13 January 1964
Supreme Court


Case number: Appeal (civil) 791 of 1963






DATE OF JUDGMENT: 13/01/1964


CITATION:  1964 AIR 1027            1964 SCR  (6) 213  CITATOR INFO :  R          1965 SC 815  (7)  R          1970 SC 765  (9)  R          1971 SC 342  (6)  RF         1974 SC1185  (16)  R          1978 SC 840  (4,6)  E          1980 SC 303  (13,16)  R          1983 SC 558  (30,41)  F          1989 SC1160  (28)  RF         1991 SC1557  (31)

ACT: Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951). ss. 80, 81  (3),  90(3),--Election Petition-No  attestation  in  the copies  of the petition that they are  true  copies--Whether there had been substantial compliance.

HEADNOTE: The third respondent was declared elected to the Legislative Assembly  of Andhra Pradesh in the general election held  in 1962.   The appellant, a voter of the constituency filed  an election petition challenging 214 the  election  of the third respondent  on  several  grounds including  corrupt practices.  The petition was  accompanied by the requisite number of copies which were true copies and each  of  them bore the signature of  the  petitioner.   But there was no attestation at the foot of the copies that they were  true  copies.   The third  respondent  raised  various preliminary  objections and the Election  Tribunal  rejected all  of them.  Thereupon he filed writ petition in the  High Court  praying  for  the  issue  of  a  writ  quashing   the Tribunal’s  order.  His main contention was that  since  the copies  of  the  petition did  not  contain  an  attestation stating  that the copies were true copies there has  been  a violation  of  the mandatory provision of s.  80(3)  of  the Representation  of  the People Act, 1951.   The  High  Court accepted  the  contention and issued a writ as  prayed  for. The  present appeal was filed with special leave granted  by this Court.



HELD:(i) If there is a total or complete non compliance with the provisions of s. 81(3) the election petition  might not  be "an election petition presented in  accordance  with the provisions of the part" withins.    80 of the Act. (ii)By  the expression "copy" in s. 81(3) it was meant  not an  exact  copy  but only one so true  that  nobody  by  any possibility  misunderstands  it not being the  same  as  the original. Murarka v. Roop Singh [1964] 3 S.C.R. 573, referred to. Noseworthy v. Overseers Buckland etc., L.R. 9 C. P. 233  and Spice v. Bacon, L.R. 2 Ex.  D. 463, distinguished. (iii)In  the present case the signatures on the  copies cannot be held to have been merely intended to be a copy  of those on the original, since a signature in original was not needed  on the copy and writing or copying out the  name  of the  signatory would suffice.  The absence of a  writing  in the copy indicating the signature in the original would  not detract  the  copy from being a true copy.   The  facts  and circumstance  of  the  case  show  that  there  has  been  a substantial  compliance. with the requirement of  s.  81(3). The  wider question whether s. 81(3) or as part  thereof  is mandatory or directory is left open.  The appeal is allowed. Murarka v. Roop Singh [1964] 3 S.C.R. 573 and Kamaraj  Nadar v. Kunjer Thevar, [1959] S.C.R. 583. followed.

JUDGMENT: CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal No. 971 of 1963. Appeal  by special leave from the judgment and  order  dated April  15,  1963 of the Andhra Pradesh High  Court  in  Writ Petition No. 1096 of 1962. P.A. Chaudhury and T. V. R. Tatachari, for the appellant.                             215 H.N.  Sanyal,  Solicitor-General and P.  Ram  Reddy,  for respondent No. 3. January  13, 1964.  The Judgment of the Court was  delivered by- AYYANGAR  J.-This  is an appeal by special leave  against  a judgment of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh by which a Writ Petition filed by the 3rd Respondent-K.  Brahmananda  Reddy- was allowed and an Election Petition filed by the  appellant was directed to be dismissed. The  facts  giving rise to the proceedings  with  which  the appeal  is concerned are briefly as follows: At the  General Elections held in the month of February 1962 for the  Legis- lative  Assembly-Constituency  of  Phirangipuram  in  Guntur District in Andhra Pradesh-the third respondent Brahamananda Reddy  and one Chandramouli, the 2nd respondent  before  us, were the contesting candidates.  The polling at the Election took  place  on  the 26th February 1962  and  the  Returning Officer  declared  Brahmananda  Reddy,  elected  as   having obtained,  the  majority of valid  votes.   Thereafter,  the appellant  who is a voter on the rolls of the  said  Consti- tuency  filed an Election Petition before the Election  Com- mission on April. 11, 1962 under s. 81 of the Representation of  the  Peoples Act, 1951, which we shall refer to  as  the Act.   There  was no formal defect in the petition,  it  was accompanied  by the requisite number of copies provided  for by  the Act and also by the treasury receipt evidencing  the deposit of the requisite sum for security as provided by  S. 117  of  the Act.  The grounds on. which  the  election  was sought to be set aside were various and included inter  alia allegations of corrupt practices against the returned candi- date  as  well  as  his  election  agent,  as  also  several



