August 24,2018: A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud exercised its extraordinary power under Article 142 of the Constitution and held :
The provisions contained in the Panchayat Elections Act and rules constitute a complete code in regard to the conduct of the election, including in the matter of filing of nominations. Neither the Panchayat Elections Act nor the Rules contemplate the filing of nominations in the electronic form. Any reform of the electoral process to permit the filing of nominations electronically would have to be carried out by a legislative amendment. The High Court ought not to have issued a mandatory direction of this nature in the face of the specific provisions contained in the Panchayat Elections Act and Rules.
Section 64 of the Panchayat Elections Act lays down the procedure to be followed in the case by contested and uncontested elections. If at any election of a gram panchayat, panchayat samiti or zilla parishad, the number of contesting candidates is less than the number of seats to be filled in a constituency, the panchayat returning officer shall forthwith declare all such candidates to be duly elected. Under Section 77, as soon as may be, after the result of an election has been declared, the panchayat returning officer must report the result to the District Panchayat Election Officer; to the Director of Panchayats and Rural Development and to the Commission. The Director is under a duty to cause the declarations of the names of the elected candidates to be published in the Official Gazette.
Facts to be remembered that out of a total 58,692 posts for gram panchayat village, zilla parishad and panchayat samiti, 20,159 had remained uncontested in the violence-marred local polls in the state held in May this year.