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Home > Know Your Rights > Right to Contest Elections
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Landmark Judgments

·  The question of disqualification under old section 7 of the R.P. Act was considered by a Division Bench of the Assam High Court in Khagendranath Vs. Umesh Chandra's case. The question was whether the acceptance of the nomination of a person who was convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for a period more than two years and when he had been granted remission incurred any disqualification for filing nomination in the election to the Assam Legislative Assembly. The High Court was of the view that in order to attract disqualification referred to in section 7(b) of the Act, it was not necessary that the person should have undergone any part of the sentence imposed on him. What was necessary was that the actual sentence imposed by the court and where the sentence was for two years or above, the mischief of the section began to operate against the person concerned. The fact that the person had preferred an appeal against the conviction and sentence and the appeal was pending at the time of his nomination would not remove the disqualification under section 7(b) except in the case of a sitting member who had been convicted after his election as provided under the section 8(a) of the Act.


·  The Allahabad High Court in Sachindra Nath Tripathi Vs. Doodhnath had to consider the question of disqualification under section 8 (2) present section 8 (3)0 of the R.P. Act of a member elected to the U.P. Assembly. The High Court held:


“Disqualification under section 8(2) is the immediate effect of the conviction order and nothing more was required to be done to bring it about. As soon as the conviction order was passed against the person, the person would become disqualified to contest the election. So far as finding of conviction is concerned, that stands so long as it is not reversed or set aside by the appellate court under section 386(b) Cr.P.C. Suspension of the execution of sentence or of order by the appellate court pending disposal of the appeal does not tantamount to obliteration of order. The conviction order can be reversed or set aside by the appellate court only under Section 386(b) of Cr.P.C. The only effect of the stay orders passed by the appellate court was that the execution of sentence awarded under the conviction orders, remain under suspension. After the conviction, the accused person was to suffer the sentence and that part of the order was suspended by the stay order. The stay orders being prospective in operation did not and could not affect the conviction order, which automatically gave birth to disqualification, as envisaged by subsection (2) of section 8. Grant of bail to the accused person does not interfere with the finding of conviction and that cannot render the disqualification, automatically emerging from conviction, inoperative.''

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