irregularities  in the polling by having the votes  of  dead voters  recorded as well as by double voting.  ’Me  petition was received by the Commission, who after satisfying  itself that  it  was in conformity with the Act had a copy  of  the petition  published in the Official Cazette on May 17,  1962 as provided by s. 86 of the Act.  In due course, an Election Tribunal  was constituted and the petition was  referred  to the Tribunal for trial.  The returned  candidate-Brahmananda Reddy-filed 216 his  Written  Statement on September 15, 1962 in  which  the allegations  of fact made in the petition were denied.   Be- sides what might be termed the merits of the allegations  in the election petition, Brahmanda Reddy raised by his Written Statement several technical objections pointing out  certain defects  in  the  petition.  This appeal  is  not  concerned either with these technical defects in the election petition or with the defence raised on the merits to the charges that were formulated in it.  The merits have yet to be tried, and as  regards the technical objections to the petition  raised in the Written Statement dated September 15, 1962, they have been  disposed  of by the High Court and the  same  are  not before  us.   A  few  days  later  on  September  24,  1962, Brahmananda Reddy filed a further Statement of objections to the petition raising mostly objections of a technical nature and of these the only objections which is the subject matter of the present appeal is that contained in paragraph 2 which reads, and we quote the material words:               "It is further submitted on behalf of the  1st               respondent  that the above petition filed  u/s               81   of   the   Act   is   not   an   Election               Petition............ As the requirements of s.               81(3)  of the Act are not complied  with,  the               petition is, therefore, liable to be dismissed               u/s  90(3)  of the Act as it does  not  comply               with   the  provisions  of  sec.  81  of   the               Act.............. This second statement contained a prayer that in view of the technical  objections, the maintainability of  the  petition might  be decided as a preliminary issue as  the  objections went into the root of the matter. Paragraph (2) extracted earlier is somewhat vague but in the arguments before the Tribunal it was explained as indicating an objection alleging non-compliance with s.  81 (3) of  the Act which runs:               "Every election petition shall be  accompained               by  as  many  copies  thereof  as  there   are               respondents. mentioned in the petition and one               more   copy  for  the  use  of  the   Election               Commission,                                    217               and  every such copy shall be attested by  the               petitioner  under  his own signature to  be  a               true copy of the petition." We shall refer later to the precise defect which was  relied on  in support of the case that there was  a  non-compliance with  this provision.  The Tribunal acceded to this  request and  by  its order dated November 7, 1962,  it  decided  the preliminary objections including the one just now  mentioned in  favour of the election petitioner and fixed a  date  for the trial of the petition on the merits. Brahmananda  Reddy  thereupon  moved the  High  Court  under Article 226 of the Constitution and prayed for the issue  of the  Writ quashing this decision of the Tribunal and  sought the  dismissal of the election petition  for  non-compliance



