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Madras High Court reserves order on DMK plea on RK Nagar rolls

After ascertaining again with list sent by ECI it was found by DMK that about 1,788 bogus voters still remain untouched.
Chennai: The Madras high court has reserved orders on a memo filed by the DMK party alleging that the Election Commission of India has not deleted 5,117 bogus voters from the voters list in R.K.Nagar assembly constituency.

Originally, on a petition filed by DMK Organisation secretary R.S. Bharathi to purify the voters list in R.K.Nagar, the First Bench headed by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee directed the ECI to conduct the bypoll to RK Nagar assembly constituency by December 31, after recording the submissions of ECI that the names of 45,819 voters had been deleted.

However, alleging that 5,117 bogus voters were yet to be deleted from the voters list, Senior Counsel P. Wilson, appearing for Bharathi had on December 6 made a mention before the First Bench to re-open the case and filed a memo to that effect.

When the case came up for hearing on Monday before a division bench comprising Justices T.S. Sivagnanam and K.Ravichandrabaabu, senior counsel Wilson submitted that the ECI was giving premium to illegality. When the ECI itself has acknowledged that 45,819 bogus voters were on the rolls and undertook to delete them before the court, they have actually not deleted the multiple and bogus voters.

After the rolls were uploaded in the website on November 23, it was found that about 5,117 bogus and multiple entries remain on the rolls and that a representation was given to the CEO. Thereafter, the ECI acknowledged 2,220 and 1947 multiple entries through a separate communication and undertook to include them in ASD list.

After ascertaining again with list sent by ECI it was found by DMK that about 1,788 bogus voters still remain untouched. Therefore, all bogus voters should be prevented from voting and a seal across their names should be put in the electoral roll and circulated to political parties so as to prevent these bogus voters from voting.

Niranjan Rajagopal, counsel for ECI submitted that 1,947 multiple entries exist in the uploaded list by ECI and the same will be placed in the ASD list. There were about 2,220 more multiple entries which will be kept in ASD list.

The high court has no power to interfere in the electoral process due to Article 329 (b) of the Constitution and that if any bogus voters cast their vote, the only remedy was to file an election petition and the high court has no power to interfere under Article 226 of the Constitution when once the election process was started.

The ECI has taken all appropriate steps to conduct the bypoll in a fair and transparent manner, he added. After hearing both sides, the bench reserved its order.

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