Plea in Delhi HC to remove election symbol from ballot paper, EVM

The plea said that in the 2017 MCD elections, photographs of contesting candidates were put on the balloting unit of the EVM.

Published: 17th May 2019 07:28 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th May 2019 09:07 AM   |  A+A-

EVM, Voting

Image used for representational purpose only

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: A plea was filed in the Delhi High Court on Friday seeking to remove election symbol from the ballot paper, including the unit of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), in the municipal elections in the national capital.

The petition, listed for Friday, could not be heard as the bench concerned did not sit and would hear the petition on May 27.

The plea filed by Alka Gahlot, who had contested and lost the MCD polls in 2017, said the state Election Commission puts the reserved symbol on the ballot paper in “blatant violation” of the provisions of the Constitution and the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, as there is no reference to political parties in the Part IX and IX-A of the Constitution and the Act.

The petitioner said she wants to contest the election again in 2022 and there is a fear of losing as she would be allotted a new election symbol just 15 days before the polling day whereas some other candidates would contest elections on reserved symbol.

The plea said that in the 2017 MCD elections, photographs of contesting candidates were put on the balloting unit of the EVM.

“In the presence of photograph of the contesting candidates on the ballot paper, there is no need of any other election symbol. Even illiterate voters can identify their candidate by seeing the photograph of candidates and cast his vote in secrecy,” it said.

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The plea alleged that the presence of reserved symbols for candidates of recognised political creates bias and violates Article 14 (equality before law) of the Constitution and restricts the entry of individuals in the corporation.

The authorities have failed to hold free and fair elections as it is absolutely rigged by the presence of reserved election symbol of recognised political parties and there placing on ballot papers, it claimed.

The ongoing Lok Sabha elections has thrown up several incidents of EVM malfunctioning over the course of six phases, with leading opposition players alleging manipulation and foul play. However, the poll panel dismissed all claims.      

With PTI inputs

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