Give proper publicity before revising Maharashtra voters list, EC told
Declining to interfere in the just-concluded 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Bombay High Court Monday directed the Election Commission to undertake a revision of the electoral rolls after proper publicity before the forthcoming Maharashtra Assembly elections.
A division bench of Justice M.S.Sonak and Justice A.S.Oka gave the order while admitting several public interest litigations (PILs) pertaining to missing voters names in the April 17 elections in Pune, and later April 24 in Mumbai.
During the election process, there were complaints of thousands of voters' names missing from the electoral rolls whereby they could not exercise their franchise.
The matter was first highlighted by IANS April 19 after which the central election authorities had admitted to the lapses and apologized for the faux pas.
Several prominent personalities, actors, businessmen and celebrities could not cast their vote in Pune, Mumbai and other parts of the state.
However, the court dismissed the challenge to the validity of section 23(3) of the Representation of People Act, 1950 and the article 329 of the Constitution by the petitioners.
Directing necessary action to include the names of those people whose names were deleted after following all legal requirements, the judges asked the Election Commission to advertise in newspapers like Pune's Sakal (Marathi) and Mumbai's The Times of India (English) and Mumbai Samachar (Gujarati), besides its usual mode of publication of notices on notice boards and websites.
The court also made it clear that this exercise would not be connected with the 2014 Lok Sabha for which polling was completed last month itself.
(Posted on 12-05-2014)