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BENGALURU: A District Registrar cannot assume power of a civil court to consider the importance of evidence in election matters in the garb of conducting enquiry under section 25 of the Karnataka Societies Registration Act, the high court has observed in a recent judgement.

“Conduct of elections or declaration of elected candidates or a direction seeking holding of fresh election will have to be before the competent civil court”, Justice M Nagaprasanna has said in his order while dismissing a petition filed by Sa Ra Govindu and others.

“The indirect effort made to submit that petitioners are not seeking inquiry into the conduct of elections is neither here nor there, as elections are over, the Executive Committee is in place and the averments in the petition point at corrupt practice like large scale rigging and several other illegalities and irregularities in the conduct of elections. It is, therefore, the petitioners have to approach the competent civil Court for appropriate relief. This court would not entertain the petition after the elections are over, even for a direction to the District Registrar to enquire into the conduct of elections. No fault can be found with the order of the District Registrar declining to entertain the complaint, as it was in the realm of challenging the elections”, the judge has further noted in his order.

In the election held for Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce ( KFCC) in May this year, Sa Ra Govindu had contested for the President”s post in the Producers sector ,BK Jayasimha Musuri for the post of Treasurer and KM Veeresh for the post of Secretary.

Ba Ma Harish was elected as president, along with other office bearers.Alleging fraud , rigging in voting,the petitioners had submitted a complaint to the District Registrar of Societies, Bengaluru, seeking enquiry and conduct of fresh election.

Ultimately ,on July 8,2022, their complaint was rejected and they were told to approach the civil court.

Challenging the said order,the petitionersargued that the District Registrar ought to have conducted an inquiry declaring the elections to be null and void and ordered conduct of fresh elections, considering various anomalies cited by them.

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