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Equivalent Citation: JT2010(1)SC631, 2010(2)SCALE109

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA Civil Appeal No. 2928 of 2008 Decided On: 05.02.2010 Appellants: Tukaram S. Dighole Vs. Respondent: Manikrao Shi a!i "oka#e Hon$%le &u'ges( D.K. Jain and P. Sathasivam, JJ. Counsels( Fo Appellant!"etitione !"laintiff: Krishna Venugopal, # . Adv., S. Udaya Kumar Sagar, Bina Madhawan and Shwetank Sailakwal, Advs. fo $a%&e 's (nit ) Co Fo Respondents!Defendant: K.V. Vishwanathan, # . Adv., Sudhanshu S. Chaudhari, and !"hishek, Advs. Su%!e)#( Ele)#ion A)#s*Rules*Or'ers( Rep esentation of t*e "eople Act, 1951 + #ections 8,, 100-1., 101, 11,A, 12/, 12/-2. and 12/-/.0 1vidence Act, 1822 + #ections /, ,1, ,2, ,/, ,3, ,5, 23, 25 and 2, Cases Re+erre'( A4a Nat* A5a %alla v. D*illon 6 anspo t A5enc& M! U#SC#$%&'#())$ : -2002. 3 #CC /0,0 Ra7i8 Ra4 v. Jas%ant #in5* C*o9*an M! U#SC#)('*#%&$+ : -1925. 3 #CC 2,90 Jeet :o*inde #in5* v. ;a 4inde #in5* Jassi M! U#SC#),&'#%&&& : -1999. 9 #CC /8,0 <i&a9ddin =9 *an9ddin =98*a i v. = i>4o*an Ra4dass :e* a and O s. M! U#SC#)($$#%&$+ : -192,. 2 #CC 120 ?9s9falli 1s4ail Na5 ee v. #tate of :a*a as*t a M! U#SC#))&(#%&,$ : -19,2. / #CR 2200 R. v. :a@s9d Ali -19,5. 2 A$$ 1.R. 3,30 Ra4 #in5* and O s. v. Col. Ra4 #in5* M! U#SC#)%$,#%&'+ : 1985 -#9pp. #CC ,110 R.(. Anand v. Re5ist a , Del*i ;i5* Co9 t M! U#SC#%-%)#())& : -2009. 8 #CC 10, Prior His#or, * High Cour# S#a#us( F o4 t*e J9d54ent and O de dated 25.01.2008 of t*e ;i5* Co9 t of J9dicat9 e of =o4Aa& in 1lection "etition No. 1/ of 2003 Dis-osi#ion( Appeal dis4issed Ci#ing Re+eren)e( A4a Nat* A5a %alla v. D*illon 6 anspo t A5enc& M! U#SC#$%&'#())$ :entioned Ra7i8 Ra4 v. Jas%ant #in5* C*o9*an M! U#SC#)('*#%&$+ Disc9ssed Jeet :o*inde #in5* v. ;a 4inde #in5* Jassi M! U#SC#),&'#%&&& Disc9ssed <i&a9ddin =9 *an9ddin =98*a i v. = i>4o*an Ra4dass :e* a and O s. Disc9ssed ?9s9falli 1s4ail Na5 ee v. #tate of :a*a as*t a M! U#SC#))&(#%&,$ Disc9ssed R. v. :a@s9d Ali Disc9ssed Ra4 #in5* and O s. v. Col. Ra4 #in5* M! U#SC#)%$,#%&'+ :entioned R.(. Anand v. Re5ist a , Del*i ;i5* Co9 t M! U#SC#%-%)#())& :entioned Case No#e( Ele)#ion . Challenge agains# Ele)#ion . Corru-# Pra)#i)e . Se)#ion /01 o+ #he Re-resen#a#ion o+ Peo-les A)#2 /34/ . Vo#es allege'l, sough# on )ommunal groun's . Relian)e -la)e' on
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aresh Kumar

s-ee)hes re)or'e' on #he VHS Casse##e #o su%s#an#ia#e allega#ion o+ using )ommunal an' ra)ial s-ee)hes . A'missi%ili#, o+ Re)or'e' Casse##e as e i'en)e in +orm o+ -u%li) 'o)umen# . Se)#ion 56 o+ #he In'ian E i'en)e A)#2 /750 . Tri%unal 'ismisse' #he -e#i#ion hol'ing #ha# A--ellan# +aile' #o -ro e #ha# #he Res-on'en# ha' in'ulge' in an, )orru-# -ra)#i)es . 8ues#ion #ha# arose +or )onsi'era#ion 9as :he#her #he Tri%unal righ#l, 'is)ar'e' #he )asse##e -la)e' on re)or' %, #he A--ellan# #o -ro e #he allega#ion amoun#ing #o a )orru-# -ra)#i)e . Hel'2 a )harge o+ )orru-# -ra)#i)e2 en isage' %, #he Peo-les; A)#2 is e<ua#e' 9i#h a )riminal )harge an' #here+ore2 s#an'ar' o+ -roo+ #here+ore 9oul' no# %e -re-on'eran)e o+ -ro%a%ili#ies as in a )i il a)#ion %u# -roo+ %e,on' reasona%le 'ou%# as in a )riminal #rial . In #he ins#an# )ase2 allega#ion o+ A--ellan# 