B.D. Agrawal, J.
1. This is an application under Section 87(1) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (hereinafter 'the Act') read with Order 6 Rule 16, Order 7, Rule 11 Code of Civil Procedure in Election Petition No. 51 of 1985.
2. The respondent besides 16 others was a candidate for election to the Legislative Assembly, U. P. from the 225 Bansdih Assembly constituency, district Ballia. The last date for filing nomination was 6th Feb., 1985 and f6r scrutiny the date fixed was Feb. 8, 1985. Poll took place on 2nd Mar., 1985 followed by the counting of votes on Mar. 6, 1985. The respondent was declared elected; the petitioner an elector in the Constituency has filed the petition seeking that the election of the respondent be declared void and set aside. The respondent has put in application with the prayer that paras Nos. 8, 9, 10,12, 13 to 17, 20, 22 to 25, 27 to 46 of the election petition be struck off which is opposed by the petitioner.
3. I have heard learned counsel for the parties.
4. In support of the election petition there are three grounds taken which have been enumerated in para 8 as under :--
(A) Because the result of the election in so far as it concerns the respondent, has been materially affected by improper acceptance of the nomination paper of the respondent inasmuch as she was disqualified for being chosen as a member of the U. P. Legislative Assembly under Section 9A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
(B) Because the respondent and her election agent committed the corrupt practice of bribery by making gifts and offer and promise of gratification to voters for directly and indirectly including them to vote for the respondent at the said election.
(C) Because the respondent and her election agent and the agents and workers of the respondent, with the consent of the respondent or her election agent, committed the corrupt practice of undue influence by interfering with the free exercise of the electors' right to vote at the election and preventing them from casting their votes."
5. Material facts pertaining to the ground 'A' appear in paras 9 to 24. These in substance are that the respondent held licence for the retail vend of country liquor for district Ballia for the year 1984-85; this licence subsisted both on the date of filing the nomination paper and the scrutiny, the retail vend of country liquor is the execution of a work undertaken by the State Government; the contention for the respondent in his reply to the objection against his nomination that he had withdrawn from the partnership on June 12, 1984 and had Deposited the entire amount due for the remaining period under the contract did not amount to the surrender of the licence contemplated by Section 36, U. P. Excise Act, and thus the respondent was disqualified in view of Section 9A of the Act to seek the election.
6. Sri R. A. Pandey learned counsel for the respondent contends that these averments contained in the election petition are frivolous and hence these deserve to be struck off. For the petitioner Sri K, N. Tripathi sought to justify these pleadings on the footing of Section 9A of the Act.
7. Section 9A in so far as material provides :--
"A person shall be disqualified if, and for so long as, there subsists a contract entered into by him in the course of his trade or business with the appropriate Government for the supply of goods to, for the execution if any works undertaken by the Government."
8. The law is settled and it is not disputed either that the State possesses the right of complete control over all aspects of intoxicants, viz. manufacture, collection, sale and consumption. The State has exclusive right to manufacture and sell liquor and to sell the said right in order to raise revenue. The State confers the right to vend liquor by farming out either in auction or on private treaty. Rental is the consideration for the privilege granted by the Government for manufacturing or vending liquor. The trade is regulated and revenue collected by the gram of contracts to carry on trade in liquor. If it is held out by auction, the highest bidder gets the licence subject to confirmation being accorded to the bid by the authority competent in this behalf : vide Coovarjee B. Bharucha, AIR 1954 SC 220; State of Orissa v. Hari Narayan Jaiswal, (1972) 2 SCC 36 : (AIR 1972 SC 1816); Nashirwar v. State of M. P., (1975) 1 SCC 29 : (AIR 1975 SC 360); Har Shanker v. Dy. Excise & Taxation Commr. (1975) 1 SCC 737 : (AIR 1975 SC 1121); State of Haryana v. Jage Ram, (1980) 3 SCC 599 : (AIR 1980 SC 2018) Excise Commr. U. P. v. Prem Jeet Singh Gujaral, (1984) 1 SCC 270 : (AIR 1983 SC 1056). Upon the licence being granted, the licensee disposes of the liquor in the market and the consideration for the grant of licence has to be credited to the account of the State Government. There is no involvement on the part of the licensee for the supply of goods to the Government. Sri Tripathi contends that the respondent be taken to have entered into a contract with the Government "for the execution of works undertaken by the Government" and Section 9A applied on this footing. With this I am unable to agree.
