Madras HC directs Election Commission not to announce RK Nagar bypoll schedule

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New Delhi | Published: October 28, 2017 12:29:44 AM

The Madras High Court directed the Election Commission not to hasten the announcement of the bypoll schedule for the R K Nagar Assembly constituency.

Madras HC, Tamil Nadu, election commissionThe court had last month directed the EC to conduct “preferably” by December 31 the bypoll to the constituency. (PTI)

The Madras High Court directed the Election Commission not to hasten the announcement of the bypoll schedule for the R K Nagar Assembly constituency till 100 per cent door-to-door verification, as proposed by it, is over. It also directed the registry to post the matter before the first bench.

Justice K Ravichandra Baabu’s direction came on a plea by a DMK member for an interim injunction restraining the Election Commission from announcing or notifying the bypoll schedule for the constituency without carrying out a “purification of voters” list.

The petitioner, DMK organisation secretary R S Bharathi, alleged discrepancies in the “mother roll of voters” of the constituency and sought deletion of “double and multiple entries”, names of deceased voters, among others.

Appearing for the DMK, senior counsel P Wilson today submitted that despite the EC’s admission that 17,000 bogus voters were found in the electoral roll, it had not taken any steps to “purify” the roll.

He said if elections were conducted on the basis of the present electoral roll, it will not reflect the true result.

Niranjan Rajagopalan, counsel for the EC, produced a letter dated October 23 of the Chief Electoral Officer before the court, stating that “100 per cent door-to-door verification is proposed in RK Nagar”.

He said that in a similar case, the first bench had directed the EC to conduct the election before December 31 and appealed to the judge to post the matter before the first bench.
The counsel for the DMK expressed apprehension that there were chances for the EC to announce the bypoll schedule before the matter is heard.

At this, the judge, who recorded the letter produced by the EC counsel, directed the registry to post the matter before the first bench. It also asked the poll panel not to precipitate the matter.

The court had last month directed the EC to conduct “preferably” by December 31 the bypoll to the constituency, which has been lying vacant following the demise of J Jayalalithaa.

The bypoll, earlier scheduled for April 12, was cancelled by the EC following allegations of distribution of cash to voters.

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