Kerala Assembly polls | Do not allow double voting, HC tells EC

Logo of Election Commission of India in New Delhi. File  

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Monday directed the Election Commission (EC) to ensure that there is no double voting and to permit a voter to cast only one vote.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chali also ordered the EC to ensure that sufficient State/Central forces were posted at all polling booths. Steps should be taken immediately to implement this directive, the court ordered.

Chennithala’s plea

The directives were issued on a writ petition filed by Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala seeking a directive to the EC and the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to delete or freeze fake and multiple entries of names on the final electoral roll published for the Assembly poll.

During the hearing, the court observed that “we are of the prima facie view that there are discrepancies in the final voters’ list published by the Election Commission.” On the submission of T. Asaf Ali, counsel for Mr. Chennithala, the Bench observed that multiple entries on the voters list would enable a person to vote twice, which was not permissible in law.

Counsel for the Election Commission Deepu Lal Mohan submitted that efforts were being made to find multiple entries on the voters’ list. At times when a voter shifts residence, there were possibilities of the name being registered twice. Instructions had been issued to the officers to visit the residences of such voters. Efforts were being made to avoid multiple voting.

In an affidavit, the EC submitted that immediately after receipt of the complaint, the Chief Electoral Officer had directed the district electoral officers to conduct a probe and report whether there had been a deliberate attempt to register a voter more than once on the roll. Mr. Chennithala pointed out in the petition that a study done by an expert team of his party had found that the final electoral roll contained duplication of names, fake entries, and enrolment of a single voter in many booths in one Assembly constituency and in various constituencies. As many as 3,24,441 duplications of names and 1,09,601 bogus votes were detected on the final roll spread across 131 constituencies.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 4:42:13 PM |

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