The Karnataka High Court has directed the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Karnataka to suo motu look into the legitimacy of deletion of names of voters and other issues raised in public interest litigation (PIL) petitions complaining about serious errors in the electoral rolls of Assembly constituencies of Bangalore city.

“We direct the CEO to suo motu look into the issues articulated in these petitions as also the legitimacy of deletions, regardless of whether objections from the public are received in this respect,” said a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B.V. Nagarathna in its December 11 order while disposing of petitions filed by Commander (retd.) P.G. Bhat and others.

“We have perused the minutes of a meeting held on November 27 by the CEO. It appears that the grievances ventilated in the writ petitions are well-founded. It is submitted that deletion of some names has been incorrectly carried out…” the Bench observed.

Repetition

It was pointed out by the petitioners that errors in the list include deletion and repetition of names, misspelt names, incorrect and incomplete addresses, voters below the age of 18, incorrect data on the relationship between the voter and the relative, incorrect sex information and so on. The petitioners had also pointed out about 2,000 voters’ age had been mentioned as 0, and about 1,000 voters’ between 1 to 17 years. And in some cases, they were an incredible 190!

As a direct consequence of such errors, the petition said, a large number of voters were facing problems proving their identity, with some even unable to vote.

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