SRIVILLIPUTTUR: The Virudhunagar Principal District and Sessions Court has ordered recounting of votes for the poll conducted to elect the president of Viswanatham panchayat in Sivakasi panchayat union.

Annulling the result of the election announced on October 18, 2006, the Judge, V. Balasundarakumar, said that he would pass final orders on the case after the re-counting that would be held in his presence on June 18 at the court.

K. Chithra, who lost the election to M. Kalavathi with a slender margin of 7 votes, sought re-counting claiming that the counting was not conducted properly.

Stating that the voters were asked to leave their thumb impression instead of the signature to save time, Ms. Chithra said that the ink of thumb impressions had smudged in as many as 413 out of 9,513 total votes polled. Out of the 413 votes that were declared “invalid,” around 300 votes otherwise would have gone in her favour, Ms. Chithra claimed.

She alleged that there was a difference of 19 votes with regards to the total number of votes polled (5,913) against the total number of the votes bagged by individual candidates, including the rejected votes (9,494).

When the case came up for hearing, the Judge directed the Block Development Officer of Sivakasi to produce all materials pertaining to the election in the forenoon of June 18. The re-counting would be held at 2 p.m. the same day. The final order would be passed based on the outcome of re-counting.