The Karnataka High Court on Friday asked the Election Commission of India (ECI) to submit a report on certain complaints made by the defeated candidates on discrepancies in counting of votes soon after the recounting of votes for the Bellary Lok Sabha constituency held on September 15 as per the court order.

Justice H. Billappa passed the interim order during the hearing of the petition challenging the election of J. Shantha (BJP) in the elections held to the Lok Sabha in 2009. She had won by a narrow margin of 2,243 votes.

The High Court on June 11 had set aside Ms. Shantha’s election holding that there were irregularities in the process of counting of votes as there were discrepancies in number of votes recorded in some electronic voting machines (EVMs) did not tally with number of votes counted from the same machines.

The High Court had ordered for recounting of votes and Ms. Shantha challenged this order before the Supreme Court, which confirmed the High Court’s order.

After the recounting was held, the defeated candidates N.Y. Hanumanthappa and others filed objections before the Returning Officer complaining about mismatch between the number of votes recorded in some EVMs and number of votes counted from same EVMs, etc.

Subsequently, the Returning Officer submitted a report to the High Court indicating that there was no change in the votes secured by the candidates in the recounting when compared to the votes secured during the counting held in 2009.

As it was pointed out to the High Court on behalf of the defeated candidates that there was no proper response by the authorities concerned to their complaints on discrepancies in votes recorded and counted, Justice Billappa has now asked the ECI to submit a report in this regard.

Maudany’s plea

The High Court on Friday adjourned further hearing on the petitions filed by Abdul Nazir Maudany, an accused in the 2008 Bangalore serial bomb blasts case, seeking release on bail on medical grounds.

Though Justice H.N. Nagamohan Das on November 7 had reserved his order on the bail plea after completion of hearing, the matter came up for hearing on Friday as the prosecution sought to file objection to an affidavit filed by Maudany’s counsel.

Maudany’s counsel had filed the affidavit stating that Maudany would like to get treatment at Soukhya International Holistic Health Centre and Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospital in Bangalore at his own cost. It was also stated in the affidavit he would not leave Bangalore if released on bail. While reserving order, the court asked his counsel to submit the list of hospitals where he wanted to take treatment.

Even as the prosecution wanted to file objection to this affidavit, Justice Das adjourned further hearing till Tuesday asking the prosecution to file objection by that day.

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