Bombay (Mumbai) - The High Court from afar wit...

Bombay (Mumbai) – The High Court from afar with Oval Maidan in the foreground (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Apr 30, 2014, 11.54PM IST TNN[ Shibu Thomas ]


MUMBAI: A public interest litigation has been filed before the Bombay high court, challenging the deletion of over two lakh names from the electoral rolls, and urged it to allow Mumbai residents whose names were “illegally” deleted to vote in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.The PIL, filed by city-based NGOs AGNI and Birthright, also challenged the constitutional validity of the provisions of the Representation of the People Act that bars deleted voters from voting. Alleging either a political conspiracy or dereliction of duty, the PIL sought that a special investigation team (SIT) be appointed to check if the names were deleted after following proper procedure. The PIL was mentioned before a division bench headed by Chief Justice Mohit Shah and has been scheduled for hearing on May 6.Over 2.10 lakh names were reportedly deleted from the electoral rolls for the 2014 elections.

As per the law, a voter’s name is deleted after he dies or if he is not a resident of that constituency. A name can be deleted only after issuing a show-cause notice to that citizen. The PIL claims that while some were deleted due to death or change of residence, many were deleted without following procedure. Advocate Archit Jaykar, who is part of Birthright, they received over 6,500 complaints from voters that though they had voted in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections and 2011 civic polls, they last week found their names were illegally deleted.

“The right of the deleted voters to cast their votes has been taken away illegally and arbitrarily, without following due process of law,” the PIL said, adding, “A mere admission of mistake by the Election Commission cannot compensate for the fact that deleted voters’ names were wrongly deleted, nor can it absolve them of the onus and responsibility for the wrong done to the voters.”

The PIL sought directions to the EC to hold a special ballot before May 16. It also said guidelines must be framed for deleting a voter’s name.



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