9. The expression used by the Legislature is significantly "works" put in plural. Where the words of the Act are clear, there is little room to apply any of the principles of interpretation which are merely presumptions in cases of ambiguity in the statute. The primary duty of the court is to find the natural meaning and the words used in the context in which they occur; the meaning is not to be ascertained by any process akin to speculation. (Craies : Statute Law 7th Edn. page 66). The Legislature is to be intended to have meant what they have actually expressed (Maxwell : Interpretation on Statutes, 12th Edn. p. 28). In the words of Gross Statutory Interpretation, (1976) p. 29, to quote from the speech of Lord Reed in Pinner v. Everett (1969) 3. All ER 257 :
" In determining the meaning of any word or phrase in a statute the first question to ask always is what is the natural or ordinary meaning of that word or phrase in its context in the statute. It is only when that meaning leads to some result which cannot reasonably be supposed to have been the intention of the legislature that it is proper to look for some other possible meaning of the word or phrase."
There is no definition given in the Act to the word "works". The dictionary meaning which this expression bears in the ordinary connotation does not admit of ambiguity. In Blacks' Law Dictionary (5th Ed.) page 1440, it is defined as follows :
"Works, sometimes, a mill, factory, or other establishment for performing industrial labour of any sort; also a building, structure or erection of any kind upon land, as in the civil law phrase "new works".
New works, a term of the civil law comprehending every sort of edifice or other structure which is newly commenced on a given estate or lot.
Public works, works, whether of construction or adaptation, undertaken and carried out by the national, State, or municipal authorities, and designed to subserve some purpose of public necessity, use of convenience; such as public buildings, roads, acqueducts, parks, etc. All fixed works constructed for public use. The term usually relates to the construction of public use. The term usually relates to the construction of public improvements and not to their maintenance or operation."
10. According to Webster's Third New International Dictionary (Vol. III), p. 2634 the expression 'works' denotes, "structures in engineering (docks, bridges, embankments) or mining (as shafts or tunnels....... a place where industrial labour is carried on : plant, factory......" In Random House Dictionary p. 1644 we find this used as denoting similarly a building, wall, trench or the like; a place or establishment for carrying on some form of labour or industry.
11. In the ordinary usage also the expression 'works' is employed in the context of buildings and contracts. In Hudson's : Building and Engineering Contracts (10th Edn. p. 108, for example, we find it said, (The normal preliminary to the conclusion of a building or engineering contract is an invitation by the employer to one or more contractors to tender a price at which they are willing to carry out the works required by him......... In the United Kingdom, where works of any magnitude are involved, the invitation usually describes the work required to be carried out.......... defining in detail the contractual obligations which the tenderer will be required to assume in the carrying out and maintenance of the works".
11 This, moreover, is not res integra. In Satya Prakash v. Bashir Ahmad Qureshi, AIR 1963 Madh Pra 316, a Division Bench considered the meaning of this expression appearing in Section 7(d) of the Act (as it then was) which is in pan materia with Section 9A and laid down that-
"The expression "execution of any works" means and implies the carrying out of some act o r acts or course of conduct to the commencement and completion of the works. It is not significant that in Clause (d) the word used is not the singular "work" but the plural "works". The plural is always used in the sense of 'operations', projects, scheme, plan, such as building works, irrigation works, defence works, etc., 'any work' no doubt conveys the meaning or any task or job or activity and the 'execution of any work' may mean the carrying out of any task or job or the undertaking of any activity. But this wide import disappears in the expression "any works". In the context in which the words "execution of any works" have been used, what is connoted is the carrying out of something to be built or constructed and not merely something to be done, the transport of postal articles and mail bags from one place to another is undoubtedly a piece of work. But a contract for doing that work does not fall within the category of contract" for the execution of any works undertaken' by the Government."