9as #ha# #he Res-on'en# ha' a--eale' #o #he ele)#ora#e #o o#e on )ommunal lines . A--ellan# relie' on a )asse##e2 allege'l, )on#aining s-ee)hes ma'e %, him an' his agen#s2 along 9i#h i#s #rans)ri-# . Tri%unal righ#l, hel' #ha# in #he a%sen)e o+ an, )ogen# e i'en)e regar'ing #he sour)e an' #he manner o+ i#s a)<uisi#ion2 #he au#hen#i)i#, o+ #he )asse##e 9as no# -ro e' an' i# )oul' no# %e rea' in e i'en)e 'es-i#e #he +a)# #ha# i# 9as a -u%li) 'o)umen# . Ta-e=re)or's o+ s-ee)hes are >'o)umen#s? as 'e+ine' in Se)#ion 1 o+ #he E i'en)e A)# an' s#an' on no 'i++eren# +oo#ing #han -ho#ogra-hs . A--ellan# misera%l, +aile' #o -ro e #he au#hen#i)i#, o+ #he )asse##e as 9ell as #he a))ura), o+ #he s-ee)hes -ur-or#e'l, ma'e %, #he Res-on'en# . A--eal a))or'ingl, 'e oi' o+ meri#s an' hen)e 'ismisse' Ra#io De)i'en'i( Tape-records of speeches are documents as defined in Section 3 of the Evidence Act and thus admissible under the Act, provided the accurac of the recordin! can be proved and the voices recorded are properl identified" A char!e of corrupt practice, under the #epresentation of the $eople Act, %&'%, is equated (ith a criminal char!e therefore, standard of proof (ould not be preponderance of probabilities as in a civil action but proof be ond reasonable doubt as in a criminal trial" &UD@MENT D.". &ain2 &. 1. 6*is appeal 9nde #ection %%,! of t*e Rep esentation of t*e "eople Act, 1951 -fo s*o t Bt*e ActB. is di ected a5ainst t*e final >9d54ent and o de dated 25t* Jan9a &, 2008, ende ed A& t*e ;i5* Co9 t of J9dicat9 e at =o4Aa& in 1lection "etition No. 1/ of 2003, %*e eA& t*e election petition p efe ed A& t*e appellant, c*allen5in5 t*e election of t*e espondent to t*e ;o9se of "eople -$o8 #aA*a. f o4 ,9, #inna "a lia4enta & Constit9enc& in t*e #tate of :a*a as*t a *as Aeen dis4issed. 2. = iefl& stated, t*e 4ate ial facts 5ivin5 ise to t*e p esent appeal a e as 9nde : 1lection to t*e said pa lia4enta & constit9enc& %as *eld on 1/t* OctoAe , 2003 and t*e es9lts %e e decla ed on 1,t* OctoAe , 2003. 6*e appellant contested t*e elections as a candidate of NC"+Con5 ess ++ R.".C. alliance, %*e eas t*e espondent contested t*e election as a #*iv #ena ++ =*a ati&a Janta "a t& alliance candidate. O9t of a total of 1,/5,0,/ votes cast in t*e election, %*ile t*e espondent sec9 ed ,2,55, votes, t*e appellant co9ld 4ana5e 32,59/ votes. Res9ltantl&, t*e espondent %as decla ed elected. /. Not Aein5 satisfied %it* t*e election es9lt, t*e appellant p efe ed an election petition, c*allen5in5 t*e election on seve al 5 o9nds and fo decla in5 t*e said election to Ae void in te 4s of #ections %)).%/."/, %)).%/.d/-ii. and %)).%/.d/-iv. of t*e Act, %it* conse@9ential elief of decla in5 t*e appellant as elected in te 4s of #ection %)%."/ of t*e Act. 3. 6*e election petition %as contested A& t*e espondent den&in5 all t*e alle5ations. Ct %as pleaded t*at t*e election petition %as not 4aintainaAle inas49c* as it %as not in t*e p esc iAed fo 4at0 no details of t*e co449nal appeals alle5edl& 4ade A& espondent and *is a5ents %e e 4entioned in t*e petition0 ce tified copies of t*e D;# Cassette and its t ansc ipt, containin5 t*e speec*es delive ed A& t*e espondent, *ad not Aeen f9 nis*ed and even t*e p ovisions of #ection ', of t*e Act *ad not Aeen co4plied %it*.

