Section 86 Trial of election petitions - Representation of the People Act, 1951
What is the procedure for Trial of election petitions?
Section 86 of Representation of the People Act, 1951
Section 86 : Trial of election petitions
(1) The High Court shall dismiss an election petition which does not comply
with the provisions of section 81 or section 82 or section 117.
Explanation - An order of the High Court dismissing an election petition
under this sub-section shall be deemed to be an order made under clause (a) of
(2) As soon as may be after an election petition has been presented to the
High Court, it shall be referred to the Judge or one of the Judges who has or
have been assigned by the Chief Justice for the trial of election petitions
under sub-section (2) of section 80A.
(3) Where more election petitions than one are presented to the High Court in
respect of the same election, all of them shall be referred for trial to the
same Judge who may, in his discretion, try them separately or in one or more
(4) Any candidate not already a respondent shall, upon application made by
him to the High Court within fourteen days from the date of commencement of the
trial and subject to any order as to security for costs which may be made by the
High Court, be entitled to be joined as a respondent.
Explanation - For the purposes of this sub-section and of section 97, the
trial of a petition shall be deemed to commence on the date fixed for the
respondents to appear before the High Court and answer the claim or claims made
in the petition.
(5) The High Court may, upon such terms as to costs and otherwise as it may
deem fit, allow the particulars of any corrupt practice alleged in the petition
to be amended or amplified in such manner as may in its opinion be necessary for
ensuring a fair and effective trial of the petition, but shall not allow any
amendment of the petition which will have the effect of introducing particulars
of a corrupt practice not previously alleged in the petition.
(6) The trial of an election petition shall, so far as is practicable
consistently with the interests of justice in respect of the trial, be continued
from day to day until its conclusion, unless the High Court finds the
adjournment of the trial beyond the following day to be necessary for reasons to
(7) Every election petition shall be tried as expeditiously as possible and
endeavour shall be made to conclude the trial within six months from the date on
which the election petition is presented to the High Court for trial.