Telangana polls: Hyderabad HC directs EC not to release final electoral rolls till completion of hearing

Further, the bench directed the ECI to file a counter affidavit by Monday on the issues raised by the petitioner regarding alleged large-scale discrepancies in the state electoral rolls.

Published: 06th October 2018 05:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th October 2018 08:46 AM   |  A+A-

Hyderabad High Court

Hyderabad High Court. (File photo)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: A division bench of the Hyderabad High Court on Friday directed the Election Commission of India and the Telangana State Election Commission not to release the final electoral rolls on October 8, the scheduled date for publication, till completion of the hearing of a petition filed by senior Congress leader Marri Shashidhar Reddy.

Further, the bench directed the ECI to file a counter affidavit by Monday on the issues raised by the petitioner regarding alleged large-scale discrepancies in the state electoral rolls. The bench posted the matter to Monday for further hearing.

The bench, comprising Chief Justice TBN Radhakrishnan and Justice SV Bhatt, passed this order on the petition filed by Shashidhar Reddy alleging discrepancies to the extent of about 70 lakh voters in the State’s electoral rolls.

The bench took up the issue following the Supreme Court direction on Thursday saying that it would be open to the High Court to extend the final date of publishing the electoral rolls if it found any merit in the grievance raised by the petitioners. Petitioner’s counsel Jandhyala Ravi Shankar told the court that a staggering number of 48 lakh duplicate voters,  accounting for about 20 per cent of the total number of 2.61 crore voters in the State, and without weeding out these voters from the rolls, the ECI and the SEC were going ahead with the publication of final voters list on Monday (October 8).

He further said that the authorities of ECI and SEC have assured of taking necessary steps for corrections when these irregularities were taken to their notice.

However, the authorities were going ahead for publication of the final voters’ list on Monday without rectifying the flaws in the electoral rolls, he added.

Disputing with the above submissions, standing counsel for ECI Avinash Desai told the court that the EC authorities were continuously striving to purify the voters list by receiving representations for additions, deletions and so on from the citizens. Out of the 34 lakh representations received till Thursday, about 31 lakh have been resolved by way of additions and deletions till date.

Another 1.6 lakh applications were received on Friday by the ECI and they would be rectified. Even after publication of the final voters’ list on October 8, the process of corrections, deletions and so on would continue, he added and pointed out that the list given by the petitioner to the court was an outdated one as a large number of corrections have already been carried out. After hearing both sides, the bench directed the ECI and SEC not to publish the final voters’ list till a decision after completion of hearing in the present case on Monday. The bench directed the ECI to file a counter affidavit explaining the steps taken to the issues raised by the petitioner, by Monday.

Besides, the bench dismissed two other petitions seeking conduct of Aadhaar-based voting in the forthcoming elections in Telangana. Court to direct the AP government to call for fresh tenders under open competitive bidding method to develop new capital city. Besides, he also sought directions to the government not to take up any works as per GO 179.



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