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COMMISSION’S OPINION DATED 20.06.2018- REFERENCE FROM HON’BLE GOVERNOR OF MAHARASHTRA ORDER DATED 16.08.2018- DISQUALIFICATION OF SHRI M.G. BHANGADIA, MLC
Allegation of disqualification- for- having subsisting contract with government of Maharashtra (VIDC) at the time of election
Representation of the People Act, 1951- Section 9A- Held- not guilty- in view of Supreme Court decision in Shrikant vs. Vasantrao & Ors and Bombay High Court decision in Gajanan vs. Kirtikumar Mitesh Bhangdiya & Ors.
The Election Commission held that in view of the Supreme Court findings in Shrikant vs. Vasantrao & Ors, [(2006) 2 SCC 682] and Bombay High Court decision in Gajanan vs. Kirtikumar Mitesh Bhangdiya &Ors, the Respondent would not be disqualified.
It was stated by the Commission that VIDC is an instrumentality of the state, created for the purpose of implementation of projects for which it receives budgetary support from the government, and thus, a person having subsisting contract with such a corporation is in essence having a contractual relationship with the government.
However, in Shrikant, it was stated that the term ‘state government’ is different from ‘local or other authorities under the control of the state government’ for the purposes of disqualification. Godawari Marathwada Irrigation Development Corporation (GMIDC) constituted under GMIDC Act is not State Government and therefore any contracts with it are not contracts entered into by the candidate with the appropriate government.
Further, In Gajanan, the High Court relied on the view of the Supreme Court in the above mentioned matter and held that Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) under VIDC Act is not “appropriate government” for the purpose of attracting disqualification under Section 9A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
Decision: not maintainable