HC pulls up poll panel; asks what action taken on bogus voters

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today pulled up the Election Commission here asking what action it has taken on the allegation about the presence of a large number of bogus voters in various assembly constituencies of the national capital.

"What is the cause of it? Obviously someone is not doing their job properly. Last year, my photograph was also wrong," Justice Vibhu Bakhru said while directing the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Delhi to file an affidavit "indicating the cause of error".

"We all are interested in knowing it (about duplication of voter ID card), nothing more than this and nothing less. That's all we want," the court said, adding if it is happening, then it is a "matter of great concern". It has listed the matter for further hearing on January 13.

The court made the observation while hearing a plea alleging the presence of a large number of bogus voters in various assembly constituencies of the national capital. The court said there are "discrepancies" in the electoral rolls as shown by the petitioner Naresh Kumar who had unsuccessfully contested on a Congress ticket from Mundka in the 2014 Delhi Assembly polls.

The court also said the allegation that there are many persons in the city who have numerous voter cards in their name but with different addresses needs to be rectified if they are still existing.

Kumar, represented by senior advocate Rakesh Tiku, has sought a direction to delete the name of the bogus voters in different constituencies, including Mundka here which itself has over 41,000 such forged card-holders.

Meanwhile, the counsel for CEC, who appeared after the court issued notice on December 31 last year, informed that the final electoral roll list has come and all the correction in regard to the present issue has been done. CEC also said that if they (petitioner or any other) has any objection, they can give their representation.

The counsel for the poll panel also told the court that the corrections are being done till filing of the nominations by the candidates.

However, the court said the Election Commission needs to tell "what they have done in this regard as there is an error as far as duplication is concerned and it is undisputed."

The court also directed the poll panel to supply the copy of updated electoral roll list to the petitioner and file its response on supplying of the CD for the same to them.

Meanwhile, the court turned down the request of Kumar that the election process be stopped till finalisation of the list with correct names of each and every voter here.

"It (court) cannot stall the election process or stop the Election Commission from declaring the dates for assembly polls," the court said.

The petitioner alleged that "in almost every constituency there are serious irregularities and a large number of fake and bogus names have been included intentionally and deliberately in the electoral roll...".

Advocate Tiku argued that the presence of a large number of bogus voters will have an adverse effect on the poll process and outcome. He further said "the voter identity cards are issued to a large number of bogus voters which may also be a security

"It has also been brought to our notice that in the electoral roll there are instances of voters registered at addresses of empty plots in Delhi/New Delhi depicting them as residential address," the petition has submitted.

The petition said there are "as many as 37,387 voters in Mundka constituency whose fathers names are matching". In Vikaspuri constituency, there are about "24,625 cases where the voter's name and name of the father are matching", the petition has said.
Rithala is believed to have 23,680 such cases, the plea has alleged.

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