Delay in filing election petition

Application of Limitation Act, 1963 on Election Petition under Representation of People Act.

Facts:

The first respondent filed an election petition in the first instance to which there was an objection to maintainability under Order 7 Rule 11 of the CPC. Confronted with the objection under Order 7 Rule 11, the first respondent obviated a decision thereon by withdrawing the election petition. The grant of liberty to file a fresh election petition cannot obviate the bar of limitation. The fresh election petition filed by the first respondent was beyond the statutory period of 30 days and was hence liable to be rejected.

Decision:

The Haryana Panchayati Raj Act 1994 is a complete code for the presentation of election petitions. The statute has mandated that an election petition must be filed within a period of 30 days of the date of the declaration of results. This period cannot be extended. The provision of Section 14 of the Limitation Act 1963 would clearly stand excluded. The legislature having made a specific provision, any election petition which fails to comply with the statute is liable to be dismissed.

[Source: Suman Devi vs. Manisha Devi decided by AC on August 21, 2018]
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