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Deletion of voters: Gujarat HC refuses to intervene

Deletion of voters: Gujarat HC refuses to intervene

The Gujarat High Court today dismissed two public interest litigations seeking a direction to allow the voters, whose names were found deleted from electoral rolls during the municipal corporation polls, to cast vote in fresh polling.

The division bench of acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel and Justice V M Pancholi said it would not be appropriate to intervene when the election process was underway.

The judges also held that the State Election Commission had followed the rules. They accepted the argument by advocate Mihir Thakor of the SEC that the Commission does not prepare electoral rolls; it only publishes the final voter list prepared by the Election Commission of Indiaafter updating and revision.

“Material effect” of deleted names may not be much as only 1000-odd names were deleted in every ward, as claimed in the PIL, the HC said.

Further, the Constitution does not encourage the court to entertain such PILs when the election process is on, it said, adding that the petitioners can file election petitions after the process is over, making the ECI a party.

Two PILs had been filed on the issue yesterday. In the first one, petitioner advocate K R Koshti had stated that more than one lakh voters in Ahmedabad alone couldn’t vote during the November 22 election to the municipal corporation as their names were deleted by the SEC without prior intimation.

Polling for municipal corporations of Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar and Vadodara was held on that day.

Koshti demanded that all such voters be allowed to cast vote before the date of counting, December 2, and the High Court appoint a judicial commission to investigate the matter.

The second PIL, filed by Hardik Joshi through advocate P S Champaneri, expressed apprehension that such deletions could also occur in the elections to rural/semi-urban local bodies on November 29. The court should pass necessary directions to prevent it, the PIL said.

( Source – PTI )


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