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SC dismisses pleas of Kamal Nath, Pilot on MP, Rajasthan voters’ list

Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Sachin Pilot had wanted the Election Commission to provide the draft voters’ list in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan in text format.

india Updated: Oct 12, 2018 12:28 IST
PTI, New Delhi
Rajasthan elections,Madhya Pradesh elections,Election Commission
Congress leader Kamal Nath at a party meeting in Bhopal.(PTI)

The Supreme Court Friday dismissed two separate petitions filed by Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Sachin Pilot seeking directions to the Election Commission to provide the draft voters’ list in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan in text format.

Polls in Madhya Pradesh will be held on November 28 and in Rajasthan on December 7.

A bench of justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said, “We have dismissed these petitions”. The apex court had reserved its verdict on October 8 on the plea of leaders alleging duplication of voters in the list and sought a proper redressal of grievances to ensure free and fair elections.

The plea filed by Nath said directions should be issued to publish the voters’ lists in a “text format as per rules”, instead of the PDF format, and expeditious decisions taken on all complaints before their final publication.

Nath had also said a direction should be issued to the Election Commission to randomly verify the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips with votes cast on electronic voting machines (EVMs) at 10 per cent randomly-selected polling stations in every constituency.

On September 18, the poll panel had, in its affidavit, justified providing the draft electoral roll in PDF format in Madhya Pradesh without the pictures of the voters and said it was done to prevent manipulation of electors’ data.

The pleas of leaders further alleged that according to a survey, there were over 60 lakh fake voters in Madhya Pradesh and similarly, in Rajasthan, there were over 41 lakh duplicate voters.

In Rajasthan, the poll panel had added 71 lakh new voters, the plea said, demanding that directions be given to remove inconsistencies and conduct free and fair elections.

First Published: Oct 12, 2018 12:28 IST