with  the provisions of the Act.  The learned Judges of  the High Court disallowed the other technical objections raised, but  held  that  the  petition  did  not  comply  with   the requirements  of  s. 81(3) of the Act and  for  this  reason they, directed the dismissal of the Election Petition.   Ile appellant  thereafter has filed this appeal after  obtaining special leave from this Court. The  subject  of controversy in this appeal lies in  a  very narrow  compass.   But before we deal with it,  it  will  be convenient  to specify the precise defect which the  learned Judges  have held to be fatal to the maintainability of  the Election Petition.  As stated earlier, the Election Petition filed  was accompanied by the number of copies  required  to accompany  the  petition  under  s.  81(3).   The   Election Petition  was type-written and the copies which  accompanied the petition were carbon copies of the type-script, so there was  no  question  of the copies  being  other  than  ’true’ copies.   The copies bore two signature in original  of  the Election Petitioner authenticating both the contents of  the petition   as  well  as  the  verification   thereof.    The Petitioner  did  not however insert the  words  ’true  copy’ before  or above his signatures.  The learned Judges of  the High  Court considered that this rendered the  petition  one not in accordance with s. 81(3) of the Act and it is on this ground that the Election, Petition filed by the appellant has been dismissed and it is the  correctness of this decision that is convassed  in  the appeal before us. In  view  of  the  arguments addressed to  us  it  would  be necessary  to  set out a few of the relevant  provisions  of the, Act which bear upon the points urged, but before  doing so we shall refer to Art. 329 of the Constitution which pro- vides:               "................               329(b)   no  election  to  either   House   of               Parliament or to the House or either House  of               the Legislature of a State shall be called  in               question   except  by  an  election   petition               presented to such authority and in such manner               as  may  be provided for by or under  any  law               made by the appropriate Legislature." In  accordance with this. we have the provisions of the  Act and, particularly those contained in Part VI commencing with s. 79.  Section 80 repeats the provision in the Constitution already extracted and enacts :               "No  election  shall  be  called  in  question               except  by an election petition  presented  in               accordance with the provisions of this Part." Section  81  deals with the presentation of  petitions.   It runs:               "81.    Presentation  of  petitions.  (1)   An               election  petition  calling  in  question  any               election  may be presented on one or  more  of               the  grounds specified in sub-section  (i)  of               section  100 and section 101 to  the  Election               Commission  by any candidate at such  election               or  any elector within forty-five  days  from,               but not earlier than, the date of election  of               the  returned candidate, or if there are  more               than  one returned candidate at  the  election               and the dates of their election are different,               the later of those two dates.               219               Explanation.  In this  sub-section,  ’elector’               means a person who was entitled to vote at the



             election   to  which  the  election   petition               relates, whether he has voted at such election               or not.               (2)   An election petition shall be deemed  to               have   been   presented   to   the   Election.               Commission:-               (a)   when it is delivered to the Secretary to               the Commission or to such other officer as may               be  appointed  by the Election  Commission  in               this behalf-               (i)   by the person making the petition, or               (ii)by  a  person authorised in  writing  in               this behalf by the person making the petition;               or               (b)   when  it is sent by registered post  and               is deli-               vered  to the Secretary to the Commission  or-               the officer so appointed.               (3)   Every   election   petition   shall   be               accompanied by as many copies thereof as there               are respondents mentioned in the petition  and               one  more  copy for the use  of  the  Election               Commission,  and,  every such  copy  shall  be               attested  by  the  petitioner  under  his  own               signature to be a true copy of the petition." Before, proceeding further it is necessary to advert to  the history  of  the provision in sub-section  (3)  for  learned counsel  for the respondents laid some store by  the  object with  which  the provision was introduced.   As  enacted  in 1951, s. 81 contained only two sub-sections, the first deal- ing  with the time within which a petition had to  be  filed and  the second with the person or authority and the  manner in which the petition had to be presented in order to  cons- titute the presentation one to the Election Commission.   At that  date the Election Commission, after  scrutinizing  the petitions  to  ascertain  whether  there  were  any   formal defects,  had itself to make copies for being served on  the respondents.  To avoid this trouble and inconvenience to the Commission and the delay which the making of such copies 220 necessarily involved, sub-section (3) which we have set  out earlier  was introduced into s. 81 by an amendment  affected by  Act XL of 1961.  The point made, based on this  feature, we shall reserve for later discussion. Section 82 deals with the parties who are to be impleaded in the  petition and s. 83 with the contents of  the  petition. section 83(1)(c) enacts:               "An  election petition shall be signed by  the               petitioner  and  verified in the  manner  laid               down in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, for               the verification of pleadings." subsection (2) requires a similar signature and verification of schedules or annexures to the petition. Section  85  empowers the Election Commission to  dismiss  a petition in certain contingencies.  It reads:               "85.   If  the  provisions of  section  81  or               section  82  or  section  117  have  not  been                             complied  with, the Election  Commissi on  shall               dismiss the petition:               Provided  that  the  petition  shall  not   be               dismissed  without  giving the  petitioner  an               opportunity of being heard." The  succeeding  sections deal with the  trial  of  Election Petitions, after making provision for the appointment of  an



