SC: S.33(3) of Representation of People Act, 1951 to be read as obligatory

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 24th November 2020, in the matter of Tej Bahadur v. Shri Narendra Modi pronounced that the requirement of Section 33(3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 must be read as obligatory. The word ‘deemed’ in this provision does not create a legal fiction. It clarifies any doubt anyone might entertain as to the legal character of a person who has not and states with definiteness that such a person shall not be deemed to be duly nominated.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

It is a condition for a valid nomination of a person who has been dismissed from service, that the nomination paper must be accompanied by a certificate to the effect that the person seeking nomination has not been dismissed for corruption or disloyalty to the State. Section 33(3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 itself provides the consequence of the absence of such certificate and that is that such a person “shall not be deemed to be duly nominated as a candidate”. The law itself deems that such a person cannot be duly nominated. (Para 19)

The requirement of Section 33(3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 that a nomination of a dismissed officer must be accompanied by a certificate that he was not dismissed on the ground of corruption or disloyalty to the State must be read as obligatory. It is couched in a language which is imperative and provides for a certain consequence viz. that such a person shall not be deemed to be a duly nominated candidate. The word ‘deemed’ in this provision does not create a legal fiction. It clarifies any doubt anyone might entertain as to the legal character of a person who has not and states with definiteness that such a person shall not be deemed to be duly nominated. It would, therefore, be absurd to construe the legislative scheme as permitting a person who has not filed his nomination in accordance with Section 33 (3), as enabling him to claim that he is a duly nominated candidate even though the provision mandates that such a person shall not be deemed to be a duly nominated candidate. (Para 20)

Where a person has no interest at all, or no sufficient interest to support a legal claim or action he will have no locus standi to sue. The entitlement to sue or locus standi is an integral part of cause of action. (Para 25)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_24-Nov-2020

-Adv. Tushar Kaushik

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