SC seeks EC’s response on Congress leaders’ plea on duplicate voters in MP and Rajasthan

Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India, File Photo

New Delhi, Aug 23 : The Supreme Court on Thursday sought the Election Commission’s response on pleas of Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Sachin Pilot alleging the existence of a large number of duplicate voters in electoral rolls in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

A bench of Justice A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan issued notice to the ECI and the state election commission of MP and Rajasthan and posted the matter for further hearing on August 31.

During the hearing, senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Nath and Pilot,  told the court that the EC was denying them the voters list in text mode citing privacy whereas in Rajasthan they had provided it in text mode.

Singhvi said the Election Commission manual itself mandates that text mode voters list would be made available to the contesting candidate and political parties.

Singhvi said that Nath had conducted a survey on his own cost in Madhya Pradesh and found that there were over 60 lakh duplicate voters in the voters’ list.

He said there was a similar situation in Rajasthan where large numbers of duplicate voters have been found. In his plea, Nath has also sought random verification of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines in the upcoming MP assembly polls.

The court was informed that the last date for raising objections to the voters list ended on August 21.

Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath has moved to the top court raising issue of Madhya Pradesh and Sachin Pilot that of Rajasthan. Besides the voters list, there are other issues related to the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT).

The court was told that they had pointed to the presence of 60 lakh duplicate voters in 102 Assembly constituencies in Madhya Pradesh and 42 lakh in Rajasthan, Singhvi said.

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