EC is Against Ward-wise Vote Count, SC Told
NEW DELHI: The Election Commission on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it is against the current practice of ward-wise declaration of vote count in elections and has asked the Centre to introduce cluster counting, to protect the right to privacy attached to voting.
The poll panel informed a Bench, headed by Justice Dipak Misra, that it had written to the Centre to amend the rule to do away with the declaration of result of every polling booth. The Bench, after hearing the EC’s contention, asked it to file an affidavit on this aspect and posted the case for hearing on July 7.
The court also issued notice to the Centre and asked it to file its response within four weeks on a PIL seeking stoppage of ward-wise counting of votes on grounds that the declaration of result of every polling booth strikes at the root of right to privacy attached to voting.
The Bench was hearing a PIL filed by Punjab-based advocate Yogesh Gupta. The petition cited the alleged threat by Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar to residents of Baramati village that he would cut off water supply if they did not cast their ballot in favour of NCP MP Supriya Sule. “The proposed manner of declaration of results of every constituency as a whole would go a long way in restoring the right of privacy as parties will not be able to find out the number of votes cast in their favour from different wards,” the petition stated. ENS