17 April 1964
Supreme Court


Case number: Appeal (civil) 298 of 1964






DATE OF JUDGMENT: 17/04/1964


CITATION:  1965 AIR  141            1964 SCR  (7) 790  CITATOR INFO :  RF         1965 SC 669  (13)  R          1970 SC 522  (35)  APL        1970 SC1231  (14)  R          1971 SC1262  (18)  RF         1975 SC 290  (26)  RF         1975 SC1612  (15)  RF         1975 SC1788  (30)  R          1980 SC 354  (6,10)  R          1985 SC 236  (46)

ACT: Representation  of  the  People Act, 1951 (43  of  1951)  S. 123(3)-  Election  Petition-Allegation  of  publication  and distribution  of posters containing an appeal to  voters  to vote  on  the  ground  of  religion-If  amounts  to  corrupt practice-Word "Panth". used in the Pamphlet-Meaning of -

HEADNOTE: The  respondent challenged the appellant’s  election  before the  Tribunal alleging that it was void inasmuch as for  the purpose of securing votes the appellant had appealed to  his religion  and had thereby committed a corrupt practice.   He had addressed seven election meetings and in those  meetings he  and his supporters had asked the voters to vote for  him as  he was the proper representative of the Sikh Panth,  and so,  he would be able to protect the Sikh religion  and  the Sikh  language.  It was further alleged that at five of  the seven  election  meetings  organised  by  him,  the  printed posters  (Exts. p. 1 to p. 10) had been distributed  by  him and they contained an appeal to the voter--, to vote for him on  the ground of his religion.  The appellant  denied  both these  allegations.  He disputed the respondent’s case  that at  these  meetings  any appeal to religion  was  made.   In regard to the posters, he denied that he had anything to  do with the said posters, except one Ext. p. 9 and pleaded that the  said  poster  was  innocent  and  its  publication  and distribution  would not attract the provisions of s.  123(3) of  the  Act.   Both these questions were  answered  by  the Tribunal  in favour of the respondent.  On appeal, the  High



Court  reversed the conclusion of the Tribunal on the  first question.  lit regard to the posters, it held that  all  the ten  posters  had  been  distributed by  him,  but,  in  its opinion, except Ext. p. 10, none of the others offended  the provisions  of  s. 123(3) of the Act.  In regard  to  poster Ext.  p. 10, however, it agreed with the conclusion  of  the Tribunal  and held that the said poster contained an  appeal to the votes to vote for the appellant on the ground of  his religion,  and so, by publishing and distributing it at  his election meetings, he had committed a corrupt practice under s. 123(3) of the Act.  In this Court the appellant contended that  the view taken by the Election Tribunal and  the  High Court  was  based  on  a  misconstruction  of  the  impugned pamphlet. Held:In considering the question as to whether a parti- cular  appeal made by a candidate falls within the  mischief of s. 123(3) of the Act, courts should not be astute to read into the words used in the appeal anything more than can  be attributed to them on its fair and reasonable construction. The  view  taken  by the High Court  and  the  Tribunal  was inconsistent with a fair and reasonable construction of  the impugned  poster.  In fact, the High Court did not  consider the  different places in the poster where the  word  "Panth" had  been  used and no attempt was made to  co-relate  these sentences  and to enquire whether the meaning attributed  by the High Court 791 to  the  word  "Panth" was justified in regard  to  all  the sentences in which that word occurred. The significance of the reference to the Punjabi Suba in the impugned  poster arises from the fact that it gives clue  to the meaning which the Poster intended to assign to the  word "Panth".  Therefore, the word "Panth" in this poster did not mean  Sikh  religion  and so, it would not  be  possible  to accept  the  view  that by  distributing  this  poster,  the appellant had appealed to voters to vote for him because  of his religion. In  construing the impugned poster, the High Court  did  not take  into account the oral evidence.  It is true that  oral evidence  would  not  be  of  any  material  assistance   in construing the words in the pamphlet; but, the word  "Panth" used  in  six  places  in the  pamphlet  could  be  properly interpreted  only to mean the Akali Dal party and it was  in that context that the statements made by the witnesses as to the  name by which the Akali Dal Party was known in  popular minds, might have some   relevance. Sardul Singh Caveeshar v. Hukam Singh, (1953) VI, E.L.R. 316 and Baba Gurdit Singh v. Sardar Partap Singh Kairon,  Indian Election Cases by Doabia, Vol.  1, p. 92, referred to. Political  issues which form the subject-matter  of  contro- versies at election meetings may indirectly and incidentally introduce  consideration  of language or  religion,  but  in deciding  the  question as to whether corrupt  practice  had been  committed  under  s. 123(3), care  must  be  taken  to consider the impugned speech or appeal carefully and  always in   the  light  of  the  relevant  political   controversy. Therefore,  the  High Court was in error in  coming  to  the conclusion  that the impugned poster Ext.  P.  10  attracted the provision of s. 123(3) of the Act. Jagdev  Singh Sidhanti v. Partap Singh Daulte,  A.I.R.  1965 S.C. 183.




CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal No. 298 of  1964. Appeal  from the judgment and order dated May 31,  1963,  of the Punjab High Court in F.A.0. No. 5-E of 1962. M.C. Setalvad, and B. P.  Maheshwari, for the appellant. Bawa  Shiv Charan Singh, Hardev Singh and Y. Kumar, for  the respondent. April 17, 1964.  The judgment of the Court was delivered by GAJENDRAGADKAR, C. J.-The short question of law which arises in this appeal by special leave is whether by publishing and distributing  a  poster (Ext. p. 10) in furtherance  of  his election,  the  appellant,  Kultar  Singh  has  committed  a corrupt practice under section 123(3) of the  Representation of  the  People  Act, 1951 (No,. 43  of  1951)  (hereinafter called  ’the Act’).  The Election Tribunal which  tried  the election petition 792 filed by the respondent Mukhtiar Singh challenging the vali- dity of the appellant’s election, as well as the High  Court of  Punjab  which heard the appellant’s appeal  against  the decision  of  the  Election  Tribunal  have  answered   this question .against the appellant.  Accordingly, the  election of the appellant has been declared to be void.  Mr. Setalvad for  the  appellant  contends that the  view  taken  by  the Election  Tribunal  and  the  High  Court  is  based  on   a misconstruction of the impugned pamphlet. The appellant was elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly from the Dharamkot Constituency and he defeated his  nearest rival,  the respondent, by a margin of nearly  8,000  votes. The  appellant  had  stood for election  on  the  Akali  Dal ticket, while the respondent had been officially adopted  by the Congress Party.  After the election of the appellant was declared, the respondent filed an election petition alleging that  the appellant’s election was void inasmuch as for  the purpose of .securing votes, he had appealed to his  religion and  had thereby committed a corrupt practice.   It  appears that  the  election  petition  had  also  alleged  that  the appellant  had appealed to his language and  community,  but with that part of the case we are no longer concerned in the present  appeal, because the petition has not  succeeded  in that behalf.  According to the respondent, the appellant had addressed  seven election meetings held in different  places and  on  different dates and at those meetings, he  and  his supporters  had made speeches asking the voters to vote  for the  appellant  as he was the proper representative  of  the Sikh  Panth, whereas the respondent represented  the  Hindu- ridden Party, and so, the appellant would be able to protect the  Sikh  religion  and the Sikh  language.   The  petition further alleged that at five of the seven election  meetings organised by the appellant, the printed posters (Ext. p.I to p.  10)  bad  been distributed by the  appellant  and  these posters  contained an appeal to the voters to vote  for  the appellant on the ground of his religion. The  appellant denied both these allegations.   He  admitted that election meetings were held on his behalf and were  ad- dressed by him and his supporters, but he disputed the  res- pondent’s case that at these meetings any appeal to religion was  made.  In regard to the posters, the  appellant  denied that he had anything to do with the said posters, except one Ext.  p. 9 and he pleaded that the said poster was  innocent and its ,publication and distribution would not attract  the provisions of s. 123(3) of the Act. On these pleadings, two broad questions arose for  decision. The first question was whether the speeches alleged to  have been  made  by  the  appellant and  his  supporters  at  the election meetings included appeals to the voters to vote for



