Kerala HC: EC should ensure one vote, one person during assembly polls

Kerala high court law insider)


The Kerala High Court directed Election Commission to take steps for preventing double voting in state assembly elections.
A division bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly directed EC to ensure that voters who have their names in voter lists of multiple constituencies should cast only one vote.

Kerala high Court passed an interim order to restrain participation of fake and multiple entry voters while hearing the petition of Congress leader and the Leader of Opposition in State Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala. The Court ordered, “Accordingly, we direct and make it clear that the Election Commission of India should ensure that there is no double voting by any voter. Election Commission should ensure that there is no double voting by any voter. Election Commission should also ensure that sufficient State/Central force is posted at all voting places, to ensure fair and democratic election. To implement the above, steps should be taken on a war footing basis.”

The petitioner contended that as per the final election roll there are 3,24,441 double voters and 1,09,601 bogus voters across 131 constituencies. He further sought criminal action against those responsible for fake and multiple entry of voters’ names. He also submitted that he was ‘highly aggrieved by the gross lethargy and inaction’ of the poll panel as they didn’t take any action in pursuance of the letters sent by him seeking rectification of mistakes in electoral rolls. After scrutinizing the electoral rolls submitted by the petitioner, the court maintained that prima facie, discrepancies can be seen in the final voters’ list published.

Advocate Deepu Lal Mohan, representing Election Commission submitted that steps are being taken for rectifying the mistakes.
The court ordered the Election Commission to file a counter affidavit supporting his contentions. Further the Court said, “All possible steps should be taken to ensure that there is no double voting. Orders of this Court should be implemented in letter and spirit, without any room for complaint”.

The petitioner reacted to the interim order and said that his eleventh-hour submission of discrepancies is because it took month to identify them and that the Election Commission should not have waited for someone to find the mistakes. He also alleged that the local body election declared LDF as the winner solely because of rigged voters’ list and that “CPM workers are behind this and it is done with the knowledge of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan”.

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