The Supreme Court has held that mere breach of Constitutional provisions does not invalidate an election and quashed Patna High Court's judgement disqualifying JD(U) MP Mangani Lal Mandal, for "suppressing" details about his two wives, children and their assets.
A bench of justices R M Lodha and S J Mukhopadhaya said unless the complainant pleads specifically in the election petition that the alleged suppression had materially affected the results of the poll, the elected representative cannot be disqualified.
"A mere non-compliance or breach of the Constitution or the statutory provisions noticed above, by itself, does not result in invalidating the election of a returned candidate under Section 100(1)(d)(iv).
"The sine qua non for declaring election of a returned candidate to be void on the ground under clause(iv) of Section 100(1)(d) is further proof of the fact that such breach or non-observance has resulted in materially affecting the result of the returned candidate," Justice Lodha said.
The high court had earlier quashed Mandal's election from Jhanjharpur Lok Sabha constituency held on April 23, 2009, on the charge of violation of section 100(1)(d) of the Representation of Peoples Act.
The MP was disqualified on an election petition filed by a voter Bishnu Deo Bhandari who alleged Mandal suppressed the facts in the nomination papers that he had two wives and the dependent children by marriage with his first wife.
He did not disclose the assets and liabilities of his first wife and the dependent children born out of that wedlock.