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Unable to exercise jurisdiction in writing to interfere in election process once it has started: Andhra Pradesh High Court

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The Andhra Pradesh High Court recently failed to intervene in the electoral process of a bank registered under the Andhra Pradesh Mutual Aid Cooperative Societies Act 1995. The election would have been irregular and against the law, but the Court ruled that it could not block the electoral process once it began.

Brief facts of the case

It was the claimant’s case that he was a member of the respondent bank which was registered under the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Mutual Aid Co-operative Societies Act 1995. The bank’s board of directors consisted of no more than 15 members and was elected from eligible members. The petitioner’s grievance was that the election for the election of three directors of the respondent bank was taking place without there being any regulation on how to conduct the elections.

The board of directors appointed the same person as election officer and paved the way for the election of the same directors who retired, in turn.

Considering the irregular process adopted by the head of elections, the board residing in the urban area of ​​Visakhapatnam has been elected many times over the past 25 years, although it has been disqualified according to the standards of the Reserve Bank of India.

The election was scheduled for 28.2.2022. The Elections Officer was fully guided by the current Board of Directors and does not conduct elections in accordance with the law and bylaws. The election was not conducted transparently. Hence the written request.

Respondents argued that once the electoral process had already begun, the courts could not interfere with the electoral process under Article 226 of the Constitution.

Court decision

The court relied on the decision of Boddula Krishnaiah v. State Election Commission, AP (2001), it was held that once an electoral process had been initiated, the High Court would not be justified in interfering with the electoral process.

In another decision Gangarapu Ushaiah v. District Collector (Cooperation), Medak District (1992), it took place as:

“It is well established that once an electoral process has begun, this Court should not normally interfere in said electoral process.”

Thus, the Court was not inclined to prohibit the electoral process, which had already begun. The petitioner was allowed to agitate any grievance relating to the finalization of the Bank’s electoral roll or violation or non-compliance with the mandatory provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Mutual Aid Co-operative Societies Act 1995 before the court concerned. The motion in writ was denied.

Case title: Yelamanchili Satya Krishna vs Andhra Pradesh State

Click here to read/download the order