13. In that case it was held that a contract with the Central Government for the carriage of mail bags and postal articles is not a contract for the execution of any works undertaken by the Central Government.
14. This has been followed in Yugal Kishore v. Nagendra Prasad, AIR 1964 Pat 543 (Division Bench) and by a learned single Judge in B. Lakshmikantha Rao v. D. Chinna Malliah, AIR 1979 Andh Pra 132. In the Andhra Pradesh case the point raised directly was whether lease granted by the State Government for retail sale of toddy and arrack could be said to amount to a contract for the execution of any works undertaken by the government within the meaning of Section 9A and this was answered in the negative. I am respectfully in agreement with this view. To the same effect is the interpretation accepted in Brahma Dutt v. Paripurna Nand, AIR 1972 All 340 by a learned Judge of this Court. It was held that advertisement for a Government organization did not fall within the expression "execution of any works". A person holding a subsisting contract to print such advertisements in his newspaper is consequently not disqualified under Section 9A. The object underlying the statutory provision of Section 9A undubitably is to maintain the integrity of the members of the Legislature but where the language is clear and unequivocal the same cannot be strained in order to cover cases which are plainly excluded from the natural meaning of the words : Konappa v. Vishwanath, AIR 1969 SC 447.
15. As a second limb to the argument based upon Section 9A Sri Tripathy urged that the objection raised for the respondent that he withdrew from the partnership on 12th June, 1984 and the balance of the license consideration had been deposited before the date fixed for the nomination cannot lead to the inference that the contract did not continue to subsist. It is submitted that there was no surrender of the licence for retail vend of country liquor within the meaning of Section 9A of the U. P. Excise Act. In my opinion no adjudication is called for on this aspect-- the reason being that, as discussed above, the transaction does not amount on the part of the returned candidate execution of works undertaken by the State Government. Assuming, therefore, that this subsisted and had not concluded before the relevant date, this does not by itself, accepting the averments contained in the election petition to be correct, vitiate the election.
16. For the above, the averments contained in paras 8A, 9 to 24 of the election petition have to be struck off under Order 6, Rule 16(a), CPC, being frivolous, that is, something of little weight or importance, having no basis in law (See Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1971 Edn.) Vol. I page 913).
17. Taking up next ground No. 'B' the relevant averments are to be found contained in paras 25 to 29 and Schedule 'A' to the petition. The charge is that the respondent and her election agent committed the corrupt practice of bribery within the meaning of Section 123(1) of the Act by making gifts, offers and promises of gratification to the voters with the object of directly inducing them to vote for t he respondent. Sri Pandey for the respondent contends that the pleadings are lacking in relevant particulars required to be incorporated under Section 83(1)(b) of the Act. Based on the provisions of Order 6, Rule 2(1), C.P.C. Section 83(1)(a) enjoins that an election petition shall contain a concise statement of the material facts on which the election petitioner relies. Clause (b) of Sub-section (1) of Section 83 interdicts that an election petition must set forth a full particulars of any corrupt practice on which he challenges the election of the returned candidate including as full a statement as possible of the names of the parties alleged to have committed such corrupt practice and the date and place of the commission of each such practice. This rests more or less on Order VI, Rule 4 of the Code. There is no dispute that what follows the word 'including' in Section 83(1)(b) is not exhaustive. The expression used is of extension; this covers not that alone which is spelled out in the clause but all that goes to constitute full particullrs of the corrupt practice averred. In Bruce v. Odhams Press Ltd. (1936) 1 All ER 287, Scott, L. J. has thus distinguished between 'material facts' and 'particulars'-
"The cardinal provision in Rule 4 is that the statement of claim must state the material facts. The word "material" means necessary for the purpose of formulating a complete cause of action; and if any one "material" statement is omitted, the statement of claim is bad; it is "demurrable" in the old phraseology, and in the new is liable to be "struck out" under B.S.C. Order XXV, Rule 4. See Philipps v. Philipps (1878) 4 QBD 127 or "a further and better statement of claim" may be ordered under Rule7.
