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SC notice to Centre, EC on defence personnel voting right

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today issued notice to Centre and Election Commission on a plea seeking its direction to allow defence personnel to cast their vote in constituencies where they are posted.

A bench headed by Justice A K Patnaik agreed to adjudicate on the issue on a appeal filed against Punjab and Haryana High Courts verdict dismissing the plea.

The petition, filed by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, submitted that defence personnel be allowed to cast their votes in coming general election in the constituency they are posted.

"The present petition and questions raised therein concerned not only the armed forces personnel but also their families who are posted outside their hometowns and are presently unable to cast their votes, thereby being deprived of their right to participate in the election process of the country," it said.

Referring to the HC order dismissing the plea, the petitioner submitted that the verdict would continue to frustrate the voting rights of defence personnel since they would not be able to get themselves registered as voters in the constituencies where they are ordinarily resident due to their service tenures.

The bench, after a brief hearing, issued notice and asked the Centre and the Commission to file their response within four weeks.

At present a defence personnel need to serve for at least three years to vote from the constituency where they are posted.

 

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