to the educational qualification is a
defect of substantial character warranting
rejection of a nomination?

8.2 (b) Whether it is necessary to plead
and prove that the result was materially affected
when the nomination of the returned candidate
was found to have been improperly accepted,
more so, when there are only two candidates
contesting the election?

The Supreme Court noticed that it was not in dispute that the
appellant did not study MBA in the Mysore University and the
case set up by the appellant that the reference to MBA from
Mysore University was a clerical error and his thinking of doing
MBA by correspondence course from Mysore University cannot
be a ground. Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.

In the recent decision in Lok Praharis case (supra) it was
held that the non-disclosure of assets and sources of income of
the candidates and their associates would constitute a corrupt
practice falling under heading undue influence as defined
under Section 123(2) of the RP Act of 1951.

Though the effect of stating the highest qualifying course
of study in parenthesis is not necessary, in view of the effort
made by the learned counsel for the petitioner in E.P.6 of 2014,
it is necessary to consider the law on the said aspect. The
Supreme Court had an occasion to consider the effect of placing
the words in parenthesis in Fuerst Day Lawson Limiteds case
(supra) while considering the provisions of the Arbitration and
Conciliation Act, and it was held as follows:

44. The use of round brackets for
putting words in parenthesis is not very common
in legislation and this reminds us of the painful
lament by Meredith, J. of the Patna High Court,
who in 1948 dealing with a case said that “the
1940 Act contains examples of bad drafting
which it would be hard to beat”.

45. According to The New Oxford
Dictionary of English, 1998 Edn., brackets are
used to enclose words or figures so as to
separate them from the context.

46. Oxford Advanced Learner’s
Dictionary, 7th Edn., defines “bracket” to mean
“either of a pair of marks, ( ) placed
around extra information in a piece of writing or
part of a problem in mathematics”. (emphasis
supplied)

47. The New Oxford Dictionary of
English, 1998 Edn., gives the meaning and use of
parenthesis as:

“Parenthesisnoun(pl.parentheses)
a word, clause, or sentence inserted as an
explanation or afterthought into a
passage which is grammatically complete
without it, in writing usually marked off
by brackets, dashes, or commas.

– (usu. Parentheses) a pair of
round brackets ( ) used to include such a
word, clause, or sentence.”

48. The Oxford Advanced Learner’s
Dictionary, 7th Edn., defines the meaning of
parenthesis as:

“a word, sentence, etc. that is added to a
speech or piece of writing, especially in
order to give extra information. In writing,
it is separated from rest of the text using
brackets, commas or DASHES.”

49. The Complete Plain Words by Sir Ernest
Gowers, 1986 revised edition by Sidney
Greenbaum and Janet Whitcut, gives the purpose
of parenthesis as follows:

“Parenthesis The purpose of a
parenthesis is ordinarily to insert an
illustration, explanation, definition, or
additional piece of information of any sort
into a sentence that is logically and
grammatically complete without it. A
parenthesis may be marked off by
commas, dashes or brackets. The degree
of interruption of the main sentence may
vary from the almost imperceptible one of
explanatory words in apposition, to the
violent one of a separate sentence
complete in itself.”

(emphasis supplied)

50. The Merriam Webster Online
Dictionary defines parenthesis as follows:

“1 a : an amplifying or explanatory
word, phrase, or sentence inserted in a
passage from which it is usually set off by
punctuation b : a remark or passage that
departs from the theme of a discourse :

digression
2: INTERLUDE, INTERVAL
3: one or both of the curved marks
( ) used in writing and printing to enclose
a parenthetical expression or to group a
symbolic unit in a logical or mathematical
expression”

51. The Law Lexicon, The Encyclopaedic
Law Dictionary by P. Ramanatha Aiyar, 2000
Edn., defines parenthesis as under:

“Parenthesis.- a parenthesis is
defined to be an explanatory or qualifying
clause, sentence, or paragraph, inserted
in another sentence, or in course of a
longer passage, without being
grammatically connected with it. (Cent.
Dist.)
Parenthesis is used to limit, qualify
or restrict the meaning of the sentence
with which it is connected, and it may be
designated by the use of commas, or by a
dash, or by curved lines or brackets
(united States v. Schilling (53 Fed 81 : 3
CCA 440).

The said decision was followed by the High Court of
Bombay in M/s.Zamil Steel Buildings India Pvt. Ltd.s case
(supra).The same issue relating to brackets/parenthesis came
up for consideration before the Himachal Pradesh High Court in
Bhagwan Dass v. State of H.Ps case (supra) in the Writ
Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India read
with Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and it was
held as follows:

15.The use of punctuations such as
brackets/parenthesis endeavours to achieve the
same outcome, namely, to clarify that an MM of
the First Class can be specially empowered to try
cases under the OS Act although this ought not
to be the usual practice. The English Cobuild
Dictionary defines parenthesis as a pair of
curved marks that are to be put around the
numbers to indicate that they are additional,
separate, or less important. The 21st Century
Dictionary speaks of parenthesis as a
digression. American Heritage Dictionary
defines parenthesis as (a) a qualifying or
amplifying word, phrase or sentence inserted
within written matter in such a way as to be
independent or the surrounding grammatical
structure and (b) a comment departing from the
view of discourse; a digression. Fowlers Modern
English Usage explains that parenthesis
interrupts the flow of a sentence, generally in
order to explain or elaborate on something just
written and because they are interruptions,
parenthesis should be kept short. A Guide to
Punctuation and its allies by Eric Patridge, John
W.Clark inter alia status The essence of all
parenthesis is that, without them, the sentence
is grammatically and logically complete: they
explain or modify, but they do not determine the
sense. The test of a parenthesis is whether the
other words make sense without it (Charles
C.Boyd, Grammer for great or small, 1928): If
they do not, either the whole or a part of the
parenthesis should be removed from within
parenthesis. The New Oxford American
Dictionary states the meaning of parenthesis as
A word, Clause or sentence inserted as an
explanation or afterthought into a passage that
is grammatically complete without it, in writing
usually marked off by curved brackets, dashes,
or commas

Learned Counsel for the first respondent submitted that
mere non-compliance or breach of the Constitution or the
statutory provisions by itself does not result in invalidating the
election of a returned candidate under Section 100(1)(d)(iv). He
submitted that in order that the election petitioner to succeed
on such ground, he has not only to plead and prove the ground
but also that the result of the election insofar as it concerned
the returned candidate has been materially affected. He placed
reliance on Mangani Lal Mandals case (supra).

While opposing the submission of the learned Counsel for
the respondents by relying on Shambhu Prasad Sharmas case
(supra) to the effect that there is no pleading to show that the
election of returned candidate has been materially affected by
such acceptance, learned Counsel for the petitioners relied on
the latest decision of the Supreme Court in Madiraju Venkata
Ramana Rajus case (supra) in support of his contention that if
the election of the returned candidate is challenged under
Section 100(1)(a)(i) and if it is accepted and the election of the
returned candidate is declared to be void, it would necessarily
follow that the election result of the returned candidate has
been materially affected. In view of the finding recorded as
above, the issue does not arise.

The cases relied on by the learned Counsel for the
petitioners in Sh.Jaspal Singhs case (supra), Vijay Narayan
Thattes (Supra), Arikala Narasa Reddys case (supra) and
Krishna Moorthys case (supra) are not applicable in the
instant case.

The ratio decided in the above decisions is inapplicable
and irrelevant for these cases in view of the conclusion above.

The disclosure of the actual information with respect to
which there cannot be any dispute from any quarter, cannot be
called as false information/mis-information/wrong information.
The first respondent undoubtedly enrolled as a student in 1982
for pursuing his B.E course in Chaitanya Bharati Institute of
Technology and attended the course till 1986. What was
required in serial No.10 of the nomination form is the course
pursued by the candidate and not the degree obtained by him.
Hence, all the issues are, accordingly, held against the
petitioners.

Truth cannot be a casualty in judicial proceedings
however persuading the forensic skills of the Counsel. Truth
was misinterpreted and attacked from different angles. The
election of a duly elected peoples representative cannot be set
aside on flimsy grounds. The attack must be substantial and
based on concrete evidence. There was much ado about
nothing.

The Election Petitions are thus, dismissed with costs of
Rs.25,000/- (Rupees twenty five thousand only) each payable to
the first respondent. The amount of security deposit furnished
towards costs under Section 117 of the Representation of the
People Act before this Court shall be inclusive of the costs
awarded now, and the first respondent is entitled to withdraw
the costs already furnished by the petitioners.

(JUSTICE A.RAMALINGESWARA RAO)
27.04.2018

APPENDIX OF EVIDENCE

Witness for petitioners:

P.W.1 Sri Kancharala Bhupal Reddy
P.W.2 Sri Y.Yellaiah
P.W.3 Sri Kukunooru Jalandhar Reddy
P.W.4 Sri Jerripothula Satish
P.W.5 Sri Chirumarthi Yadaiah
P.W.6 Sri Pulimamidi Mahender Reddy
P.W.7 Sri Dubbaka Narsimha Reddy
P.W.8 Sri Mohd. Mumtaz Ali
P.W.9 Sri Beeravolu Hari Prasad Reddy
P.W.10 Sri Md.Azizuddin

P.W.11 Sri Kanchanapalli Ravinder Rao

Witness for respondents:

R.W.1 Sri Komatireddy Venkat Reddy
R.W.2 Sri E.Venkata Chary

C.W.1 Sri Md.Zaheer

DOCUMENTS MARKED

ON BEHALF OF THE PETITIONERS:

Ex.P1 Copy of General Elections 2014 schedule obtained from the
Election Commission

Ex.P2 Authenticated copy of list of contesting candidates in Form 7-
A issued by the RDO, Nalgonda

Ex.P3 Authenticated copy of list of said final result sheet in Form 20
issued by the Returning Officer/RDO, Nalgonda, under RTI
Act

Ex.P4 Authenticated copy of certificate of declaration in Form 21-C
issued by the Returning Officer/RDO

Ex.P5 Copy of the affidavit of Sri Komati Reddy Venkat Reddy i.e.,
the first respondent filed before the Returning Officer in 2004

Ex.P6 Copy of the affidavit filed by the first respondent in Form 26
for the year 2009

Ex.P7 Authenticated copy of the accepted nomination paper together
with one affidavit (as one set of document) issued by the
Returning Officer/RDO obtained under RTI Act

Ex.P8 Authenticated copy of Form 26 affidavit of Sri Komatireddy
Venkat Reddy, first respondent, for the year 2014 (2nd set)
obtained under the RTI Act.

