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Election and Candidate’s Nomination Paper/Affidavit – A mandatory document of most substantial character and importance

Election case of 2012 pertaining to Moirang AC is currently occupying a great deal of news paper and public space. While delving into the relevant provisions of law, Election Commission of India’s instructions and Apex Court judgements I found it crystal clear that the Nomination Paper/Affidavit filed by a contesting candidate is the most important and substantial mandatory document that reflects a candidate’s character & antecedents, e.g. involvement in criminal case, integrity, e.g. true/false disclosure of assets, and quality, e.g. educational qualification. Pursuant to orders passed by the Supreme Court in 2002, the Election Commission of India issued instructions in 2009 stating inter alia that it is mandatory for the candidates to indicate their Educational Qualification in the nomination paper/affidavit. Let us mind it that the candidate is required by law to indicate educational qualification twice, at two places/columns provided in the nomination paper/affidavit, which is to be signed and verified under oath before a competent magistrate/authority.

Given the imperative of giving people’s mandate in favour of most deserving candidates in a democracy, the election law and rules meticulously lay down a comprehensive and yet very strict procedure of filing nomination paper/affidavit by a candidate. Any deviation from the prescribed procedure/rules entails fatal effect – rendering the nomination paper/affidavit illegal or invalid. According to law/rules, if a candidate filed a false affidavit or even left any column unfilled in the nomination paper, it should be rejected. The Supreme Court also held that improper acceptance of nomination and consequential election of a candidate who filed false/illegal affidavit is void, and in such a situation, the other contesting candidate shall stand elected, provided there were only two contesting candidates.
To reiterate, a contesting candidate’s nomination paper/affidavit is the most vital and substantive document in the context of election of MLAs/MPs who govern the states/India with the mandate of people. That is why the law, Supreme Court and Election Commission of India and ECI have made  mandatory provisions/rules/instructions in this regard so that sanctity of election, democracy for that matter, is maintained all concerned. The people would only hope the Court will do justice without prejudice and fear or favour. Fortunately, His Lordships have always upheld the spirit of ‘SATYAMEBA JAYATE’ (truth always prevails).         

By : Y. Somorjit

William Gurumayum

William Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since 2013. An avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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