IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Civil Appeal No. 37 Of 1992
C. D. Commachen
Date of Judgement
2 January 2017
Hon’ble Justice T.S. Thakur; Hon’ble Justice Madan B. Lokur; Hon’ble Justice S.A. Bobde.
The Representation of the People Act, 1951, means to keep up the virtue of the discretionary procedure and accommodate the direct of decisions by enrolling the “degenerate practices” and different offences which, whenever demonstrated, may prompt preclusion of an up-and-comer under Section 100 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
Statues and Provisions Involved –
The Representation of People’s Act, 1951
The Constitution of India
Section 100, section 123, section 123(3) of the Representative of People’s act
Article 19 of the Indian Constitution
Abhiram Singh, a BJP up-and-comer challenging from Santa Cruz electorate in Mumbai in 1990, was blamed for having enjoyed degenerate practices by speaking to the voters on the ground of religion. The issue came up under the watchful eye of the Supreme Court which at that point needed to discover the extent of Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. Abhiram Singh was chosen for the No. 40, Santa Cruz Legislative Assembly Constituency in 1990 for the Maharashtra State Assembly and his political decision was tested by Commachen in the Bombay High Court.
While hearing the intrigue, a Bench of three Judges, on April 16, 1992, communicated the view that the substance, scope and what comprises a degenerate practice under sub-section (3) or (3A) of Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 should be set down obviously to maintain a strategic distance from a premature delivery of equity in deciphering ‘degenerate practice’.
The Bench was of the opinion that the intrigue requires to be heard and chose by a bigger Bench of five Judges of the Court. In Narayan Singh v. Sunderlal Patwa, the appointment of Sunderlal Patwa from the Bhojpur Constituency No. 245 in Madhya Pradesh to the Legislative Assembly in 1993, was under test on the ground of degenerate practice, in that the returned up-and-comer had purportedly made an orderly intrigue on the ground of religion infringing upon Section 123(3) of the Representation of the People Act.
The High Court for the situation translated the arrangement of sub-section (3) of Section 123 of the Representation of People’s Act to imply that, it won’t be a degenerate practice when the voters having a place with some other religion are bid, other than the religion of the applicant. This development picks up help from a three-Judge Bench choice of this Court in Kanti Prasad Jayshanker Yagnik v. Purshottamdas Ranchhoddas Patel just as the consequent choice of this Court in Ramesh Yeshwant Prabhoo (Dr) v. Prabhakar Kashinath Kunte.
While the five-Judge Bench was hearing the Abhiram Singh Case on January 30, it was learned that an indistinguishable issue was brought up in the political race appeal recorded by one Narayan Singh against BJP pioneer Sunderlal Patwa and another Constitution Bench of five Judges of the Apex Court has alluded to a bigger Bench of seven Judges.
From there on, an Order was made that “since one of the questions engaged with the present intrigue is as of now alluded to a bigger Bench of seven Judges, we think it suitable to allude this intrigue to a constrained degree in regards to the translation of sub-section (3) of Section 123 of the 1951 Act to a bigger Bench of seven Judges.” [i]
- Regardless of whether the words “his religion” in Section 123(3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, has confined the degree to just incorporate the religion of the competitor, or his operator, or some other individual with the assent of the applicant or have extended to incorporate the religion of the voters too.
- Regardless of whether the section 123(3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, damaged Article 19(1) A of the Indian Constitution which ensures the privilege to the right to speak freely of discourse and articulation, as it confines the competitor’s political discourse to some gauge.
There can be no uncertainty that the word ‘his’ utilized in sub-section (3) must have importance and it can’t be overlooked or likened with the word ‘any’ to bring inside the net of sub-section (3) any intrigue wherein there is any reference to religion. The religion framing the premise of the intrigue to cast a ballot or cease from deciding in favor of any individual must be of that contender for whom the intrigue to cast a ballot or abstain from casting a ballot is made. This is obvious from the plain language of sub-section 3) and this is the main way wherein the word ‘his’ utilized in that can be interpreted.