Ex.P9 Authenticated copy of Form 26 affidavit of Sri Komatireddy
Venkat Reddy, first respondent, for the year 2014 (3rd set)
obtained under the RTI Act.

Ex.P10 Authenticated copy of Form 26 affidavit of Sri Komatireddy
Venkat Reddy, first respondent, for the year 2014 (4th set)
obtained under the RTI Act.

Ex.P11 The original copy of the complaint dated 10.04.2014 of the
petitioner to the Returning Officer i.e., 15th respondent

Ex.P12 Copy of the complaint dated 10.04.2014 of Sri Dubbaka
Narsimha Reddy to the Returning Officer

Ex.P13 The certified copy of the Memo dated 10.04.2014 bearing
No.J/600/2014 issued by the fifteenth respondent, Returning
Officer.

Ex.P14 The certified copy of the information dated 12.06.2014
furnished by the Osmania University in respect of Malpractice
of the first respondent

Ex.P15 Certified copy of the information dated 07.06.2014 furnished
by the Osmania University in respect of the Marks Memo of
the first respondent

Ex.P16 The copy of the Member information of 11th, 12th and 13th
Legislative Assembly of Andhra Pradesh.

Ex.P17 Copy of the affidavit in W.P.No.12066 of 2014 filed by Sri
Dubbaka Narsimha Reddy

Ex.P18 Copy of the counter affidavit filed in W.P.No.12066 of 2014 by
the first respondent

Ex.P19 Copy of the Andhra Jyothi Telugu Newspaper, Nalgonda
Edition, dated 08.04.2014

Ex.P20 Two photographs with CD in respect of Government Project
pylon showing the name of the first respondent as Engineer.

Ex.P21 Copies of the affidavits filed by the first respondent before the
And Returning Officer
Ex.P22

Ex.P23 Copies of the book published by the State Assembly for 12th
And 13th Legislative Assembly Andhra Pradesh with the caption
Ex.P24 Whos Who

Ex.P25 Copy of the declaration of result issued by the Returning
Officer in Form 21-C

Ex.P26 Copy of the Return of Election drawn by the Returning Officer
in Form 21-E

Ex.P27 Copy of the information furnished by the Osmania University
under RTI Act on 12.05.2010

Ex.P28 Copy of the complaint of Sri Dubbaka Narsimha Reddy dated
12.04.2014 to the District Collector, Nalgonda District.

Ex.P29 Copy of the complaint of Sri Dubbaka Narsimha Reddy dated
12.04.2014 to the Chief Electoral Officer, Secretariat,
Hyderabad, A.P.

Ex.P30 Copy of the objection filed by Sri Dubbaka Narsimha Reddy
before the Election Officer, Nalgonda Assembly Constituency.

Ex.P31 Copy of the paper publication in Andhra Jyothi daily on
22.02.2010 with the caption Munna Bhai MBBS,
Komatireddy Venkat Reddy..Beetekku

Ex.P32 Three books Whos Who containing (a), (b) and (c) which are
original forms of Ex.P16

Ex.P33 Handbook for Returning Officer, 2014, issued by the Election
Commission of India

ON BEHALF OF THE RESPONDENTS

Ex.R1 Circular dated 26.04.2014 issued by the Election Commission
of India

Ex.R2 Eenadu Telugu Daily newspaper, Nalgonda Edition, dated
13.04.2014.

Ex.R3 A copy of the bonafide certificate issued to the first respondent
for four years B.E course

Ex.R4 Copy of the order in W.P.No.12066 of 2014, dated 09.07.2014,
passed by the Honble High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad,
for the State of Telangana and the State of Andhra Pradesh

Ex.X1 Accepted nomination form of the first respondent i.e., Sri
Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, MLA, Nalgonda Constituency

Ex.X2 Rejected nomination form of Sri Kuthuru Laxma Reddy

(2002) 5 SCC 294
(2003) 4 SCC 399
149 (2008) DLT 205 : 2008 (101) DRJ 283 (Elec.P.1/2004, dated 19.02.2008,
High Court of Delhi)
(2009) 9 SCC 92
(2011) 8 SCC 333
2012 SCC OnLine HP 397 : (2012) 116 AIC (Sum 4) 2
(2014) 5 SCC 312
(2014) 14 SCC 162
(2014) 14 SCC 189
(2015) 3 SCC 467
2016 SCC OnLine Bom 10078 : (2017) 98 VST 172
2016 SCC OnLine Mani 30
(2017) 2 SCC 487
Writ Petition (C) No.784 of 2015, dated 16.02.2018
Civil Appeal Nos.9466-9468 of 2016, dated 21.03.2018
(2012) 3 SCC 314
(2012) 11 SCC 390

2

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