Kerala Assembly Election 2021: Kerala High Court Disposes Ramesh Chennithala’s Petition, Notes EC Has Taken Action To Identify Double Entries in Electoral Rolls

first_imgNews UpdatesKerala Assembly Election 2021: Kerala High Court Disposes Ramesh Chennithala’s Petition, Notes EC Has Taken Action To Identify Double Entries in Electoral Rolls Lydia Suzanne Thomas31 March 2021 4:48 AMShare This – x”All the safeguards provided in the Act for free and fair election be scrupulously followed to avoid multiple/bogus voting. Fair, free and purity of elections be maintained”On Wednesday, the Kerala High Court disposed of a petition filed by proposed by Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Legislative Assembly Ramesh Chennithala that had alleged widespread errors in electoral rolls, double entry of voter names and possibility of double voting.A Bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly disposed of a petition filed by Ramesh Chennithala in…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginOn Wednesday, the Kerala High Court disposed of a petition filed by proposed by Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Legislative Assembly Ramesh Chennithala that had alleged widespread errors in electoral rolls, double entry of voter names and possibility of double voting.A Bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly disposed of a petition filed by Ramesh Chennithala in this respect.Disposing of the petition, the Bench enjoined the Election Commission to ensure double voting did not take place.”All the safeguards provided in the Act for free and fair election be scrupulously followed to avoid multiple/bogus voting. Fair, free and purity of elections be maintained”, the Court stated.The High Court’s DirectivesSubsequent to recording the submissions advanced by the Counsel for the petitioner as well as the Standing Counsel for the Election Commission, the Court issued these directions to the Election Commission: After finalising the verification of Demographically Similar Entries (DSE)/ Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC)/Absentee-Shifted-Dead (ASD) voters, list be furnished to the political parties and Presiding Officers immediately. Issue a public notice cautioning voters against any attempt to cast multiple votes, warning them of strict action if found to have done the same Take photographs of all ASD voters identified in the polling booths. Obtain a declaration of all the ASD voters, in terms of Section 31 of Representation of Peoples Act, 1951. Section 31 punishes false declarations made in connection with the preparation, revision or correction of the electoral roll or the inclusion or exclusion of entries in the electoral roll. Get the signature and thumb impression of all the ASD voters. Permit ASD voters to leave the polling booths, only after the indelible ink is dried. Collect and digitise all the photographs of the ASD voters taken in the booths Ensure that sufficient Central and State forces are deployed in all the polling booths, especially in any polling booths found to be in a disturbed area, to implement the directions of the Court, ensure safety of the polling agents of all the political parties, and make arrangements for the presence of polling agents of all the political parties in the polling stations Additionally, the Election Commission of India was directed to explore the possibility of including the photographs of the voters in its software as an additional method of identifying DSEs and EPICs to identify multiple entries and take action for removal, before the final list is published. In the course of its judgment disposing of the petition, the Court recorded the Election Commission’s Standing Counsel’s undertaking to publish a notice warning persons whose names were listed in two or more constituencies/booths, that is demographically similar entries (DSEs), of the consequences of voting more than once.Apart from this direction, which was suggested by Chennithala’s counsel during the hearing yesterday, the Court noted that action had been taken by the officers to identify DSEs upon the representations received.”..perusal of the statement indicates that acting on the representations and details furnished, action has been taken to identify DSE/EPIC,” the Court stated.Last week, Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Legislative Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala moved the Kerala High Court alleging the existence of bogus voters and double entry of voters in the Electoral Rolls for the upcoming Kerala Assembly Elections. The petition, filed through Advocates T Asaf Ali and Laliza TY, narrates that after the Final Electoral Rolls for the 2021 Assembly Elections were published on January 20, 2021, thousands of complaints were poured into the office of the petitioner alleging double votes, fake entries in the electoral rolls, illegal enrolment of votes in many times by single voter, multiple id cards etc. It is added that after a preliminary enquiry conducted at ward level it was found that the complaints were very genuine, warranting urgent remedial measures. Consequently, Ward Level Scrutiny Committees were constituted all over the state, the petition avers. Accepting that the material prima facie disclosed the existence of discrepancies in the final voters list, the Kerala High Court on Monday issued interim orders to the Election Commission that it must ensure no person votes more than once. In this light, the Commission was enjoined to take steps on “a war footing basis”. On Tuesday, the Election Commission submitted in Court that it has taken all possible steps to ensure that the sanctity of the electoral roll is maintained, and no person is allowed to cast an unauthorized vote in the upcoming Kerala Legislative Assembly elections. Pursuant to an intensive analysis of data provided by political parties on the issue of multiple entries, out or 316671 entries, as on March 30, 2021, the Commission was able to identity only 38586 Demographically-Similar Entries in respect Legislative Assembly constituencies in the State, the Commission informed the Court via this statement.Click here to download the judgmentNext Storylast_img read more