At the point when the intrigue is to decide on the ground of ‘his’ religion for the encouragement of the possibilities of the appointment of that up-and-comer, that intrigue is made based on the religion of the contender for whom votes are requested. Then again, when the plot is to abstain from deciding in favor of any individual on the ground of ‘his’ religion for preferentially influencing the appointment of any competitor, that intrigue depends on the religion of the applicant whose political race is looked to be preferentially influenced. It is hence certain that for requesting votes in favor of an up-and-comer, the intrigue disallowed is what is made on the ground of religion of the contender for whom the votes are looked for; and when the intrigue is to avoid deciding in favor of any up-and-comer, the forbiddance is against an intrigue on the ground of the religion of that other up-and-comer. The main is a positive intrigue and the second a negative intrigue. There is no uncertainty in subsection (3) and it shows the specific religion based on which an intrigue to cast a ballot or shun deciding in favor of any individual is precluded under sub-section (3).
The 7-Judge Bench conveyed a milestone decision, whereby a dominant part of 4:3, the lion’s share Judgment conveyed by Justice Lokur with agreeing Judgments by Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Bobde, concluded that intrigue on the grounds of religion – be it the applicant, the specialist of the up-and-comer, any individual with the assent of the up-and-comer, or even the religion of the voters would add up to a degenerate practice. The greater part in its Judgment gave a wide development to the expressions of Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and has extended its limits to take in any intrigue on the grounds of religion, rank, language or race.
To keep up national uprightness and harmony among the residents of the nation and to keep up the mainstream character of the pluralistic culture to which we have a place sections 123 and 123 (3A) of the Representation Act have been joined. For keeping up immaculateness in the political decision process and for keeping up harmony and amicability in the social texture, it turns out to be important not exclusively to prosecute the gathering to a political decision liable of degenerate practice yet to name the partners of such degenerate practice if there be any. The bench interpreted the statute literally and followed different cases such as Ambika Sharan Singh vs. Mahant Mahadeva Giri and others, Dr. Vimal (Mrs.) v. Bhaguji & Ors, M.P. Gopalakrishnan Nair and Anr. vs. State of Kerala and Ors, S.R. Bommai vs. UOI, Indira Gandhi vs. Raj Narain, Saifuddin Saheb v. State of Bombay, etc.
Rationale behind the Judgment –
At the point when India is said to be a mainstream State, it doesn’t imply that we dismiss the truth of an inconspicuous soul or the importance of religion to life or that we magnify irreligion. It doesn’t imply that secularism itself turns into a positive religion or that the State expects divine privileges. Through confidence in the Supreme is the fundamental standard of the Indian convention, the Indian State won’t recognize itself with or be constrained by a specific religion. We hold that nobody religion ought to be given particular status, or one of a kind qualification, that nobody religion ought to be agreed uncommon benefits in national life or global relations for that would be an infringement of the fundamental standards of majority rules system and in opposition to the eventual benefits of religion and government. This perspective on strict unprejudiced nature, of cognizance and patience, has a prophetic task to carry out inside the national and global life. No gathering of residents will arrogate to itself right and benefits, which it denies to other people. No individual ought to endure any type of handicap or segregation due to his religion yet all similar ought to be allowed to share to the fullest degree in the basic life. So, the court in order to ensure secularism by interpreting thus happens to be this landmark judgment.
Intrigue for the sake of religion, race, station, network or language is impermissible under the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and would establish a degenerate practice adequate to abrogate the political decision in which such intrigue was made in any case whether the intrigue was for the sake of the up-and-comer’s religion or the religion of the political decision specialist or that of the adversary or that of the voter’s. The entirety of Section 123 (3) significantly after alteration is that intrigue for the sake of religion, race, station, network or language is taboo in any event, when the intrigue may not be for the sake of the religion, race, standing, network or language of the possibility for which it has been made. So deciphered religion, race, standing, network or language would not be permitted to assume any job in the discretionary procedure and should an intrigue be made on any of those contemplations, the equivalent would establish a degenerate practice.
Edited by Parul Soni
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
[i]Abhiram Singh v. C.D.Commachen, Civil Appeal No. 37 of 1992.