In a setback to the Congress, the Supreme Court on Friday rejected two separate petitions filed by Kamal Nath and Sachin Pilot in which they had requested the apex court to direct the Election Commission to provide voters’ list in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan in text format.
The leaders had alleged duplication of voters in the Commission’s list and sought a proper move to ensure free and fair elections. However, a bench of justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan dismissed their petitions.
Elections are scheduled for later this year in both the states.
In his plea, Kamal Nath had sought the top court’s directions to the Election Commission to publish the voters’ lists in a text format instead of the PDF. He had also requested the court to direct the poll panel to randomly verify the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail slips with votes cast on EVMs.
Nath wanted the verification at 10 per cent randomly-selected polling stations in every constituency. Last month, the poll panel had justified providing the draft electoral list in PDF format in Madhya Pradesh without the pictures of the voters.
The Congress leaders had also alleged that there were over 60 lakh duplicate voters in Madhya Pradesh and 41 lakh fake voters in Rajasthan. According to them, the poll panel had added 71 lakh new voters in Rajasthan.
They demanded the court’s directions to remove the fake accounts in order to conduct free and fair elections.