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In election matters the Writ under Art 226, in general, is not maintainable; SC.

Supreme Court of India

Justice Hemant Gupta, Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari

The SC {LAXMIBAI v. THE COLLECTOR, NANDED & ORS.} holds that the remedy of an aggrieved person accepting or rejecting nomination of a candidate is by way of an election petition in view of the bar created under Section 15A of the 1959 Act. The said Act is a complete code providing machinery for redressal to the grievances pertaining to election as contained in Section 15 of the 1959 Act. It was held that the High Court though exercises extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India but such jurisdiction is discretionary in nature and may not be exercised in view of the fact that an efficacious alternative remedy is available and more so exercise restraint in terms of Article 243-O of the Constitution of India. Further held once alternate machinery is provided by the statute, the recourse to writ jurisdiction is not an appropriate remedy. It is a prudent discretion to be exercised by the High Court not to interfere in the election matters, especially after declaration of the results of the elections but relegate the parties to the remedy contemplated by the statute. 

In the present case, the writ petition was filed by the appellant against an order of disqualification under Section 14B of the Maharashtra Village Panchayats Act, 1959 on account of non-submission of election expenses within the period prescribed.

The SC held that the writ petition should not have been entertained by the High Court. However, the order of the High Court that the appellant has not furnished the election expenses incurred on the date of election was not disturbed.

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