Examining proposal to do away booth-wise vote counting, Centre tells SC

The poll panel said that it has also supported the proposal to do away with the booth-wise counting of votes.

Published: 05th August 2016 08:32 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th August 2016 08:32 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Centre today told the Supreme Court that the Election Commission (EC) has examined the proposal to do away with booth-wise counting of votes and now it is with the Ministry of Law and Justice for consideration.

A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur was informed by Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh that the Centre will take eight weeks to take some decision on the issue.

The poll panel said that it has also supported the proposal to do away with the booth-wise counting of votes.

The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) which has claimed that "the declaration of result of every polling booth strikes at the root of right to privacy attached to voting".

The apex court later posted the matter for February 2017.

The PIL filed by Punjab-based advocate Yogesh Gupta, has contended that "the uniform way of declaration of result for the entire constituency as a whole would bring balanced growth and balanced funding and it would also reduce cases fuelled by political vendetta, ill-will and hatred".

To buttress his contention that an amendment in the system would reduce intimidation and blackmail tactics, the lawyer has cited reported threat by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar to residents of Baramati village on the eve of last polling in general election that he would cut off water supply if they did not cast their ballot in favour of his cousin and sitting NCP MP Supriya Sule.

"In the present form of declaration of result, the political parties would become aware of the wards where they have not been voted and where they have got maximum votes," the petition said, arguing that the existing system of declaration of result also acts as a catalyst for the registration of false cases based on political vendetta against people who have not voted for the victorious parties," it said.

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