HC rejects Shivajinagar MLA’s plea against further revision of voters’ list

‘Law allows to make changes to voters’ list till last date of making nomination for elections’

April 06, 2023 08:29 pm | Updated 08:29 pm IST - Bengaluru

The High Court of Karnataka has rejected a petition by Shivajinagar MLA Rizwan Arshad and several others, who had questioned the action of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in taking up further revision of voters’ list of the constituency even after publication of the ‘final’ list.

“Section 23 of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1950 itself permits any correction in the entry till the last date of making of nomination. If section provides so, the procedure stipulated for implementation under the Rules cannot mean that the electoral roll cannot be tinkered with after it is finally published,” the court said while declining to accept the MLA’s claim that list cannot be altered after publication of ‘final’ voter list.

Justice M. Nagaprasanna, in his order, has said that what would unmistakably emerge from Section 23 of the Act is that a person, whose name is left out, can always submit for inclusion of his name before the registration officer up to the last date of making nominations in a particular constituency and such transposition, deletion or amendment to the electoral roll can take place.

However, such changes have to be in strict adherence to the procedure prescribed under the Registration of Electoral Rule, the court said.

While declining to accept the contention that ECI is permitted to prepare only the list of Absentees, Shifted and Dead (ASD) after publication of ‘final’ voter list, the court said to prevent impersonation the special measures like ASD list could be adopted at the time of poll and it is for the ECI to device the procedure in terms of the norms and the court cannot issue direction in this regard.

The MLA had knocked the doors of the court after his name was found in the list the names of voters shifted from the constituency in the public notice published in the newspaper by the ECI. However, the ECI had said that it had rectified the mistake and his name was deleted from the ‘shifted’ list.

The ECI had published public notice based on the directions issued by the court earlier on another petition, which had complained that ‘final’ voter list of the constituency contained names of a large number of ‘shifted’ and ‘dead’ voters.

Meanwhile, the court asked the ECI to take corrective measures on MLA’s name in the list to the logical end and not to create an impression of deleting the name of the present MLA from the voter list of the constituency from which he is elected. Also, the Court said that ECI should act with care in all such cases and not generate scope for any allegation.

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