-Report by Arunima Jain
The Mumbai High Court on Friday upheld that any individual representing an agricultureconstituency whilst running for candidature must understand the meaning of being a memberof the committee. If the person’s primary source of income is not from agricultural processes,or if the person holds a trader’s/ commission agent’s or broker’s license, or even if the personhas a future interest in obtaining such a licence, then the person would automatically bedenied the right to partake in the elections for the same. A representative of a “firm” who votes in the APMC election does not have a stake in the “firm’s” operations because he is that “firm’s” representative.
For the matter at hand, the facts pertain to the election for the Agriculture Produce MarketCommittee. In the constituency of agricultural credit societies and multipurpose cooperativesocieties in the APMC, Parola, the petitioner submitted his candidature in the OBC categoryand in the Open category. In the present case, the petitioner is a member of Parola Taluka
Cooperative Fruit Society. This society is registered to vote in the merchant’s constituencyand has a trader’s licence. The problem that arose was that according to Rule 10(2)(ii) of theMaharashtra Agricultural Produce Market Committee (Election to Committee) Rules, 2017,an individual associated with a trading licence is ineligible to run for office in an agriculturalseat. In furtherance of the same, several objections and appeals were raised which disqualified the petitioner from participating in the elections. The petitioner has accordinglyfiled a writ petition to clarify the matter once and for all.
The petitioner’s learned counsel has submitted before the High Court that the petitioner is notdisqualified under Rule 10(2)(ii) of the Election Rules 2017 since he serves as a ParolaTaluka Cooperative Fruit Sale Society representative and does not have an individual license.According to the learned counsel, the petitioner cannot be declared ineligible under Rule10(2)(ii) of the Election Rules 2017 since they represent a society with a trader’s license.
Upon giving due regard to the facts and the law in the above-mentioned case, it is contended by the Bombay High Court that it is patently illegal to have passed the orders as have beenpassed by the preceding authorities. The Hon’ble Court held that the petitioner was not disqualified from running for the elections, and thereby, the election authority has beeninstructed to include the name of the petitioner in the final list of nominated candidates. Moreover, as the inclusion of the petitioner’s name in the list of nominated candidates would not affect the election process at this stage, there was no harm in the same. the writ petition was therefore allowed.
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