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High Court nod for release of revised voters’ list

High Court nod for release of revised voters’ list

Court tells Election Commission to rectify anomalies in voters’ list, allows its publication on Friday

Directing the Election Commission of India to come out with an action plan to rectify the discrepancies in voters’list of Telangana, the Hyderabad High Court on Wednesday consented to its decision for publication of the revised electoral rolls on Friday.

Action plan

The order was passed by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice S.V. Bhat in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Congress leader and former Minister Marri Shashidhar Reddy over “large-scale discrepancies” in draft electoral rolls. The bench also instructed the EC to place before it an action plan, modalities and mechanism to be followed to respond to complaints about voters’ list.

Dictating the order, the bench observed that the purity of electoral rolls was the cornerstone on which the EC operates. It was imperative to follow proper procedure to bring in changes for purification of voters’ list.

The bench said it heard the submissions of EC counsel Avinash Desai citing the provisions of the Constitution, the Representation of People Act and the electoral rules. It said EC was making efforts to rectify mistakes in the electoral rolls and carry forward the process of finalisation of the voters’ list.

The High Court lifted its earlier order directing the EC not to publish the revised electoral rolls on Friday. “It would be open for any individual voter or persons to raise objections over the details of the voters list and place request for exclusions or inclusions as per the law,” the bench noted.

Before passing the order, the bench told the EC counsel that it would appreciate the efforts being made by the poll panel to update the voters’ list. But at the same time, the issues raised by the petitioner like nearly 900 voters being listed with a single house number and anomalies relating to voters having same names and house numbers need to be examined.

“Do you have a field level mechanism to tackle such issues relating to discrepancies in electoral rolls?” the bench sought to know. Mr. Desai replied that the EC was already on the job and most of the discrepancies would be set right in the revised voters’ list to be released on Friday.

Justice S.V. Bhat suggested to the Election Commission to explore the idea of releasing booth-wise details of the voters’ list. The job of rectifications in voters’ list would be made easier if objections are invited and changes are made polling booth-wise, he observed.

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