Election Tribunal by s. 86 but what is relevant in the  pre- sent context is s. 90 and it is enough to quote the material words:               (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act  and               of any rules made thereunder,  every  election               petition shall be tried by the Tribunal,    as               nearly as may be, in accordance     with   the               procedure applicable under the Code of   Civil               Procedure, 1908, to the trial of suits: Sub-section (3) reads:               The   Tribunal  shall  dismiss   an   election               petition  which  does  not  comply  with   the               provisions of               221               section  81, notwithstanding that it  has  not               been  dismissed  by  the  Election  Commission               under s. 85." The  reasoning on which the learned Judges have based  their decision  shortly stated is this.  It is the requirement  of s.  81(3)  of the Act that an election  petition  should  be accompanied  by  the number of copies specified  there,  and equally so that the copies so accompanying "shall be attest- ed  by the petitioner under his own signature to be  a  true copy of the petition".  There was, of course, the  signature of   the  petitioner  on  the  copies,  but  there  was   no attestation  by  him  that  "it  was  a  true  copy".   This constituted  a noncompliance with the requirements of s.  81 which  brought  into play the terms of s. 90(3) of  the  Act which required the Tribunal to dismiss a petition which  did not comply with the provisions of s. 81. Though  the learned counsel for the appellant  made  several submissions,  we propose to deal with only one, as the  same is  sufficient  for the disposal of this appeal.   This  was that in the circumstances of the case there had been a  sub- stantial  compliance  with  the requirements  of  s.  81(3). Before,  however, dealing with it, it will be convenient  to refer  to some of the submissions made to us by the  learned Solicitor-General appearing for the contesting  respondents. ’He  submitted to us certain propositions which  however  we consider  really unexceptionable.  He said that an  election petition  was  not to be equated to an action at law  or  in equity,  but that as the rights were purely the creature  of statute, if the statute rendered any particular  requirement mandatory,  the courts possessed and could exercise no  dis- pensing  power to waive non-compliance.  We  consider  these propositions are sound and it is in the light of these basic positions  that  we shall proceed to  consider  whether  the ,omission  to add the words "true copy" in the copies  which were admittedly exact copies of the petition, constituted  a non-compliance  with  s. 81 (3) as to  render  the  petition liable to be rejected under s. 90(3) of the Act. Learned  counsel  for the appellant urged  that  the  juris- diction of the Tribunal under s. 90(3) to dismiss ’an ele- 222 tion  petition which does not comply with the provisions  of s. 81’ was attracted only if there was a defect in the peti- tion   itself  and  that  a  defect  merely  in   the   copy accompanying the petition would not be a case of a "petition not complying with the provisions of s. 81" so as to require or  even  permit the Tribunal to dismiss the  petition.   In support  of this submission, the difference in the  language employed  in s. 85 and s. 90(3) of the Act in the matter  of making  reference to the requirements of s. 81 was  adverted to.  Besides,  it  was pointed out that both  s.  90(3)  and before it s. 90(4) were in their present form making  refer-



