(arising out of special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos. 10733-10734 of 2020)
Section 4 and 7 of the Uttar Pradesh (Zila Panchayats) (Voting on Motions of Non-Confidence) Rules 1966
On 1/10/2018, a motion of non-confidence was moved by 64 members out of 92 elected members against Ms. Rekha Singh (Panchayat Adhyaksha), in Zila Panchayat of Prayagraj, UP. On 25/10/18, the motion was passed by majority of more than half of the elected members and the same was declared by the Presiding Officer (ADJ, Allahabad). This decision was challenged by Ms. Rekha Singh and Allahabad HC in its decision dated 13/03/2019, set aside the decision taken on 25/10/18 on the basis of violation of Rule of Secrecy of ballot. Through this appeal petitioner has contended that the decision given by HC is erroneous as Voluntary Waiver Principle could be applied with respect to members of Zila Panchayat.
If the voter himself chooses to waive the privilege and volunteers to disclose for whom he had voted, will it be the violation of the Rule of Secrecy of ballot?
Banwari Dass v. Shri Sumer Chand and Others, (1974) 4 SCC 817
It was held that in cases which involve the election provision to prevent corrupt practice, the court and the tribunal must act judicially and not in an inquisitorial manner.
S. Raghbir Singh Gill v. S. Gurcharan Singh Tohra and Others, 1980 Supp SCC 53
It was held that secrecy should not be left aloof or in confrontation to the foundation of free and fair elections. Principle of secrecy is not an absolute one, but it is a requirement of free and fair elections.
The Principle of secrecy of ballots is an important postulate of constitutional democracy whose aim is the achievement of purity of elections.
It was held that to ensure the ends of justice, the elections should be done again ensuring the secrecy of ballots under the observation of the Presiding Judge on the date decided by the District Judge, which shall not be later than 2 months from today. Presiding Judge can be the District Judge or the additional District Judge appointed by the DJ. Question of law was left open and the appeals were dismissed.
Clause (4) of the Constitutional 39th Amendment Act, 1975
Civil Appellate Jurisdiction