The function of "particulars" under Rule 6 is quite different. They are not to be used in order to fill material gaps in a demurrable statement of claim-gaps which ought to have been filled by appropriate statements of the various material facts which together constitute the plaintiffs cause of action. The use of particulars is intended to meet a further and quite separate requirement of pleading, imposed in fairness and justice to the defendant. Their function is to fill in the picture of the plaintiffs cause of action with information sufficiently detailed to put the defendant on his guard as to the case he had to meet and to enable him to prepare for trial."
18. In the words of Fazal Ali, J. in (1984) 2 SCC 64 : (AIR 1984 SC 621) Daulat Ram Chauhan v. Anand Sharma in order to constitute corrupt practice, the following necessary particulars, statement of facts and essential ingredients must be contained in the pleadings :--
(1) Direct and detailed nature of corrupt practice as defined in the Act;
(2) Details of every important particular must be stated giving the time, place, names of persons, use of words and expressions, etc.
(3) It must clearly appear from the allegations that the corrupt practices alleged were indulged in by (a) the candidate himself, (b) his authorised election agent or any other person with his express or implied consent.
19. Viewed in this light I have tried with the aid of counsel to scan the contents of the Schedule 'A' to ascertain if read with paras 25 to
29. This adequately fills in the picture of the petitioners cause of action giving sufficient details to put the respondent on his guard as to the case he has to meet and to enable him to prepare for his defence in the trial. But, to my mind, the answer to this is irresistibly in the negative. Column (2) of the Schedule 'A' gives the date and time; place is specified in column 3; in column 4 there are the names of persons allegedly guilty of committing the corrupt practice. Column 5, which is material, refers to the marmer of this dictum has been quoted with approval by the Supreme Court in Samanl N. Balkrishana v. George Fernandez, AIR 1969 SC 1201 and more recently in Roop Lal Sathi v. Nachhattar Singh Gill, (1982) 3 SCC 487 : (AIR 1982 SC 1559). In Samant N. Balkrishna it was observed :--
"The word "material", shows that the facts necessary to formulate a complete cause of action must, be stated. Omission of a single material fact leads to an incomplete cause of action and the statement of claim becomes bad. The function of particulars is to present as full a picture of the cause of action with such further information in detail as to make the opposite party understand the case he will have to meet",
20. Elucidating this further in Roop Lal Sathi (supra) A. P. Sen, J. speaking for the Supreme Court laid down that :--
"The function of particulars' is quite different, the use of particulars is intended to meet a further and quite separate requirement of pleading imposed in fairness and justice to the returned candidate. The function is to fell in the picture of the election petitioner's cause of action with information sufficiently detailed to put the returned candidate on his guard as to the case he has to meet and to enable him to prepare for trial in a case where his election is challenged on the ground of any corrupt practice."