5. Epon conside ation of t*e pleadin5s, t*e ;i5* Co9 t -*e einafte t*e follo%in5 iss9es:

efe ed to as Bt*e 6 iA9nalB. f a4ed

-1. F*et*e t*e petitione p oves t*at t*e election of t*e espondent is liaAle to Ae @9as*ed and set aside fo *avin5 4ade co449nal appeals in *is speec*es eco ded on t*e D;# Cassette p od9ced A& t*e petitione in Co9 tG -2. F*et*e t*e petitione p oves t*at t*e election of t*e espondent is liaAle to Ae @9as*ed and set aside 9nde #ections %)).%/.d/.ii/ and %)).%/.d/.iv/ of t*e Rep esentation of "eople Act, 1951 fo t*e easons set o9t in pa a5 ap*s 9 to 18 of t*e 1lection "etitionG -/. F*et*e t*e petitione p oves t*at t*e espondent *ad deliAe atel& iss9ed t*e lette at 1H*iAit 1 pa5e 32 dated 28.9.2003 in t*e na4e of t*e petitione %it* a vie% to 4is59ide t*e vote sG -3. F*et*e t*e espondent p oves t*at *e *as not add essed co449nal and acial speec*es as alle5ed in D;# Cassette filed A& t*e petitione G ,. Cn s9ppo t of t*e case, one of t*e doc94ents placed on eco d A& t*e appellant %as a D;# Cassette %*ic*, acco din5 to *i4, %as oAtained f o4 t*e 1lection Co44ission of Cndia and contained a t 9e ep od9ction of t*e speec*es delive ed A& t*e espondent and *is s9ppo te s d9 in5 t*e election ca4pai5n. O9t of t*e 20 doc94ents p od9ced, onl& / doc94ents vi7. FCR dated 12t* OctoAe , 2003 -1H. "2., co4plaint dated 29t* OctoAe , 2003 -1H."/. and a special s9pple4ent iss9ed in t*e ne%spape BIav8a iB on / d #epte4Ae , 2003 -1H."3. %e e eH*iAited. No ot*e doc94ents, incl9din5 t*e D;# Cassette, %e e eH*iAited. 6*e appellant and t*e espondent eHa4ined t*e4selves as %itnesses in s9ppo t of t*ei espective stands. No ot*e %itness %as eHa4ined. 2. Anal&sin5 t*e evidence add9ced A& t*e pa ties on t*e Css9es, t*e 6 iA9nal ans%e ed Css9es No. 1 to / in t*e ne5ative and in vie% of ans%e to Css9e No. 1, Css9e No. 3 %as not ans%e ed. On Css9e No. 1 t*e 6 iA9nal oAse ved t*at t*o95* t*e appellant *ad placed on eco d t*e D;# Cassette A9t *ad failed to p od9ce an& evidence to s*o% t*at t*e said cassette %as a t 9e ep od9ction of t*e o i5inal speec*es. 6*e 6 iA9nal did not accept t*e plea of t*e appellant t*at since t*e cassette is a Bp9Alic doc94entB, as defined in #ection $* of t*e Cndian 1vidence Act, 1822 -fo s*o t Bt*e 1vidence Act., its 4e e p od9ction %as s9fficient and no f9 t*e evidence %as e@9i ed to Ae add9ced to p ove as to *o% t*e said cassette %as oAtained A& t*e appellant. Ct *as Aeen oAse ved t*at even in t*e affidavit filed A& t*e appellant, in lie9 of eHa4ination+in+c*ief, t*e e is no 4ention of t*e said cassette and t*at it *ad Aeen oAtained f o4 t*e office of t*e 1lection Co44ission on pa&4ent of e@9isite c*a 5es fo t*e sa4e. 6*e 6 iA9nal *as also fo9nd t*at t*e t ansc ipts p od9ced A& t*e appellant *ave not Aeen p oved to Ae t*ose of t*e o i5inal a9dio eco din5s. 6*e 6 iA9nal finall& *eld t*at since t*e contents of t*e cassette and t*e t ansc ipts *ad not Aeen p oved, t*e alle5ation of t*e appellant t*at t*e espondent *ad ind9l5ed in co 9pt p actices A& appealin5 to t*e :a at*a co449nit& to vote on t*e Aasis of co449nit&, co9ld not Ae accepted. On Css9e No. 2, t*e 6 iA9nal *as oAse ved t*at apa t f o4 t*e fact t*at t*e e a e no specific pleadin5s in t*e election petition %it* e5a d to t*e clai4 of t*e espondent aAo9t t*e %o 8 done A& *i4 and t*e alle5ed t* eats A& *i4 in p9Alication BDes*d*ootB, t*e appellant *ad failed to add9ce an& evidence to p ove t*at t*e clai4s 4ade A& t*e espondent in t*e special s9pple4ent of t*e local ne%spape -1H."3. %e e false o t*at t*e said t* eats a4o9nted to co 9pt p actices 9nde #ection %(-.