The Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act - 1993

Section 15. Election Petition:

(1) No election to fill a seat or seats in a Grama Panchayat shall be called in question except by an election petition presented on one or more of the grounds specified in sub-section (1) of Section 19 and Section 20 to the Civil Judge (Junior Division) within whose territorial jurisdiction the Panchayat area concerned or the major portion of the Panchayat area concerned is situated by any candidate at such election or by any voter qualified to vote at such election together with a deposit of five hundred rupees as security for costs, within thirty days from, but not earlier than, the date of declaration of the result of the election of the returned candidate at the election, and if the dates of declaration of the results of their election are different, the last of those dates.

(2) A petitioner shall join as respondents to his petition,--

(a) where the petitioner, in addition to claiming a declaration that the election of all or any of the returned candidates is void, claims a further declaration that he himself or any other candidate has been duly elected, all the contesting candidates other than the petitioner, and where no such further declaration is claimed, all the returned candidates; and
(b) any other candidate against whom allegation of any corrupt practice are made in the petition.

(3) Every election petition shall be accompanied by as many copies thereof as there are respondents mentioned in the petition and every such copy shall be attested by the petitioner under his own signature to be a true copy of the petition.

Explanation: The expression "returned candidate" means a candidate who has been declared as duly elected.

Section 19. Grounds for declaring election to be void:

(1) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (2) if the Civil Judge (Junior Division is of opinion,-

(a) that on the date of his election, a returned candidate was not qualified, or was disqualified, to be chosen as a member under this Act; or
(b) that any corrupt practice has been committed by a returned candidate or his agent or by any other person with the consent of a returned candidate or his agent; or
(c) that any nomination paper has been improperly rejected; or
(d) that the result of the election, in so for as it concerns a returned candidate, has been materially affected,-

(i) by the improper acceptance of any nomination; or
(ii) by any corrupt practice committed in the interests of the returned candidate by an agent; or
(iii) by the improper reception, refusal or rejection of any vote or reception of any vote which is void; or
(iv) by any non-compliance with the provisions of this Act or of any rules or orders made there under; the Civil Judge (Junior Division) shall declare the election of the returned candidate to be void.

(2) If in the opinion of the Civil Judge (Junior Division), any agent of a returned candidate has been guilty of any corrupt practice, but the Civil Judge (Junior Division) is satisfied,--

(a) that no such corrupt practice was committed at the election by the candidate and every such corrupt practice was committed contrary to the orders and without the consent of the candidate;
(b) that the candidate took all reasonable measures for preventing the commission of corrupt practices at the election, and
(c) that in all other respects the election was free from any corrupt practice on the part of the candidate or any of his agent;

then the Civil Judge (Junior Division) may decide that the election of the returned candidate is not void.

Section 20. Grounds on which a candidate other than the returned candidate may be declared to have been elected:

(1) If any person who has filed an election petition has, in addition to calling in question the election of the returned candidate, claims a declaration that he himself or any other candidate has been duly elected and the Civil Judge (Junior Division) is of opinion,--

(a) that in fact the petitioner of such other candidate received a majority of the valid votes; or
(b) that but for the votes obtained by the returned candidate by corrupt practices the petitioner or such other candidate would have obtained a majority of the valid votes;

the Civil Judge (Junior Division) shall after declaring the election of the returned candidate to be void declare the petitioner or such other candidate, as the case may be, to have been duly elected.

(2) The decision of the 2[Civil Judge (Junior Division)] shall be final.

Section 165. Electoral Roll:

The electoral roll of the Zilla Panchayat shall be prepared by the Assistant Commissioner subject to the superintendence, direction and control of the State Election Commission:

Provided that the electoral roll of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly for the time being in force for such part of the District as is included in any constituency of the Zilla Panchayat may be adopted for the purpose of preparation of electoral roll of the Zilla Panchayat for such constituency:

Provided further that the electoral roll for such constituency of the Zilla Panchayat shall not include any amendment, transposition, inclusion or deletion of any entry made after the last date for making nomination for the election to such constituency and before the completion of such election.

Section 308. State Election Commission:

(1) The superintendence direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls for, and the conduct of, all elections to the Grama Panchayat, Taluk Panchayat or Zilla Panchayat shall be vested in the State Election Commission consisting of a State Election Commissioner to be appointed by the Governor.

(2) The conditions of service and tenure of office of the State Election Commissioner shall be such as the Governor may by rule determine:

Provided that the State Election Commissioner shall not be removed from his office except in like manner and on the like grounds as a judge of a High Court and conditions of service of the State Election Commissioner shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.

(3) The Governor shall, when so requested by the State Election Commission, make available to the State Election Commission such staff as may be necessary for the discharge of the functions conferred on the State Election Commission under Sub-section(1).