Committing the corrupt practice. A perusal thereof speaks eloquently of the vagueness that is writ large on its face. Against Sl. 1, for instance, it is said that 20 thousand bricks were supplied for constructions of Primary School, Sheorampur to induce the village people to vote in the respondent's favour. It is undisclosed as to whom, the individual, the society or the like was the donation made. Serial '2' narrates that the respondent directed the Gram Pradhan to distribute the land of the Gaon Sabha amongst "the local Harijans and other persons of the locality" and on this direction the Pradhan distributed the land of the Gaon Sabha reserved for school and playground. We do not gather from this narration as to who were the beneficiaries or anything as to the details or the quantum of the land distributed or the dates/manner, etc., thereof, Serial No. 3 talks of supply of 15 thousand bricks for brick selling in village lanes; it hardly needs comment to show the utter hollowness on the point of requisite details to be of any worth. Sls. 7, 9, 10, 11 and 12 similarly in no less evasive manner talk of supply of bricks, country liquor and money in most general terms without any specification of the persons, the quantum or the money worth. This is true in susbtance of other items too in this Schedule. None of the alleged Chaudharies of the Mollah or Bind communities are name; in the complete absence of details, their identification by the respondent is rendered impracticable. The same thing can be said of Thakurs, Harijans, Koeris talked of in most general language in item No. 6. Item No. 9 refers to "distribution of the money in the socially and economically backward part of the society" leaving all that is material to guess work or a mere speculation with no specification of the locality, the persons or any amount. Installation of hand-pipes in public places in the town area and repairs of wells referred to against item No. 13 is not indictable in itself in the absence of allegation that this was on the condition of the voters voting for him and not for the rival candidates Maganglal Bagdi v. Hari Vishnu Kamath, AIR 1960 Madh Pra 362. In S. Mehar Singh v. Umrao Singh, AIR 1961 Punj 244, it was pointed out that the promise not being made to any particular voter or voters but to the general body of residents without distinguishing between those who were invariably inclined and those who are not could be of no avail.
21. I put it to the petitioner's learned counsel whether to establish the charge of corrupt practice of bribery under Section 123(1)(A) of the Act, it would suffice to give in evidence only that much which is contained in column 5 of the Schedule 'A' and looked in vain for a specific answer to this. It is far from my intention to suggest that the petitioner had to enumerate the evidence which he proposes to adduce in proof of his averments; that is not the requirement of the pleadings, but instead of leaving everything in the air he had certainly to indicate that which he may attempt to establish. The emphasis laid in this behalf proceeds, it may be noted, on consideration that a corrupt practice has to be proved like a criminal charge which may, if made out, entail serious consequences, apart from the election being set aside and, therefore, the pleadings have to be commensurate, to the extent reasonably practicable, with the nature of the charge (S. Kandasami v. S. B. Adityan (1958) 19 Elc LR 260 : (AIR 1959 Mad 288); Harish Chandra v. Triloki Singh, (1956) 12 Elc LR 461 : (AIR 1957 SC 444) ;
21 Order VI, Rule 16(b), CPC, permits striking out of pleadings which may, inter alia embarrass the fair trial of the suit. The expression "embarrassing", according to the Webster's Third New international Dictionary (1971) Vol. I p. 739 means, "to place to doubt, perplexity or difficulty". Nothing, it has been said, is more embarrassing to a defendant than a number of statements which may be irrelevant and which the defendant, therefore, does not know what to do. Each party is entitled to have his case against him presented in an intelligible form so that he may not be embarrassed in meeting it : Davy v. Garret (1877) 7 ChD 473 at p. 483.
23. The settled view has. however, been that before the pleadings are struck out on ground of vagueness there ought to be opportunity given to the petitioner to apply for leave to amend or amplify the particulars of the corrupt practice alleged; and in the event of non-compliance with that order the Court may strike out the charges which remain vague : vide Balwan Singh v. Lakshmi Narain, (1960) 22 Ele LR 273 at p. 2,81 : (AIR 1960 SC 770 at p. 774); Harish Chandra Bajpai v. Triloki Singh (supra). Though Section 83(3) has been deleted, the Court is desired to give an option to the petitioner either to amend the petition or furnish particulars or to have the concerned paras struck off Amin Lal v. Hunna Mal, AIR 1965 SC 1243. The particulars of the corrupt practice alleged in the petition may in appropriate cases be permitted to be introduced by amendment D. P. Mishra v. Kamal Narayan Sharma, AIR 1970 SC 1477. This would be in conformity with Section 86(5) of the Act read with Order VI, Rule 5, Code of Civil Procedure.