(/.a/.i/ of t*e Act. 6*e 6 iA9nal *as, acco din5l&, *eld t*at t*e appellant *as failed to p ove t*at t*e espondent *ad ind9l5ed in an& co 9pt p actices. As e5a ds Css9e No. /, t*e 6 iA9nal *as *eld t*at t*e lette !pa4p*let p9 po tedl& % itten A& t*e appellant and alle5edl& ci c9lated A& t*e espondent in o de to defa4e t*e appellant *ad not Aeen p oved A& t*e appellant. 6*e election petition *avin5 Aeen dis4issed %it* costs, t*e appellant is Aefo e 9s in t*is appeal. 8. : . ( is*nan Den95opal, lea ned senio co9nsel, appea in5 on Ae*alf of t*e appellant, confined *is c*allen5e to t*e findin5 of t*e 6 iA9nal on Css9e No. 1. ;e s9A4itted t*at Aesides Aein5 a p9Alic doc94ent, t*e contents of D;# Cassette %e e not specificall& denied A& t*e espondent and, t*e efo e, no f9 t*e evidence %as e@9i ed to Ae p od9ced to p ove t*e a9t*enticit& of t*e cassette. Acco din5 to t*e lea ned Co9nsel, t*e 6 iA9nal *as co44itted a se io9s e o of la% in e>ectin5 t*e evidence add9ced A& t*e appellant, in t*e fo 4 of t*e said cassette. Ct %as st en9o9sl& 9 5ed t*at t*e findin5 of t*e 6 iA9nal to t*e effect t*at t*e appellant *ad failed to p ove t*e fact94 of co449nal speec*es Aein5 4ade A& t*e espondent and!o *is a5ents, is palpaAl& e oneo9s and, t*e efo e, dese ves to Ae set aside. 9. : . (.D. Dis*%anat*an, lea ned senio co9nsel, appea in5 on Ae*alf of t*e espondent, on t*e ot*e *and, s9ppo ted t*e decision of t*e 6 iA9nal and s9A4itted t*at apa t f o4 t*e fact t*at t*e e %as no
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specific pleadin5 in t*e election petition %it* e5a d to t*e 4ode of ac@9isition of t*e cassette in @9estion, even if it %as ass94ed t*at t*e said cassette %as a p9Alic doc94ent &et in o de to att act t*e p ovisions of #ection %(- of t*e Act, t*e appellant %as e@9i ed to p ove %it* co5ent evidence t*at t*e speec*es eco ded t*e ein %e e, in fact, 4ade A& t*e espondent and *is a5ents. Cn s9ppo t of t*e p oposition t*at 9nless a doc94ent is eH*iAited at t*e t ial and is p9t in evidence it cannot Ae loo8ed into, eliance %as placed on a decision of t*is Co9 t in Amar )ath A!ar(alla v. *hillon Transport A!enc M! U#SC#$%&'#())$ : -2002. 3 #CC /0,. $ea ned Co9nsel asse ted t*at t*e findin5 eco ded A& t*e 6 iA9nal on t*e iss9e, Aein5 a p9 e findin5 of fact, no inte fe ence is called fo . 10. 6*e s*o t @9estion fo conside ation is %*et*e t*e 6 iA9nal %as >9stified in disca din5 t*e cassette placed on eco d A& t*e appellant to p ove t*e alle5ation of appeal A& t*e espondent to t*e vote s to vote on co449nal 5 o9nd, a4o9ntin5 to a co 9pt p actice %it*in t*e 4eanin5 of #ection %(-.-/ of t*e ActG 11. =efo e %e p oceed to eHa4ine t*e cont ove s& at *and, %e dee4 it necessa & to eite ate t*at a c*a 5e of co 9pt p actice, envisa5ed A& t*e Act, is e@9ated %it* a c i4inal c*a 5e and t*e efo e, standa d of p oof t*e efo %o9ld not Ae p eponde ance of p oAaAilities as in a civil action A9t p oof Ae&ond easonaAle do9At as in a c i4inal t ial. Cf a st in5ent test of p oof is not applied, a se io9s p e>9dice is li8el& to Ae ca9sed to t*e s9ccessf9l candidate %*ose election %o9ld not onl& Ae set aside, *e 4a& also inc9 dis@9alification to contest an election fo a ce tain pe iod, adve sel& affectin5 *is political ca ee . 