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Facts


The case of the appellant in brief is that 35-Gangath Assembly Constituency is reserved for scheduled castes, that he and the respondent, among others were candidates for election from the said constituency. In the said election held on 26.2.2003, the respondent secured the highest number of votes namely 24499 and was declared as elected. The respondent had in his nomination paper declared that he belongs to a scheduled caste (Lohar) and in support of his claim, had produced a caste certificate dated 16.12.1991 issued by the Executive Magistrate, Indora, District Kangra certifying that he belonged to scheduled caste of Lohar. Only a few days before the polling, the appellant learnt that respondent does not belong to Lohar caste but belongs to 'Tarkhan' caste which is not a scheduled caste in the State of Himachal Pradesh. According to Appellant, the respondent was disqualified to contest the election in the Assembly Constituency reserved for scheduled caste and therefore, the election of the respondent was void.

Judgement :


The appellant has clearly established that the respondent and his family belong to Tarkhan caste which is not a scheduled caste in Himachal Pradesh. It is also clear that from around 1990, the respondent has made efforts to show his caste as 'Lohar', a scheduled caste. Consequently, we hold that the respondent who did not belong to a Scheduled Caste, was not qualified to be chosen to fill a seat in the Legislative Assembly reserved for Scheduled Castes. Therefore, we allow this appeal, set aside the judgment of the High Court and declare the election of the returned candidate (Bodh Raj) from 35- Gangath Assembly Constituency in the 2003 Election, to be void. Parties to bear their respective costs