NEW DELHI: The Election Commission of India had shared photos and addresses of voters from North-East Delhi with the Delhi police after the February riots, RTI activist Saket Gokhale said on Monday.
Citing a letter from the Election Commission of India to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Delhi dated March 12, Gokhale said the full voters list, along with photos, was handed over “illegally” to the Delhi Police to help identify suspects.
According to Gokhale, the ECI’s letter to the Delhi CEO clearly states that “the electoral database of entire AC/District should not be shared with the Police Authorities”.
Gokhale also shared the letter on Twitter, which gives the context in which the Delhi police sought the sensitive data.
The police wanted the address and photographs of residents, as available in the electoral roll of the North-East Shahdara and East Delhi districts, for the purpose of matching with the photographs of culprits captured through CCTV. “ECI broke these rules & made these full voter lists available to police,” he tweeted.
However, the poll panel rejected the charges. “It is hereby clarified that the Commission has not in any way deviated from the original guidelines of 2008 and clarificatory orders of 2020 in any manner,” it said.
The Election Commission also noted that in case of criminal investigations by enforcement agencies, it is under their own extant rules and guidelines, which can be challenged in courts of law.
“It is only when the Model Code of Conduct is enforced that the Election Commission takes note of any such event(s)/incident(s), which have the potential of disturbing and/or disrupting the smooth conduct of electoral process,” it said.