6*9s, a *eav& on9s lies on t*e election petitione to p ove t*e c*a 5e of co 9pt p actice in t*e sa4e %a& as a c i4inal c*a 5e is p oved. 12. 1Hplainin5 t*e nat9 e and eHtent of A9 den of p oof in an election t ial involvin5 a c*a 5e of co 9pt p actice, in #a+i, #am v. -as(ant Sin!h Chouhan M! U#SC#)('*#%&$+ : -1925. 3 #CC 2,9 spea8in5 fo t*e =enc*, #a 8a ia, J. oAse ved as 9nde : ...Ct is %ell settled t*at a c*a 5e of co 9pt p actice is s9Astantiall& a8in to a c i4inal c*a 5e. 6*e co44ission of a co 9pt p actice entails se io9s penal conse@9ences. Ct not onl& vitiates t*e election of t*e candidate conce ned A9t also dis@9alifies *i4 f o4 ta8in5 pa t in elections fo a conside aAl& lon5 ti4e. 6*9s, t*e t ial of an election petition Aein5 in t*e nat9 e of an acc9sation, Aea in5 t*e indeliAle sta4p of @9asi+c i4inal action, t*e standa d of p oof is t*e sa4e as in a c i4inal t ial. J9st as in a c i4inal case, so in an election petition, t*e espondent a5ainst %*o4 t*e c*a 5e of co 9pt p actice is levelled, is p es94ed to Ae innocent 9nless p oved 59ilt&. A gra e an' hea , onus2 #here+ore2 res#s on #he a))user #o es#a%lish ea)h an' e er, ingre'ien# o+ #he )harge %, )lear2 une<ui o)al an' unim-ea)ha%le e i'en)e %e,on' reasona%le 'ou%#. -e4p*asis s9pplied. 1/. Cn -eet .ohinder Sin!h v. /arminder Sin!h -assi M! U#SC#),&'#%&&& : -1999. 9 #CC /8, a =enc* of t* ee >9d5es of t*is Co9 t, s944a isin5 t*e p inciples laid do%n A& t*is Co9 t f o4 ti4e to ti4e in t*e field of election >9 isp 9dence0 ad94A ated t*e follo%in5 le5al p inciples, elevant fo o9 p9 pose: to Ae 8ept in vie% A& t*e 1lection 6 iA9nals and t*e Appellate Co9 ts %*ile dealin5 %it* election petitions and appeals a isin5 t*e ef o4: -i. 6*e s9ccess of a candidate %*o *as %on at an election s*o9ld not Ae li5*tl& inte fe ed %it*. An& petition see8in5 s9c* inte fe ence 49st st ictl& confo 4 to t*e e@9i e4ents of t*e la%. 6*o95* t*e p9 it& of t*e election p ocess *as to Ae safe59a ded and t*e Co9 t s*all Ae vi5ilant to see t*at people do not 5et elected A& fla5 ant A eac*es of la% o A& co44ittin5 co 9pt p actices, t*e settin5 aside of an election involves se io9s conse@9ences not onl& fo t*e et9 ned candidate and t*e constit9enc&, A9t also fo t*e p9Alic at la 5e inas49c* as e+election involves an eno 4o9s load on t*e p9Alic f9nds and ad4inist ation. -ii. C*a 5e of co 9pt p actice is @9asi+c i4inal in c*a acte . Cf s9Astantiated, it leads not onl& to t*e settin5 aside of t*e election of t*e s9ccessf9l candidate, A9t also of *is Aein5 dis@9alified to contest an election fo a ce tain pe iod. Ct 4a& entail eHtinction of a pe son's p9Alic life and political ca ee . A t ial of an election petition t*o95* %it*in t*e eal4 of civil la% is a8in to t ial on a c i4inal c*a 5e. 6%o conse@9ences follo%. Fi stl&, t*e alle5ations elatin5 to co44ission of a co 9pt p actice s*o9ld Ae s9fficientl& clea and stated p ecisel& so as to affo d t*e pe son c*a 5ed a f9ll oppo t9nit& of 4eetin5 t*e sa4e. #econdl&, t*e c*a 5es %*en p9t to iss9e s*o9ld Ae p oved A& clea , co5ent and c ediAle evidence. 6o p ove c*a 5e of co 9pt p actice a 4e e p eponde ance of p oAaAilities %o9ld not Ae eno95*. 6*e e %o9ld Ae a p es94ption of innocence availaAle to t*e pe son c*a 5ed. 6*e c*a 5e s*all *ave to Ae p oved to t*e *ilt, t*e standa d of p oof Aein5 t*e sa4e as in a c i4inal t ial.

