W.P.(C) No. 15815 of 2013. Case: Manorama Sahu Vs Kona Rajeswari Reddy and Ors.. High Court of Orissa (India)

Case NumberW.P.(C) No. 15815 of 2013
CounselFor Appellant: Jagannath Patnaik, Senior Advocate, B. Mohanty, T.K. Patnaik and S. Patnaik, Advs. and For Respondents: Deepali Mohapatra, Sandeep Parida, P.N. Patra and L. Samantaray, Addl. Standing Counsel
JudgesBiswajit Mohanty, J.
IssueConstitution of India - Article 227; Orissa Grama Panchayats Act, 1964 - Sections 10, 11, 19, 2(O)
Judgement DateJanuary 13, 2017
CourtHigh Court of Orissa (India)


Biswajit Mohanty, J.

  1. The petitioner has filed the present writ application to set aside the impugned judgment dated 6.7.2013 passed by the learned District Judge, Ganjam-Berhampur in Election Appeal No. 01 of 2012 by issuing appropriate writ/writs in the nature of writ of certiorari. She has also prayed for cost.

  2. The facts of the case are as follows:

  3. The petitioner and opp. party No. 1 contested election for the post of Sarpanch of Indrakhi Grama panchayat which was held on 13.02.2012. In the said election, the petitioner was elected as Sarpanch. Challenging the same, opp. party No. 1 filed Election Petition No. 01 of 2012 before the court of learned Civil Judge (Junior Division), Berhampur on very many grounds. One of the grounds was that the petitioner was unable to read and write Odia as she is required to do under Sub-section (b) of Section 11 of the Orissa Grama Panchayat Act, 1964 (for short, 'the Act'). Opp. party No. 1 also took a stand that on the date, nominations were scrutinised, she filed an objection before the Returning Officer to reject the nomination of petitioner as she was unable to read and write Odia properly and correctly. The Returning Officer dictated a sentence to the petitioner but she could not write the sentence correctly. Inspite of that, the Returning Officer accepted her nomination. In that Election Petition, the petitioner filed counter denying the allegations relating to she being not able to read and write Odia. Further she took a specific stand that she has passed Class-VII in Nilakantheswar Bidyapitha and thus she is an educated lady and she is having the knowledge of reading and writing.

  4. Opp. parties 2 and 3 also filed their counter. In the said counter, opp. parties 2 and 3 took the stand that the Election Officer dictated the Odia sentence to the petitioner, and, accordingly, the petitioner wrote correct dictated sentence. Copy of the written dictated statement along with views of Election Officer dated 13.01.2012 was stated to be enclosed as Annexure-1 to their counter.

  5. The learned trial court on the basis of the rival pleadings of the parties framed as many as six issues. The opp. party No. 1 examined herself as P.W. 1 and one G. Janakiamma Reddy was examined from her side as P.W. 2. From the side of opp. party No. 1, some documents were exhibited. From the side of the petitioner, she examined herself as D.W. 1 and exhibited two certified copies of the judgments passed in an earlier Election Petition and Election Appeal. Opp. parties 2 and 3 despite filing their counter as indicated above, did not examine any witnesses from their side to prove their stand as well as the document dated 13.01.2012 (Annexure-1). A perusal of L.C.R. nowhere shows about filing of Annexure-1 dated 13.01.2012. During cross-examination of petitioner, the opp. party No. 1 sought permission to make petitioner read and write Odia. The petitioner without any objection, read a portion (Ext. 1/a) of Odia Daily, 'the Samaj' dated 2.7.2012 (Ext. 1). Similarly, as per dictation of counsel for opp. party No. 1, the petitioner wrote Odia version of Section 2(O) of 'the Act' containing the definition of . While the Odia version of the definition has been marked as Ext. 2, the writing of the petitioner has been marked as Ext. 2/a.

  6. On conclusion of trial, the learned trial court came to a finding that the reading and writing ability of the petitioner was not cent percent correct but was manageable. The learned trial court also on analysis of materials on record/evidence, answered the other issues against opp. party No. 1, and, accordingly dismissed the Election Petition. Challenging the same, opp. party No. 1 filed Election Appeal No. 01 of 2012 before the learned District Judge, Ganjam-Berhampur. Before the learned District Judge, the opp. party No. 1 as a whole concentrated on the finding of the learned trial Court on Issue No. 3 and did not press the other points as regard use of money and muscle power in the election as alleged by her and the activity alleged to be carried out in connivance with Polling Officer. There, the opp. party No. 1 mainly relied on the decisions of this Court in the cases of Damburu Majhi v. Tarini Charan Majhi reported in 2006 (II) CLR, 705 and Mrs. Suryakanti Mishra v. State of Orissa and seven others reported in 2005 (Supp.) OLR 906. The petitioner defended the findings of the learned trial court and relied on a decision of this Court in the case of Usha Sahoo v. Ambika Sahoo and another reported in 2011 (II) CLR 80/ 2011 (I) OLR 499. On considering the submissions of both the opp. party No. 1 and petitioner, the learned District Judge...

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