the appellant on the ground of his religion; and the second 793 was  whether the impugned posters Exts. p. I to p.  10  were published  or distributed by the appellant at  the  election meetings,  and  if  yes, whether any one  or  more  of  them contained  an  appeal  to the voters on the  ground  of  the appellant’s religion.  Both these questions were answered by the  Tribunal in favour of the respondent.  The High  Court, however, has reversed the conclusion of the Tribunal on  the first  question:  it has held that the evidence led  by  the respondent  in  support  of his case that  at  the  election meetings  an  appeal was made to the voters to  support  the candidature of the appellant or the ground of his  religion, did  not establish the respondent’s case.  In regard to  the posters,  the High Court has held that all the  ten  posters bad  been distributed by the appellant, but in its  opinion, except  Ext.  p.  10,  none  of  the  others  offended.  the provisions  of s. 123(3).  An argument was urged before  the High  Court  by reference to the two posters  in  particular Exts.  p.  9  and  p.  IO.   The  High  Court  rejected  the respondents  case with regard to poster Ext. 9,  because  it held  that  it was not clear that the  poster  contained  an appeal  to  the  voters or the  ground  of  the  appellant’s religion.   In  regard to, poster Ext. p. 10,  however,  the High  Court agreed with the conclusion of the  Tribunal  and held that the said poster contained an appeal to the  voters to vote for the appellant on the ground of his religion, and so,  by  publishing  and distributing it  at  his,  election meetings,  the  appellant had committed a  corrupt  practice under  s.  123(3) of the Act.  That is how  on  this  narrow ground.  the decision of the Tribunal was confirmed  by  the High Court and that raises the question about the  construc- tion of the impugned poster Ext.  P. 10. Before dealing with this question, it is necessary to  refer to  the provisions of s. 123(3).  Section 123  provides  for different acts which constitute corrupt practices under  the Act.  Section 123(3) lays down, inter alia, that the  appeal by a candidate or his agent or by any other person with  the consent  of  a candidate or his election agent  to  vote  or refrain  from  voting for any person on the  ground  of  his religion,  would amount to a corrupt practice.  It is  thus, plain that if it is shown that the impugned poster which the appellant is proved to have published and distributed at his election  meetings contained an appeal to the voters of  his constituency  to vote for him or the ground of his  religion that  would amount to a corrupt practice under s. 123(3)  of the  Act  and in that case, the election  of  the  appellant would be void under s. 100(1)(d)(ii). It  is true that a corrupt practice under s. 123(3)  can  be committed by a candidate by appealing to the voters to  vote for him on the ground of his religion even though his  rival candidate  may  belong  to  the  same  religion.   If,   for instance,  Sikh  candidate were to appeal to the  voters  to vote  for him because be was a Sikh and add that  his  rival candidate 794 though a Sikh in name, was not true to the religious  tenets of Sikhism or was a heretic and as such, outside the pale of the  Sikh religion, that would amount to a corrupt  practice under  s.  123(3), and so, we cannot uphold  the  contention that  s. 123(3) is in applicable because both the  appellant and  the  respondent  are Sikhs.   In  fairness,  we  ought, however,  to  add  that  Mr  Setalvad  did  not  press  this contention before us. The corrupt practice as prescribed by s. 123(3)  undoubtedly



constitutes a, very healthy and salutary provision which  is intended  to  serve the cause of secular democracy  in  this country.  In order that the democratic process should thrive and  succeed, it is of utmost importance that cur  elections to  Parliament and the different legislative bodies must  be free  from the unhealthy influence of appeals  to  religion, race,    caste,   community,   or   language.    If    these considerations  are allowed any sway in election  campaigns, they  would  vitiate the secular  atmosphere  of  democratic life,  and  so, s. 123(3) wisely provides a  check  on  this undesirable  development by providing that an appeal to  any of  these factors made in furtherance of the candidature  of any  candidate  as  therein prescribed  would  constitute  a corrupt  practice and would render the election of the  said candidate void. In  considering the question as to whether the  distribution of the impugned poster by the appellant constitutes  corrupt practice under s. 123(3), there is one point which has to be borne  in mind.  The appellant had been adopted as its  can- didate by the Akali Dal Party.  This Party is recognised  as a political party by the Election Commission notwithstanding the  fact  that all of its members are only  Sikhs.   It  is well-known  that there are several parties in  this  country which   subscribe  to  different  political   and   economic ideologies,  but the membership of them is  either  confined to,   or  predominantly  held  by,  members  of   particular communities or religions.  So long a,; law does not prohibit the  formation of such parties and in fact  recognises  them for the purpose of election and parliamentary life, it would be  necessary to remember that an appeal made by  candidates of such parties for votes may, if successful, lead to  their election  and  in  an  indirect  way,  may  conceivably   be influenced  by  considerations  of  religion,  race,  caste, community  or  language.  This infirmity cannot  perhaps  be avoided  so long as parties are allowed to function and  are recognised,  though their composition may  be  predominantly based  on membership of particular communities or  religion. That  is  why we think, in considering the  question  as  to whether a particular appeal made by a candidate falls within the  mischief of s. 123(3), courts should not be  astute  to read  into the words used in the appeal anything  more  than can  be  attributed  to  them on  its  fair  and  reasonable ,construction. 795 That  takes  us to the question of construing  the  impugned poster.  The principles which have to be applied in constru- ing such a document are well-settled.  The document must  be read  as a whole and its purport and effect determined in  a fair,  objective  and reasonable manner.   In  reading  such documents,  it would be unrealistic to ignore the fact  that when  election  meetings are held and appeals  are  made  by candidates of opposing political parties, the atmosphere  is usualy  surcharged with partisan feelings and  emotions  and the  use  of  hyperboles or  exaggerated  language,  or  the adoption of metaphors. and the extravagance of expression in attacking one another, are all a, part of the game, and  so, when the question about the effect of speeches delivered  or pamphlets distributed at election meetings is argued in  the cold  atmosphere of a judicial chamber, some allowance  must be  made  and  the impugned speeches or  pamphlets  must  be construed in that light.  In doing so, however, it would  be unreasonable to ignore the question as to what the effect of the  said  speech or pamphlet would be on the  mind  of  the ordinary  voter  who  attends such meetings  and  reads  the pamphlets  or  hears the speeches.  It is in  the  light  of



