The Delhi High Court today refused to restrain the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) from issuing notification for the upcoming 2015 Delhi Assembly polls on the allegation of presence of bogus voters.
“We (the court and the petitioner) are here to solve the issue. I cannot injunct the whole electoral process. Let them (CEO) declare this. This process has to go on,” Justice Vibhu Bakhru said.
The court, which turned down the plea for stay of the notification till January 13, however, agreed to issue notice to the CEO’s office seeking its reply on the interim application of petitioner Naresh Kumar.
The notification is expected to be issued in a day or two.
The court is already hearing a petition filed by Kumar in which he has alleged presence of a large number of bogus voters in various Assembly constituencies of the national capital.
Kumar, who had unsuccessfully contested on a Congress ticket from Mundka in the 2014 Delhi Assembly polls, said today that during the course of hearing, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has admitted that there were various mistakes in the Delhi electoral rolls and that they were revising these.
“That even in the revised electoral rolls published on January 5 there are still 10,000 to 20,000 bogus voters in Mundka constituency…
“The presence of such large number of bogus voters will effect the electoral process and those who have manipulated the voter’s list by including large number of bogus voters may get undue advantage,” senior advocate Rakesh Tiku, appearing for Kumar, said.
Earlier, the court had pulled up the Election Commission here asking what action it has taken on the allegation about the presence of a large number of bogus voters in various Assembly constituencies of the capital.
Advocate Tiku, along with counsel O P Saxena, told the court that till date the poll panel has not made changes to sort out “discrepancies” pointed out by the court and in the Rajender Nagar Assembly constituency it has been found that a photo of a leading film star is pasted against some voter’s name in the constituency.
“… At least 58,000 cases of wrong photo image of the voters have been noticed by the ECI itself and the commission is taking steps to remove these names from the voter’s list. Thus it is admitted case that there are large number of bogus voters in the electoral rolls,” the plea said.
The petition further said that the large number of bogus voters illustrates failure of the poll panel in preparing a correct electoral rolls, “thus it would be in the interest of justice that the respondent (CEO) may be restrained from publishing the notification for election”.
“The present writ petition will become infructuous if the ECI notifies the election process,” it added.
Refusing to grant any interim relief to Kumar, the court said that it has asked the poll panel to revise the electoral rolls and has even asked about the reason for such errors.
The court also said the allegation that there are many people in the city who have numerous voter cards in their name but with different addresses needs to be sort out.
The plea has sought a direction to delete the names of the bogus voters in different constituencies, including Mundka here which itself has over 41,000 such forged card-holders.
The petitioner alleged that “in almost every constituency there are serious irregularities and a large number of fake and bogus names have been included intentionally and deliberately in the electoral rolls…”.
“The presence of a large number of bogus voters will have an adverse effect on the poll process and outcome,” it added.