ence  to s. 81 when the latter section did not  contain  the third  sub-section  relating  to  copies  accompanying   the petition,  and  that the content of s. 90(3) should  not  be held  enlarged because in 1961 sub-section (3) was added  to s. 81 particularly because the language of s. 90(3) was  not altered to reflect the change. We  are  not  impressed by this argument.  When  s.  81  (3) requires  an  election  petition to be  accompanied  by  the requisite number of copies, it became a requirement for  the presentation of the election petition to the Commission, and therefore a condition precedent for the proper  presentation of an election petition.  If that is a requirement of s. 81, no distinction can be drawn between the requirements of sub- sections  (1) and (2) and of sub-section (3).  We might  add that  if there is a total and complete  non-compliance  with the provisions of s. 81(3), the election petition might  not be  "an election petition presented in accordance  with  the provisions  of this Part" within s. 80 of the Act.   We  are therefore inclined to consider that if there had been such a non-compliance  with the requirement of sub-section (3)  not merely the Election Commission under s. 85 but the  Election Tribunal  under  s. 90(3) would prima facie  not  merely  be justified  but would be required ’to ’dismiss  the  election petition. This takes us to the point as to whether the requirement  of s.  81(3)  has  been complied with or  not.   The  principal submission  of the learned Solicitor-General was  based  the language employed in s. 81(3) of the Act read in                             223 the light of the direction contained in s. 90(3) which  cast on  the  Tribunal the duty to dismiss an  election  petition which did not conform to the requirements of the former.  In particular,  he  laid stress on the use  of  the  imperative ’shall in s. 81(3) when denoting the requirement of  "attes- tation"  "under  the  petitioner’s signature"  of  the  copy bearing  the signature being a "true copy".  It was in  this connection  that  he  pointed out  that  the  provision  for properly  attested copies of the petition  accompanying  the petition  was introduced by the amendment effected in  1961, and the object of Parliament was two-fold; first to save the time and inconvenience which the previous procedure cast  on the Election Commission, of itself having to make copies for service  on the respondents, and secondly by this  means  to expedite  the  conclusion  of  the  trial  of  an   election petition.  He submitted that the attainment of these objects would  be  entirely frustrated if the  respondents  on  whom these  copies  were served had still to  make  enquiries  to satisfy  themselves  whether the copies  were  true  copies, without the same being asserted to be so on their face.   In support  he  referred us to the decisions in  Noseworthy  v. Overseers of Buckland etc. (1) and in Spice v. Bacon (2 ) as illustrating the degree of strictness and literal compliance which  was insisted on by courts in regard to provisions  of like character. The  first of these cases was a registration appeal and  the Act provided that a person who objected to a voter’s  quali- fication  might be heard in support of his objection  if  he had  given  notice  to the voter and the  manner  of  giving notice  was by sending it by post addressed to his place  of abode  "as  described".  It was held that a notice  by  post addressed  correctly but not to the address  "as  described" was  not  a  compliance with ’the requirement  and  that  in consequence  the  objector could not be heard.   We  do  not consider that this decision lays down any hard and fast rule or  principle of construction which is attracted  ’to  every



case where a statute calls for interpretation.  In  ultimate analysis  the  question is one of the  construction  of  the relevant provision of the particular statutes which proceeds on the basis. of the words used understood in the context of the statute. (1)  L.R. 9 C. P. 233. (2)  L.R. a Ex.  D. 463. 224  The second case raised a question as to the meaning of  the word  "true  copy" in the Inn-keepers’ Liability  Act  1863, which  required that in order to obtain the benefit  of  the limitation  of liability conferred by the Act, a  "copy"  of the Act had to be exhibited at the Inn.  The copy which  was exhibited  omitted some material words of the section  which was  required to be exhibited.  The Court held that  when  a claim  was  made on the inn-keeper for loss sustained  by  a guest,  he could not claim the benefit of the  statute.   We are unable to appreciate the relevance of this decision.  It turned  on what was meant by the word ’copy’ in the Act  and the  portion which was omitted in the copy exhibited  was  a material portion.   There   is   no  doubt   that   such   a ’copy’  which  differs  in  material  particular  from   the original is not a ‘copy’ within the Act.  In this connection we  might make a reference to the decision of this Court  in Murarka v. Roop Singh(1) where the question as to what is  a "copy"  is  elaborately discussed and some  of  the  English decisions touching this matter have been set out.  We  shall have occasion to refer to Murarka’s case later, but for  the present we need only add that the decision relied on by  the Solicitor-General  is not at variance with what  this  Court has laid down in Murarka’s case. The  next matter to be considered stems from the  submission as regards the object of Parliament in enacting  sub-section (3)  of  s.  81 and that expeditious  disposal  of  election petitions  which was the object would be frustrated if  sub- stantial compliance with the provision was held sufficient. We  are  not  impressed with this argument.   While  we  are conscious  of the need for expeditious disposal of  election petitions,  and  for the strict  enforcement  of  provisions designed to achieve this purpose, we cannot be oblivious  to the  circumstance that to read every  requirement  literally might equally defeat the purpose for which Part VI is inten- ded,  viz., that elections are conducted in accordance  with the  relevant statutory provisions framed to  ensure  purity and orderliness and that the candidate who has not  obtained a majority of valid votes or has obtained it in flagrant (1)  [1964] 3 S.C.R. 573 225  breach of the statutory provisions in not held entitled  to represent the constituency. The  Court  had to deal with a similar  question  of  inter- pretation of words which appeared mandatory in Kamaraj Nadar v.  Kunju  Thevar(1).   One of the points  which  arose  for consideration  was whether the requirement of s. 117 of  the Act  which then required the petitioner to enclose with  the petition a Government treasury receipt of Rs. 100 in  favour of  the  Secretary  to  the  Election  Commission  had  been complied with by the election petitioner and s. 90(4) of the Act which corresponded substantially to the present s. 90(3) required  the Election Tribunal to dismiss a petition  which did  not comply with the provision, inter alia, of  s.  117. The  petitioner  in that case had made the  deposit  of  the requisite  amount in the institutions named in  the  section but  the  deposit  was  made  in  favour  of  the   Election Commission  and not in favour of the Secretary to  the  Com-