these  well-established principles that we must now turn  to the impugned pamphlet. Ext.  p.  10  has been translated by the  High  Court.   The correctness of this translation is not challenged by  either party before us.  It reads thus: -               "Dear resident Sikhs,               We,  who are living in Singapore, Malaya,  and               South  East Asia, place this before you,  most               respectfully,  that at this critical  juncture               it is your duty to keep high the honour of the               Panth.  This is not the time to criticise  the               weaknesses  of the, leaders of the Panth;  the               need  is that in the coming General  Elections               you  should defeat the opponents of the  Panth               the  same way as you did in the last  Gurdwara               Elections.   Every Sikh vote should go to  the               representatives of the Akali Dal. and we  hope               that this prayer of ours from far off will  be               accepted  by you and you will once again  pre-               serve the bonour of the Panth.  Victory of the               Panth  will maintain the honour of the  Panth.               By  maintaining such honour we will reach  our               final goal, that is Punjabi Suba". The poster then ends thus:-               "We  remain  anxious to, keep the  honour  and               prestige               of the Panth ever high                           Yours,                                  Non-resident brothers" 796 The respondent’s contention before the Tribunal and the High Court was that this appeal plainly and unambiguously invites the  voters to vote for the appellant in order  to  preserve the  honour and prestige of the Panth and it was urged  that in  the context, the Panth meant the Sikh  religion.   Since the  pamphlet clearly appeals to the voters to vote for  the appellant  and proceeds on the assumption that the  election of the appellant would uphold the honour and prestige of the Sikh  religion, that amounts to a corrupt practice,  because the  appeal  is  based  on the  ground  of  the  appellant’s religion.  The courts below have accepted this contention. The   word   ’Panth’   is  one  of   Sanskrit   origin   and etymologically  it  means the path or the way.  It  must  be conceded  that  by itself it has come to indicate  the  Sikh religion  because it has been used by Sikhs to denote  their religion  and  their denomination as the followers  of  that Panth.   In that context, Panth may mean the  Sikh  religion and  the  followers of the Panth would be  the  persons  who follow  the path prescribed by the Sikh-gurus and  as  such, would  signify the Sikh community.  Panthic is an  adjective which means, of the Panth or belonging to the Panth, and so, prima facie, the glory or prestige of the Panth may mean the glory or prestige of the Sikh religion. The  question which calls for our decision, however, is  not what  the  word  ’Panth’ in the abstract  may  mean  in  the Punjab.  The question which we have to answer is, what  does the  word  "Panth" mean in the context of the  pamphlet  the distribution  of  which  is alleged  to  constitute  corrupt practice?  It would be noticed that the word "Panth"  occurs in six places in this pamphlet.  First, reference is made to the honour of the Panth, then it is said that it is not  the time  to criticise the leaders of the Panth.  In both  these places,  the  word  "Panth" may conceivably  mean  the  Sikh religion.  But when we go +to the use of the word "Panth" in the  next  sentence,  it becomes clear that  the  said  word



