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Sangma Case Judgment

Sangma Case Judgment

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Published by Raghul Sudheesh

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Published by: Raghul Sudheesh on Dec 06, 2012
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02/19/2014

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IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIACIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTIONELECTION PETITION NO.1 OF 2012PURNO AGITOK SANGMA PETITIONERVERSUSPRANAB MUKHERJEE RESPONDENTJ U D G M E N TALTAMAS KABIR, CJI.1 1. The Petitioner herein was a candidate in the Presidential electionsheld on 19th July, 2012, the results whereof were declared on 22nd July,2012. The Petitioner and the Respondent were the only two duly nominatedcandidates. The Respondent received votes of the value of 7,13,763 and wasdeclared elected to the Office of the President of India. On the otherhand, the Petitioner received votes of the value of 3,15,987.
 
2. The Petitioner has challenged the election of the Respondent asPresident of India on the ground that he was not eligible to contest thePresidential election in view of the provisions of Article 58 of theConstitution of India, which is extracted hereinbelow :-“58. Qualifications for election as President.- (1) No personshall be eligible for election as President unless he -(a) is a citizen of India,(b) has completed the age of thirty-five years, and(c) is qualified for election as a member of the Houseof the People.2) A person shall not be eligible for election as President if heholds any office of profit under the Government of India orthe Government of any State or under any local or otherauthority subject to the control of any of the said Governments.Explanation.-For the purposes of this article, a person shallnot be deemed to hold any office of profit by reason only thathe is the President or Vice President of the Union or theGovernor of any State or is a Minister either for the Union orfor any State.”
 
3. According to the Petitioner, at the time of filing the nominationpapers as a candidate for the Presidential elections, the Respondent heldthe Office of Chairman of the Council of Indian Statistical Institute,Calcutta, hereinafter referred to as the “Institute”, which, according tohim, was an office of profit. It appears that at the time of scrutiny of the nomination papers on 2nd July, 2012, an objection to that effect hadbeen raised before the Returning Officer by the Petitioner's authorizedrepresentative, who urged that the nomination papers of the Respondent wereliable to be rejected. In response to the said submission, therepresentative of the Respondent sought two days' time to file a replyto the objections raised by the Petitioner. Thereafter, on 3rd July,2012, a written reply was submitted on behalf of the Respondent to theobjections raised by the Petitioner before the Returning Officer, alongwith a copy of a resignation letter dated 20th June, 2012, whereby theRespondent claimed to have resigned from the Chairmanship of the Institute.A reply was also filed on behalf of the Respondent to the objectionsraised by Shri Charan Lal Sahu. The matter was, thereafter, considered bythe Returning Officer at the time of scrutiny of the nomination papers on3rd July, 2012, when the Petitioner's representative even questioned thegenuineness of the resignation letter submitted by the Respondent to thePresident of the Council of the Institute, Prof. M.G.K. Menon.4. Having considered the submissions made on behalf of the parties, theReturning Officer, by his order dated 3rd July, 2012, rejected thePetitioner's objections as well as the objections raised by Shri Charan LalSahu, and accepted the Respondent's nomination papers. Accordingly, on3rd July, 2012, the Petitioner and the Respondent were declared to be theonly two duly nominated candidates for the Presidential election.

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