mission  as required by statute.  It was contended that  the petition did not conform to the provisions of s. 117 and had therefore  to  be  dismissed by the  Tribunal.   This  Court rejected this submission and after adverting to the  purpose of  the  provisions,  held that this was  fulfilled  by  the deposit  made and that though the requirement as to  deposit was  mandatory,  the same was complied with by  the  deposit made. We  consider  that this reasoning is not irrelevant  to  the construction of s. 81(3) of the Act either. In  this connection we might refer to the decision  of  this Court  in Murarka v. Roop Singh (2) in which this Court  had to  consider  a question closely related to that  now  under debate.   That case was also concerned with certain  defects similar  to  what  we have in the  appeal  before  us.   The defects which were there relied on by the returned candidate as  justifying  or requiring the dismissal of  the  Election Petition  fell into several categories which  included  non- compliance  with  the requirements of s. 81(3).   There,  as here, the petition was accompanied with the re- (1)[1959] S.C.R. 583.      (2) [1964] 3 S.C.R. 573. 134--159 S.C--15 226 quisite  number of copies as specified in s. 81(3) but  what was  urged  was  as regards certain defects  in  the  copies filed.  These defects fell into two types.  First there were two  matters which it was stated rendered the  copies  filed not ’true copies’.  If the expressions ’copy’ or ’true copy’ were read as exact copies of the original, the copies  filed did  not satisfy that test.  The two defects were:  (1)  The original petition contained the signature of the  petitioner at the foot of the petition as required by s. 83 (1) (c)  of the  Act.   In  the copy  filed there was no  copy  of  this signature.   To  that extent therefore the copy was  not  an exact copy. The second matter under this head was that the  verification in  the  copy  served  on  the  appellant  did  not  exactly correspond to that in the original in that in the latter one of  the  paragraphs was stated to be true  to  the  personal knowledge  of  the  petitioner  while  in  the  former  that paragraph was omitted from this group. The  other  type of defect which was claimed  to  constitute noncompliance  with s. 81(3) was that the words ’true  copy’ with the signature of the petitioner underneath were not put down  in  one of the annexures to the  petition,  copies  of which were annexed to the copies of the petition filed.  The order  of  the Returning Officer  rejecting  the  nomination paper of the petitioner was filed with the original petition as  an  annexure to it, and certified copies of  that  order were  annexed  to  the copies of  the  petition.   But  this certified  copy did not contain an endorsement stating  that it was a ’true copy’ with the signature of the petitioner. The  High  Court had held that so far as the defect  in  not reproducing the signature in the petition was concerned,  it was  cured  by the fact that every page of the copy  of  the petition  was  attested to be a true copy and  therefore  it would  not  matter  if the last page  did  not  contain  the signature.  As regards the second, the High Court held  that the failure to include the paragraph in the verification was only a clerical defect which had crept in through  oversight and as regards the other that it was no defect at all.  This decision was upheld by this Court holding that the word copy in  s.  81(3) meant a copy which was  substantially  so  and which did not                             227