-iii. 6*e Appellate Co9 t attac*es 5 eat val9e to t*e opinion fo 4ed A& t*e t ial J9d5e 4o e so %*en t*e t ial J9d5e eco din5 findin5s of fact is t*e sa4e %*o *ad eco ded t*e evidence. 6*e Appellate Co9 t s*all e4e4Ae t*at t*e >9 isdiction to t & an election petition *as Aeen vested in a J9d5e of t*e ;i5* Co9 t. #econdl&, t*e t ial J9d5e 4a& *ave *ad t*e Aenefit of %atc*in5 t*e de4eano9 of %itnesses and fo 4in5 fi st+*and opinion of t*e4 in t*e p ocess of eval9ation of evidence. 6*e #9p e4e Co9 t 4a& eassess t*e evidence and co4e to its o%n concl9sions on feelin5 satisfied t*at in eco din5 findin5s of fact t*e ;i5* Co9 t *as dis e5a ded settled p inciples 5ove nin5 t*e app oac* to evidence o co44itted 5 ave o palpaAle e o s. 13. Cn t*e Aac8d op of t*e afo e+stated p inciples, %e 4a& no% adve t to t*e facts at *and to eHa4ine if t*e findin5 eco ded A& t*e 6 iA9nal in t*e >9d54ent in appeal, *oldin5 t*at t*e appellant *as failed to p ove t*at t*e espondent *ad co44itted co 9pt p actice, fallin5 %it*in t*e a4Ait of #9A+section -/. of #ection %(- of t*e Act, is >9stified o not. 15. #ection %(- of t*e Act defines co 9pt p actices. Cn t*e instant case, Css9e No. 1 is Aased on t*e alle5ed violation of #9A+section -/. of #ection %(-, %*ic* eads as follo%s: -/. 6*e appeal A& a candidate o *is a5ent o A& an& ot*e pe son %it* t*e consent of a candidate o *is election a5ent to vote o ef ain f o4 votin5 fo an& pe son on t*e 5 o9nd of *is eli5ion, ace, caste, co449nit& o lan59a5e o t*e 9se of, o appeal to eli5io9s s&4Aols o t*e 9se of, o appeal to, national s&4Aols, s9c* as t*e national fla5 o t*e national e4Ale4, fo t*e f9 t*e ance of t*e p ospects of t*e election of t*at candidate o fo p e>9diciall& affectin5 t*e election of an& candidate: J" ovided t*at no s&4Aol allotted 9nde t*is Act to a candidate s*all Ae dee4ed to Ae a eli5io9s s&4Aol o a national s&4Aol fo t*e p9 poses of t*is cla9se.K 1,. 6*e vital in5 edients of t*e #9A+section, elevant fo t*is appeal, a e + -i. appeal A& a candidate o *is a5ent o A& an& pe son %it* t*e consent of a candidate o *is election a5ent0 -ii. to vote o ef ain f o4 votin5 fo an& pe son and -iii. on t*e 5 o9nd of eli5ion, ace, caste, co449nit& o lan59a5e. As stated aAove, t*e case of t*e appellant is t*at t*e espondent *ad appealed to t*e electo ate to vote on co449nal lines. Cn s9ppo t of t*e alle5ation, a cassette, alle5edl& containin5 speec*es 4ade A& *i4 and *is a5ents, alon5 %it* its t ansc ipt %as p od9ced. Acco din5 to t*e appellant, t*e cassette contained speec*es, %*ic* %e e eco ded at t*e instance of t*e 1lection Co44ission and t*at t*e cassette *avin5 Aeen oAtained f o4 t*e 1lection Co44ission, it %as a p9Alic doc94ent and t*e efo e, t*e A9 den of p oof %*ic* la& on *i4 to p ove t*e alle5ation stood disc*a 5ed. 12. C*apte D of t*e 1vidence Act deals %it* doc94enta & evidence #ection ,% t*e eof la&s do%n t*at t*e contents of doc94ents 4a& Ae p oved eit*e A& p i4a & o A& seconda & evidence. As pe #ection ,( of t*e 1vidence Act, p i4a & evidence 4eans t*e doc94ent itself p od9ced fo t*e inspection of t*e Co9 t. #ection ,- cate5o ises five 8inds of seconda & evidence. #ection ,* la&s do%n t*at doc94ents 49st Ae p oved A& p i4a & evidence eHcept in t*e cases 4entioned in t*e follo%in5 #ections, 6o p9t t*e 4atte A iefl&, t*e 5ene al 9le is t*at seconda & evidence is not ad4issiAle 9ntil t*e non+p od9ction of p i4a & evidence is satisfacto il& p oved. ;o%eve , Cla9se -e. of #ection ,+, %*ic* en94e ates t*e cases in %*ic* seconda & evidence elatin5 to doc94ents 4a& Ae 5iven, ca ves o9t an eHception to t*e eHtent t*at %*en t*e o i5inal doc94ent is a Bp9Alic doc94entB seconda & evidence is ad4issiAle even t*o95* t*e o i5inal doc94ent is still in eHistence and availaAle. #ection $* of t*e 1vidence Act defines %*at a e 8no%n as Bp9Alic doc94entsB. As pe #ection $+ of t*e 1vidence Act, all doc94ents ot*e t*an t*ose stated in #ection $* a e p ivate doc94ents. 6*e e is no disp9te t*at ce tified cop& of a doc94ent iss9ed A& t*e 1lection Co44ission %o9ld Ae a p9Alic doc94ent. 18. ;o%eve , in t*e p esent case, t*e disp9te is not %*et*e a cassette is a p9Alic doc94ent A9t t*e iss9es a e %*et*e : -i. t*e findin5 A& t*e 6 iA9nal t*at in t*e aAsence of an& evidence to s*o% t*at t*e D;# Cassette %as oAtained A& t*e appellant f o4 t*e 1lection Co44ission, t*e cassette placed on eco d A& t*e appellant co9ld not Ae t eated as a p9Alic doc94ent is pe ve se and -ii. a 4e e p od9ction of an a9dio cassette, ass94in5 t*at t*e sa4e is a ce tified cop& iss9ed A& t*e 1lection Co44ission, is pe se concl9sive of t*e fact t*at %*at is contained in t*e cassette is t*e t 9e and co ect eco din5 of t*e speec* alle5edl& delive ed A& t*e espondent o *is a5entG 19. Cnsofa as t*e fi st @9estion, fo 49lated aAove, is conce ned, it %o9ld Ae p ofitaAle to eHt act t*e oAse vations of t*e 6 iA9nal on t*e iss9e. 6*e 6 iA9nal oAse ved t*9s:

13. Ct is no do9At t 9e t*at t*e "etitione *as p od9ced t*e D;# Cassette on eco d. 6*is cassette %as p od9ced on /0.11.2003. ;o%eve , t*e "etitione *as p od9ced no evidence on eco d to indicate t*at t*is D;# cassette %as a t 9e ep od9ction of t*e o i5inal speec*es. 6*e s9A4issions of t*e lea ned Co9nsel fo t*e "etitione , t*at t*e D;# Cassette is a p9Alic doc94ent as defined Ende #ection $, of t*e Cndian 1vidence Act, cannot Ae accepted. 6*e e is no evidence to indicate t*at t*e D;# cassette %as oAtained f o4 t*e election co44ission. 6*e "etitione %*o eHa4ined *i4self *as not adve ted to t*is video eco din5 in *is eHa4ination in c*ief. 6*e e is no ave 4ent in t*e affidavit filed in lie9 of eHa4ination in c*ief to t*e effect t*at *e *ad oAtained t*e cassette f o4 t*e office of t*e election co44ission and t*at *e *ad paid t*e e@9isite c*a 5es fo t*e sa4e. At t*e ti4e of t*e a 594ents, t*e lea ned Co9nsel fo t*e "etitione pointed o9t t*at t*is Cassette %as in fact iss9ed to t*e "etitione A& t*e election co44ission's office. =9t t*is is not s9fficient. A p9Alic doc94ent need not Ae p oved 9nde t*e Cndian 1vidence Act. ;o%eve , it 49st Ae A o95*t on eco d as evidence. Ct 49st Ae ad4itted in evidence as a ce tified cop& of t*e o i5inal Aefo e an& p es94ption can Ae d a%n e5a din5 its 5en9ineness. C a4 fo tified in 4& vie% A& t*e decision of t*e #9p e4e Co9 t in t*e case of A4a nat* A5a %al -s9p a. %*e e t*e #9p e4e Co9 t *as *eld t*at t*e 4e e p od9ction of t*e doc94ents alon5 %it* t*e % itten s9A4issions %it*o9t eH*iAitin5 t*e4 at t*e t ial %o9ld Ae s9fficient fo t*e Co9 t to loo8 into t*ose doc94ents as t*e& %e e not in evidence and t*e defendant *ad no oppo t9nit& to epl& to t*ose doc94ents. 6*e "etitione *as not p oved t*e eceipt iss9ed A& t*e election co44ission's office and *as t*9s failed to p ove t*at t*e D;# Cassette %as a p9Alic doc94ent. 6*at Aein5 t*e position, it is not possiAle to el& on t*e contents of t*e D;# cassette. 6*9s, oAse vin5 t*at t*e appellant *ad failed to p od9ce even t*e eceipt stated to *ave Aeen iss9ed A& t*e 1lection Co44ission's office, t*e 6 iA9nal *eld t*at 4e e p od9ction of t*e cassette %it* t*e 1lection "etition %o9ld not lead to t*e infe ence t*at it *ad Aeen p od9ced in evidence and Aein5 a p9Alic doc94ent, it %as not e@9i ed to Ae p oved. ;avin5 pe 9sed t*e 4ate ial on eco d, %e a e in co4plete a5 ee4ent %it* t*e 6 iA9nal t*at in t*e aAsence of an& co5ent evidence e5a din5 t*e so9 ce and t*e 4anne of its ac@9isition, t*e a9t*enticit& of t*e cassette %as not p oved and it co9ld not Ae ead in evidence despite t*e fact t*at t*e cassette is a p9Alic doc94ent. No elevant 4ate ial %as A o95*t to o9 notice %*ic* %o9ld i4pel 9s to *old t*at t*e findin5 A& t*e 6 iA9nal is pe ve se, %a antin5 o9 inte fe ence. 20. 