The Supreme Court on October 12, 2018, dismisses two separate petitions of senior Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Sachin Pilot seeking directions to the Election Commission to provide the draft voters’ list in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan in text format.
A Bench comprising of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said, “We have dismissed these petitions.”
Polls in Madhya Pradesh will be held on November 28, 2018, and in Rajasthan on December 7, 2018.
Earlier, on October 8, 2018, the apex court had reserved its verdict on the plea of leaders alleging duplication of voters in the list and sought a proper redressal of grievances to ensure free and fair elections.
The plea filed by Mr. Nath said directions should be issued to publish the voters’ lists in a “text format as per rules,” instead of the PDF format, and expeditious decisions taken on all complaints before their final publication.
Further, the leader also stated in his petition that a direction should be issued to the poll panel to randomly verify the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips with votes cast on electronic voting machines (EVMs) at 10 percent randomly-selected polling stations in every constituency.
On September 18, 2018, the poll panel had, in its affidavit, justified providing the draft electoral roll in PDF format in MP without the pictures of the voters and said it was done to prevent manipulation of electors’ data.
The pleas of leaders further alleged that according to a survey, there were over 60 lakh fake voters in MP and similarly, in Rajasthan, there were over 41 lakh duplicate voters.