contain any material or substantial variation.  By ’copy’ in s.  81(3) was meant not an exact copy but only one  so  true that  nobody by any possibility misunderstands it not  being the  same as the original.  Applying this test, this  .Court came  to the conclusion that there was no failure to  comply with the last part of s. 81(3), with the result that s. 90(3) of the Act was not attracted. This Court besides left open the question as to whether any part of s. 81(3) was directory or whether any portion of it  was  mandatory.   In the present case also,  we  do  not propose  to deal with the larger question as to  whether  s. 81(3) or any portion of it is merely directory.  In view  of the  decision of this Court it would be clear that if  there is  a  substantial  compliance with the  requirement  of  s. 81(3),  the  election petition cannot be  dismissed  by  the Tribunal  under s. 90(3).  The question then is  whether  on the facts above-stated, there is or is not a sufficient  and substantial  compliance  with  s. 81(3).   We  have  already pointed  out  that  the  appellant  has  complied  with  the following requirements: (1)  The  petition  has been accompanied  by  the  requisite number of copies. (2)  The  copies  that accompanied the  petition  were  true copies. (3)  Each  of  those  copies  bore  the  signatures  of  the petitioner. If the signature of the petitioner whose name is set out  in the  body of the petition is appended at the end, surely  it authenticates  the contents of the document.  Now in  regard to this the learned Judges of the High Court themselves  ob- served after referring to the terms of s. 81(3):               "No doubt, what is necessary is a  substantial               compliance    with    the    requirement    of               attestation.   For instance, if it  is               proved that the election petitioner has signed               animo attestendi, and omitted the words  ’true               copy’ by mistake or inadvertently, there is  a               substantial  requirement of the compliance  of               s. 81(3).  The               228               same may be said if the relative positions  of               the words ’true copy’ and of the signature one               below the other are not correct." They however held that as there was no evidence of the  sig- nature having been appended animo attestendi, there was non- compliance  with  s. 81(3).  The  learned  Solicitor-General while  not disputing the correctness of the observations  of the  learned Judges just extracted pressed upon us that  the signature at the end of the copy was meant only as a copy of that  in  the original petition and could  not  satisfy  the requirement  as  to  attestation  of  the  copy.   He   also submitted  that  the position would have been  different  if there  were two signatures instead of one at the end of  the copy,  even if the words ’true copy’ were omitted to be  put down.  In that case, he said, one signature could be treated as  representing the copy of the signature on  the  original and  the  other  might  be taken to  have  been  made  animo attestendi.  We do not however consider that there is really need for so much refinement when one has to look at  whether there is a substantial compliance with s. 81(3), seeing that a signature in origisignatures now found on the copies  were intended  to  authenticate  the  document  to  which  it  is appended,  viz., the copy, it would only mean that the  copy did  not reproduce the signature in the original.  There  is no  compelling  necessity to hold that the  signatures  were



merely  intended  to be a copy of those on the  original  in order  to spell out a noncompliance with the requirement  of this provision.  If the nal was not needed on the copy and a writing copying out the name of the signatory would suffice. The decision of this Court in Murarka’s case(1) is authority for  the position that the absence of a writing in the  copy indicating  the signature in the original would not  detract the  copy from being a true copy.  In the circumstances,  we consider that there has been substantial compliance with the requirement  of s. 81(3) in the petition that was  filed  by the  appellant  and  the learned Judges  were  in  error  in directing the dismissal of the petition. The appeal is accordingly allowed and the order of the High Court dismissing the petition is set aside.  As owing (1)[1964] 3 S. R. 573                             229 to  the  filing  of  the Writ  Petition  there  has  been  a considerable delay in the trial of the Election Petition, we express  the  hope  that the petition  would  be  heard  and disposed of at an early a date as is conveniently  possible. The appellant will be entitled to his costs here and in  the High  Court  which  will be paid  by  the  contesting  third respondent. Appeal Allowed.