6*e second iss9e, in o9 opinion, is of 5 eate i4po tance t*an t*e fi st one. Ct is %ell settled t*at tape+ eco ds of speec*es a e Bdoc94entsB as defined in #ection - of t*e 1vidence Act and stand on no diffe ent footin5 t*an p*oto5 ap*s. #ee: 0i auddin 1urhanuddin 1u,hari v. 1ri2mohan #amdass .ehra and 3rs" M! U#SC#)($$#%&$+ : -192,. 2 #CC 12. 6*e e is also no do9At t*at t*e ne% tec*ni@9es and devices a e t*e o de of t*e da&. A9dio and video tape tec*nolo5& *as e4e 5ed as a po%e f9l 4edi94 t* o95* %*ic* a fi st *and info 4ation aAo9t an event can Ae 5at*e ed and in a 5iven sit9ation 4a& p ove to Ae a c 9cial piece of evidence. At t*e sa4e ti4e, %it* fast develop4ent in t*e elect onic tec*ni@9es, t*e tapes!cassettes a e 4o e s9sceptiAle to ta4pe in5 and alte ations A& t ansposition, eHcision, etc. %*ic* 4a& Ae diffic9lt to detect and, t*e efo e, s9c* evidence *as to Ae eceived %it* ca9tion, 6*o95* it. %o9ld neit*e Ae feasiAle no advisaAle to la& do%n an& eH*a9stive set of 9les A& %*ic* t*e ad4issiAilit& of s9c* evidence 4a& Ae >9d5ed A9t it needs to Ae e4p*asised t*at to 9le o9t t*e possiAilit& of an& 8ind of ta4pe in5 %it* t*e tape, t*e standa d of p oof aAo9t its a9t*enticit& and acc9 ac& *as to Ae 4o e st in5ent as co4pa ed to ot*e doc94enta & evidence. 21. Cn 4usufalli Esmail )a!ree v. State of .aharashtra M! U#SC#))&(#%&,$ : -19,2. / #CR 220 t*is Co9 t oAse ved t*at since t*e tape+ eco ds a e p one to ta4pe in5, t*e ti4e, place and acc9 ac& of t*e eco din5 49st Ae p oved A& a co4petent %itness. Ct is necessa & t*at s9c* evidence 49st Ae eceived %it* ca9tion. 6*e Co9 t 49st Ae satisfied, Ae&ond easonaAle do9At t*at t*e eco d *as not Aeen ta4pe ed %it*. 22. Cn #" v. .aqsud Ali -19,5. 2 A$$ 1.R. 3,3 it %as said t*at it %o9ld Ae % on5 to den& to t*e la% of evidence advanta5es to Ae 5ained A& ne% tec*ni@9es and ne% devices, p ovided t*e acc9 ac& of t*e eco din5 can Ae p oved and t*e voices eco ded a e p ope l& identified. #9c* evidence s*o9ld al%a&s Ae e5a ded %it* so4e ca9tion and assessed in t*e li5*t of all t*e ci c94stances of eac* case. 2/. Cn 0i auddin 1urhanuddin 1u,hari -s9p a., el&in5 on #" v. .aqsud Ali -s9p a., a =enc* of t* ee >9d5es of t*is Co9 t *eld t*at t*e tape+ eco ds of speec*es %e e ad4issiAle in evidence on satisf&in5 t*e follo%in5 conditions: -a. 6*e voice of t*e pe son alle5ed to Ae spea8in5 49st Ae d9l& identified A& t*e 4a8e of t*e eco d o A& ot*e s %*o 8no% it.

-A. Acc9 ac& of %*at %as act9all& eco ded *ad to Ae p oved A& t*e 4a8e of t*e eco d and satisfacto & evidence, di ect o ci c94stantial, *ad to Ae t*e e so as to 9le o9t possiAilities of ta4pe in5 %it* t*e eco d. -c. 6*e s9A>ect+4atte t*e 1vidence Act. eco ded *ad to Ae s*o%n to Ae elevant acco din5 to 9les of elevanc& fo9nd in

23. #i4ila conditions fo ad4issiAilit& of a tape+ eco ded state4ent %e e eite ated in #am Sin!h and 3rs" v. Col" #am Sin!h M! U#SC#)%$,#%&'+ : 1985 -#9pp. #CC ,11 and ecentl& in #"5" Anand v. #e!istrar, *elhi /i!h Court M! U#SC#%-%)#())& : -2009. 8 #CC 10,. 25. 6ested on t*e to9c*stone of t*e tests and safe59a ds, en94e ated aAove, %e a e of t*e opinion t*at in t*e instant case t*e appellant *as 4ise aAl& failed to p ove t*e a9t*enticit& of t*e cassette as %ell as t*e acc9 ac& of t*e speec*es p9 po tedl& 4ade A& t*e espondent. Ad4ittedl&, t*e appellant did not lead an& evidence to p ove t*at t*e cassette p od9ced on eco d %as a t 9e ep od9ction of t*e o i5inal speec*es A& t*e espondent o *is a5ent. On a ca ef9l conside ation of t*e evidence and ci c94stances of t*e case, %e a e convinced t*at t*e appellant *as failed to p ove *is case t*at t*e espondent %as 59ilt& of ind9l5in5 in co 9pt p actices. 2,. Fo t*e afo e+5oin5 easons, %e see no 4e it in t*is appeal. Fe, t*e efo e, affi 4 t*e decision of t*e 6 iA9nal and dis4iss t*e appeal %it* costs, @9antified at Rs. 20,000!+.