cannot  possibly  mean  the  Sikh  religion.   The  relevant portion  of  the pamphlet says to the electors:  you  should defeat the opponents of the Panth the same way as you did in the  last Gurdwara Elections.  It is common ground that  the Gurdwara Elections were fought between different parties  of the  Sikhs  and the Akali Dal party triumphed  at  the  said Elections.   Therefore, there is no doubt whatever  that  in this  sentence,  the  Panth cannot possibly  mean  the  Sikh religion.   The  expression  "the opponents  of  the  Panth" obviously  means  the opponents of the Akali Dal  party  and what the pamphlet purports to tell the electors is, just  as at the last Gurdwara Elections the Akali Dal Party succeeded over its opponents, so should the Akali Dal Party triumph in the election in question.  The next sentence makes it  still clearer  that the Panth and the Akali Dal Party are  treated as 797 synonymous in this portion because it says "every Sikh  vote should go to the representatives of the Akali Dal", and that can  be  reconciled with the previous sentence only  on  the basis  that in the minds of those who drafted  the  impugned poster,  the  Akali Dal Party and the Panth  are  the  same. Then the poster says that the prayer made in the poster,  if accepted, will once again preserve the honour of the  Panth; the words "once again" take us back to the triumph which the Akali Dal Party achieved at the last Gurdwara Elections, and so, the Panth in this context must mean the Akali Dal Party; and  in the end when the pamphlet refers to the  victory  of the  Panth and the honour of the Panth, it must be taken  to refer to the victory and honour of the Akali Dal Party.  The last  sentence  is  very  significant.   It  says  that   by maintaining  such  honour, meaning the honour of  the  Panth which  is the Akali Dal, we will reach our final goal,  that is,  the  Punjabi Suba.  It is not disputed  that  at  these elections,  the Akali Dal Party propagated for the  creation of  the Punjabi Suba and the crux of the appeal made by  the impugned poster is that if the voters returned the Akali Dal candidate, the honour and prestige of the Akali Dal would be maintained  and the ideal of the Punjabi Suba attained.   In the end, the poster also says that those who issued it  were anxious  to keep the honour and prestige of the  Panth  ever high. We  have carefully considered the view taken by  the  Punjab High  Court and the Tribunal, but we are satisfied that  the said  view  is  inconsistent  with  a  fair  and  reasonable construction  of  the impugned poster.  In  fact,  the  High Court  does  not  appear to have  considered  the  different places  in the poster where the word "Panth" has  been  used and  no attempt has been made to co-relate  these  sentences and  to enquire whether the meaning attributed by  the  High Court to the word "Panth" is justified in regard to all  the sentences  in which that word occurs.  It is  an  elementary rule  of  construction that the same word  cannot  have  two different meanings in the same document. unless the  context compels  the  adoption  of such  a  course.   Afterall,  the impugned poster was issued in furtherance of the appellant’s candidature  at an election, and the plain object  which  it has placed before the voters is that the Punjabi Suba can be achieved  if the appellant is elected; and that  necessarily means that the appellant belongs to the Akali Dal Party  and the  Akali Dal Party is the strong supporter of the  Punjabi Suba.   In  these  proceedings,  we  are  not  concerned  to consider   the   propriety,  the   reasonableness   or   the desirability  of  the  claim for Punjabi Suba.   That  is  a political  issue and it is perfectly competent to  political



