SC reserves verdict on Congress, EC battle over alleged duplication of names in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan voters’ lists


New Delhi: The Congress and the Election Fee on Monday sparred within the Supreme Court docket over the pleas by two senior Congress leaders alleging duplication of names within the voters’ lists for the upcoming Meeting polls in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

A bench comprising Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan reserved its verdict after it concluded the listening to of the pleas throughout which senior legal professionals Kapil Sibal and Vikas Singh traded prices over conduct of the polls.

File photograph of Supreme Court docket of India. PTI

Sibal is representing Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Sachin Pilot whereas Singh is the counsel for the Election Fee of India (ECI). The 2 leaders additionally sought random verification of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Path (VVPAT) machines within the two states.

Singh stated makes an attempt have been made to malign an necessary constitutional establishment just like the Election Fee and get beneficial order by fabricating paperwork by alleging discrepancies in voters’ lists.

“I stand by what I had stated earlier,” the senior lawyer stated, including the ballot panel had taken observe of the allegations of the Congress occasion and undertaken corrective measures with regard to discrepancies within the voters checklist which was evident from the EC’s communication of eight June this yr.

Regardless of this, the Congress occasion alleged discrepancies of their petition in September and this was a transparent try to malign the establishment, he stated, including the leaders have “casually filed one thing” to “malign” and “denigrate” the ballot panel.

Observing that free and truthful polls is the “essence of democracy”, Sibal strongly rebutted the submissions of the ballot panel and referred to alleged discrepancies and duplication within the voters checklist, giving illustrations of 4 meeting constituencies in Madhya Pradesh.

Giving an illustration, Sibal stated 36 voters have completely different particulars, however their images are the identical and this assumed significance in opposition to the backdrop of 60 lakh pretend voters having been present in Madhya Pradesh alone. Additionally, 24 lakh names have been deleted from the checklist by the ballot panel, he alleged.

The plea filed by Nath by means of advocate Varun Chopra stated instructions must be issued to publish the voters checklist in a “textual content format as per guidelines”, as a substitute of the PDF format and expeditious choices be taken on all complaints earlier than its last publication.

Nath additionally stated a path must be issued to the ballot panel to randomly confirm VVPAT slips with Digital Voting Machine (EVM) votes at 10 p.c of randomly chosen polling stations in each constituency.

On 18 September, the ballot panel in its affidavit justified offering the draft electoral rolls in PDF format in Madhya Pradesh with none footage of voters and stated it was achieved to forestall manipulation of the electors’ knowledge.

It had sought dismissal of the petition filed by Nath alleging duplication of names within the voters checklist as “not maintainable”, “utterly frivolous” and “an abuse of the method of courtroom”.

Earlier, the highest courtroom had agreed to look at the pleas of Nath and Pilot and had sought response of the ECI and state ballot panels of the Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

It was alleged that as per a survey, in Madhya Pradesh there have been over 60 lakh pretend voters and equally, in Rajasthan, there have been over 41 lakh duplicate voters.

In Rajasthan, the ballot panels have added 71 lakh new voters, the plea stated, including that instructions be given to take away inconsistencies and conduct free and truthful elections.

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