24 In so far as Ground 'C' is concerned, the relevant averments are contained in paras 30 to 46 of the petition with the particulars appearing in Schedule 'B' to the petition Para 32 states :
"32. That the respondent and her election agent, and the agents and workers of the respondent, with the consent of the respondent, of her election agent captured a number of polling stations, forcibly took the ballot papers from the following officials and thereafter gave votes on them in favour of the respondent, and inserted the same in the ballot boxes. The said persons prevented the voters, who were present at the polling station at the material time, from casting their votes in accordance with their choice. They also threatened the voters that any attempt on the part of the voters to cast their votes otherwise than as desired by the said persons would result into physical injury to them."
25. The Schedule refers to the date and time. The names of persons committing the corrupt practice are given in column 4 and the place of polling stations affected are enumerated in column 3.
26. Sri Pandey learned counsel for the respondent is unable to pin-point any other particulars which the petitioner must have given in his behalf. Undue influence as understood for purposes of Section 123(2) of the Act means any direct or indirect interference, or attempt to interfere, on the part of the candidate, or his agent or any other person with the consent of the candidate or his election agent with the free exercise of any electoral right. The provisions need not here be reproduced. The pleadings refer to both capturing by or with consent of the respondent or her election agent and acts consequential thereto leading to the non-exercise of voting rights by the electors on their free will at various booths. The running them being common no other details could possibly be expected; and, it is in the realm of something impracticable to insist on enumeration of the entire list with specifications of the electors prevented from the exercise of their rights. Dealing with a case of undue influence, Fazal Ali, J. observed in Ram Sharan Yadav v. Thakur Muneshwar Nath Singh, (1984) 4 SCC 649 : (AIR 1985 SC 24) :--
"The main allegation against the appellant is that he had through his agents, supporters and other people, duly instructed by him, made an attempt to set at naught the electoral process by putting the voters in serious fear as they were threatened, assaulted and even firing was resorted to. On the finding of the High Court, it is further proved that the acts mentioned above, which undoubtedly amount to 'undue influence', had been committed not only at the instance but in the presence of the appellant. There is no ritualistic formula nor a cut-and-dried test to lay down as to how a charge of undue influence can be proved but if all the circumstances taken together lead to the irresistible inference that the voters were pressurised, threatened or assaulted at- the iastance of either the candidate or his supporters or agents with his consent or with his agents' consent that should be sufficient to v itiate the election of the returned candidate".
27. His Lordship proceeded to add a word of caution regarding the nature of approach to be made in cases where allegations of fraud or undue influence are made. It was said that :--
"While insisting on standard of strict proof, the Court should not extend or stretch this doctrine to such an extreme extent as to make it well-nigh impossible to prove an allegation of corrupt practice. Such an approach would defeat and frustrate the very laudable and sacrosanct object of the Act in maintaining purity of the electoral process".
28-29. The English law of elections emphazises the individual aspect of the exercise of undue influence; under our law the material factor is the commission of an act which constitutes the corrupt practice but still there is distinction maintained between bribery to voters and treating them. The law does not expect the pleadings to cater to what is impracticable. (See : Ambika Sharan Singh v. Mahant Mahadeva & Giri, (1969) 3 SCC 492.) Allegations have been made in para 41 of the petition of connivance on the part of the Returning Officer in the irregularities committed at the particular booth. It does not become necessary to implead the Returning Officer as a party on this account.
30. The application, therefore, succeeds and is allowed in part as under :--
(i) Paras 9 to 24 of the election petition are struck out keeping in view Section 87(1) of the Act read with Order VI, Rule 16(a) CPC on ground of being frivolous :--
(ii) Paras 25 to 29 and the Schedule 'A' of the petition are susceptible to be struck off in view of Section 87(1) of the Act read with Order VI, Rule 16(b), CPC, due to being embarrassing; but before resorting to this, the petitioner is gratned three weeks to apply for and furnish better and fuller particulars by way of amendment;
(iii) the rest of the application is rejected.