parties to hold bona fide divergent and conflicting views on such  a political issue.  The significance of the  reference to the Punjabi Suba in the impugned 798 poster  arises  from the fact that it gives a  clue  to  the mean.  ing which the poster intended to assign to  the  word "Panth".  Therefore, we are satisfied that the word  "Panth" in this poster does not mean Sikh religion, and so, it would not be possible to accept the view that by distributing this poster, the appellant appealed to his voters to vote for him because of his religion. In this connection, it may be relevant to refer to the  oral evidence  led  in this case.  Kartar Singh has  stated  that since the last 30 years the other name of the Akali Party is Panthic  Party.  This witness had been actively helping  the appellant  in  his election, and he added that at  the  said election,  there  was a common front of all  the  opposition parties against the Congress.  These parties were Jan Sangh, Swatantra  Party, Akali Party and others.   Another  witness Ajmer  Singh  admitted  that  Shiromani  Akali  Dal  was   a political party of the Sikhs.  He also stated that excepting 1957  elections,  for which there was  settlement  with  the Congress,  the  Akali  Dal  had been  fighting  in  all  the elections.   In  1957, the Akali  candidates  contested  the election  on  the Congress ticket.  In 1958, the  Akali  Dal started  an  agitation for getting Punjabi Suba  because  it thought  that  the Regional Formula had  not  been  property implemented  by  the Government.  This evidence  would  show that the Akali Dal Party is also known as the Panthic  Party and  that  one of the major issues on which  it  fought  the Congress party at the election in question was the  creation of a separate province which it calls the Punjabi Suba.   In construing  the  impugned poster, the High  Court  does  not appear to have taken into account this oral evidence.  It is true  that  oral  evidence  would not  be  of  any  material assistance  in construing the words in pamphlet; but  as  we have just indicated, the word "Panth" used in six places  in the  pamphlet can be properly interpreted only to  mean  the Akali  Dal  Party  and  it  is  in  that  context  that  the statements made by the witnesses as to the name by which the Akali  Dal  Party is known in popular minds, may  have  some relevance. It  appears that a similar question has been  considered  by the  Election  Tribunals on two occasions in the  past.   In Sardul Singh Caveeshar v. Hukam Singh and Ors.(1) the  Elec" tion  Tribunal had to consider the denotation of  the  words "Panth"  and  "Panthic" candidate and it has  observed  that though the words "Panthic candidate" would literally signify a candidate of the Sikh Community, after the Akali Dal Party came to be known as the Panthic Party in the popular  minds. the word "Panthic" candidate came to signify a candidate  of the Akali Dal Party.  It appears from this judgment that the Akali Dal Party called itself the Panthic Party even at  the time when there were separate Sikh electorates, and that has (1)  (1953) VI E.L.R., 316 at 326. 799 a  significance of its own.  When there were  separate  Sikh electorates,  the candidates who fought against  each  other would all be Sikh and yet, the Akali Dal Party which set  up its own ,candidates, described itself as a Panthic Party and its  candidates as Panthic candidates, (vide Baba Gurdit  v. Sardar  Partap  Singh Kairon)(1).  These decisions  tend  to show that the Akali Dal Party is known as Panthic Party  and its candidates as Panthic candidates, and that  incidentally may be of some help to determine the true denotation of  the



word  "Panth"  used in the impugned poster  in  the  present case.  Unfortunately, these decisions also do not appear  to have been placed before the High Court. Before  we part with this appeal, we may refer to  a  recent decision  of this Court in Jagdev Singh Sidhanti  v.  Pratap Singh  Daulta and Ors. (2).  In that case, the  election  of the  successful candidate was challenged on the ground  that he  had committed a corrupt practice under s.123(3)  of  the Act in that he had appealed to the voters to vote for him on the  ground of his language, and the High Court  had  upheld that  contention.  In reversing the conclusion of  the  High Court,  this  Court pointed out that the  reference  to  the language   on   which  the  challenge  to   the   successful candidate’s election was based, had to be considered in  the context of the main controversy between the parties and that controversy  was  that  the Hariana  Lok  Samiti  which  had sponsored the candidature of the successful candidate wanted to  resist the imposition of Punjabi in the  Hariana  region and  that was clearly a political issue.  If in  propagating its views on such a political issue, a candidate  introduces an argument based on language, the context of the speech  in which the consideration of language has been introduced must not  be  ignored, and that is how this Court held  that  the corrupt  practice alleged against the  successful  candidate had  not been established.  Political issues which form  the subject-matter  of controversi,es at election  meetings  may indirectly  and  incidentally  introduce  considerations  of language  or  religion, but in deciding the question  as  to whether corrupt practice has been committed under  s.123(3), care must be taken to consider the impugned speech or appeal carefully and always in the light of the relevant  political controversy.   We  are, therefore, satisfied that  the  High Court  was  in error in coming to the  conclusion  that  the impugned  poster  Ext.   P-10 attracted  the  provisions  of s.123(3) of the Act. The  result is, the appeal is allowed, the decision  of  the High  Court is set aside and the election petition filed  by the respondent is dismissed with costs throughout. Appeal allowed-. (1)Indian Election Cases by Doabia Vol.  1, p. 92. (2)  A.I.R. 1963 S.C. 183. 800