Judgement of the Day - Abhiram Singh vs. C. D. Commachen


Civil Appeal No. 37 Of 1992

Abhiram Singh, a BJP up-and-comer who was challenged by the Santa Cruz electorate in

Mumbai in 1990, was blamed for having supported degenerate activities by speaking

religiously to the people. The issue came up under the Supreme Court's watchful eye, which at that point needed to discover the scope of Section 123 of the People's Representation Act, 1951. Abhiram Singh was selected for the Maharashtra State Assembly No. 40, Santa Cruz Legislative Assembly Constituency in 1990, and his political decision was put to the Bombay High Court by Commachen.

While hearing the intrigue, a Bench of three Judges, on April 16, 1992, communicated the

view that the substance, scope and what comprises a degenerate practice under sub-section

(3) or (3A) of Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 should be set down

obviously to maintain a strategic distance from a premature delivery of equity in deciphering

‘degenerate practice’.

The Bench was of the opinion that the intrigue requires to be heard and chose by a bigger

Bench of five Judges of the Court.

The 7-Judge Bench conveyed a milestone decision, whereby a dominant part of 4:3, the lion’s share Judgment conveyed by Justice Lokur with agreeing Judgments by Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Bobde, concluded that intrigue on the grounds of religion – be it the

applicant, the specialist of the up-and-comer, any individual with the assent of the up-and-

comer, or even the religion of the voters would add up to a degenerate practice. The greater

part in its Judgment gave a wide development to the expressions of Section 123 of the

Representation of the People Act, 1951 and has extended its limits to take in any intrigue on

the grounds of religion, rank, language or race.

To keep up national uprightness and harmony among the residents of the nation and to keep

up the mainstream character of the pluralistic culture to which we have a place sections 123

and 123 (3A) of the Representation Act have been joined. For keeping up immaculateness in

the political decision process and for keeping up harmony and amicability in the social

texture, it turns out to be important not exclusively to prosecute the gathering to a political

decision liable of degenerate practice yet to name the partners of such degenerate practice if

there be any. The bench interpreted the statute literally and followed different cases such as

Ambika Sharan Singh vs. Mahant Mahadeva Giri and others, Dr. Vimal (Mrs.) v. Bhaguji &

Ors, M.P. Gopalakrishnan Nair and Anr. vs. State of Kerala and Ors, S.R. Bommai vs. UOI,

Indira Gandhi vs. Raj Narain, Saifuddin Saheb v. State of Bombay, etc.

Intrigue for the sake of religion, race, station, network or language is unacceptable under the

1951 Representation of the People Act and would establish a degenerate practice appropriate to repeal the political decision in which such intrigue was made in any case whether the intrigue was for the sake of the religion of the up-and-comer or the religion of the political decision-maker. The general sense of Section 123(3) after alteration is that intrigue for the sake of religion, race, station, network or language is taboo in any case where the intrigue might not be for the sake of the religion, race, place, network or language for which it was made. Thus deciphered religion , race, standing, network or language would not be allowed to assume any job in the discretionary procedure and if any of those considerations were to be intrigued, the equivalent would set up a degenerate practice.

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