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HC reserves order on PILs challenging deletion in voters list

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The Bombay High Court reserved order until May 12 after arguments concluded on a bunch of PILs challenging deletion of names of the electoral college from voters’ list in Mumbai and Pune.

The order was reserved by Justices Abhay Oka and M S Sonak after arguments concluded today.

Actor Amol Palekar and his wife had intervened in the PILs as their names were also found missing from the voters’ list for the April 17 Lok Sabha elections in Pune.

The court had two days ago asked Palekar and his wife why they had not complained or appealed to the authorities when they realised that their names were missing from the electoral rolls.

The judges had asked, “Is it your case that your complaint was not redressed by the Election Commission? Even after realising that your name was not there, you sat on it.”

According to the PILs, more than 2 lakh voters could not cast the ballot after their names were deleted from the rolls. The PILs, filed by non-governmental organisations AGNI and Birthright, argued that people were not made aware about the final voters’ list and no proper procedure was followed by the Election Commission in deleting the names.

Appearing for Palekar and his wife, Rajshekar Govilkar argued that voters’ whose names were wrongly deleted, but have a voter’s identification card as well as proof that they have not shifted their residence, should be allowed to vote before declaration of results on May 16.

The Election Commission and Maharashtra government opposed the petitions on the ground that due procedure was followed and that the final voters’ list was advertised in newspapers as well as put up on the election website, besides the collector’s website for the general public.

Advocate General Darius Khambata informed the court that “The Election Commission has done an excellent job and proper process has been followed.

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