Case Brief on Karikho Kri v. Nuney Tayang and Anr.

Chambers of Ishaan Garg

Ch. No. 217, Western Wing, District & Sessions Court, Tis Hazari, New Delhi, Delhi 110054

+91 8851742417, +91 8800386163

Title:  Karikho Kri v. Nuney Tayang and Anr.

Date: 10th April, 2024                                                  

Court: Supreme Court                             

Facts: In 2019, Karikho Kri won as an independent MLA from Tezu. However, his victory was challenged by Nuney Tayang of the Congress party. Tayang said Kri didn't tell the truth in his election papers and didn't mention that he lived in a government-allotted cottage for MLAs in Itanagar. Tayang also said Kri didn't provide certificates showing he had paid his dues for rent, electricity, water, and telephone charges. The court agreed with Tayang. They said Kri didn't follow the rules when submitting his nomination papers, which violated Section 33 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. So, they decided that Kri's nomination papers should have been rejected by the election officer, as per Section 36(2)(b) of the same Act. This meant that Kri's victory in the election was declared void, under Section 90(a)(c) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, meaning he wasn't legally elected. Aggrieved by this decision, both Karikho Kri and Nuney Tayang filed Civil Appeals before the Supreme Court under Section 116A of the Act. The Supreme Court ordered notice in both appeals and directed that no new election should be held for the constituency represented by Karikho Kri. However, Karikho Kri was allowed to continue enjoying privileges as a Member of the House but was restrained from voting.       

Issues Involved: whether the non-disclosure of every asset owned by an election candidate amounts to a defect under the Representation of the People Act (ROPA).       

Judgement: The Supreme Court observed that is not necessary that a candidate declare every item of movable property that he or his dependent family members owns, unless the same is of such value as to constitute a sizeable asset in itself or reflect upon his candidature, in terms of his lifestyle, and require to be disclosed. The Court observed that non-disclosure of every asset owned by a candidate would not amount to a defect of a substantial character. The Court also held that his ‘Right to Privacy’ would still survive in matters which are of no concern to the voter or are irrelevant to his candidature for public office.