The Election Commission (EC) on Monday in the Supreme Court accused the Congress party of using forged papers to undermine the integrity of the Commission ahead of elections in five states.
The EC alleged that the Congress is resorting to peddling wrong voter lists that have been rectified by the Election Commission earlier after finding some discrepancies. The ECI said to the court it had rectified the error in the voters’ list in June after Congress had complained about the same and went on to accuse the Congress of using fake lists to discredit the institution.
Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Sachin Pilot had filed a petition in the Supreme Court as they had claimed that there were nearly 60 lakh fake voters in the state. Following this, the apex court had issued a notice to Election Commission to respond to the allegations. Election Commission had denied the allegations and said that these are “misleading and misconceived”.
The Election Commission had also said that the Congress party leaders should be punished for furnishing fabricated voter list. The Commission had asserted that it had always upheld the integrity and purity of the electoral process and was committed to holding “free and fair elections”.
The Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice A K Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan was hearing the responses of the counsel representing the EC. Vikas Singh representing the Election Commission said that “Despite the voter list being corrected, Congress continues to peddle mistakes in earlier lists and attempts to discredit a statutory organisation which has earned an impeccable reputation for conducting free and fair elections”. “This is nothing but using forged documents to scandalise the EC”, said Singh to the court.
Kabil Sibal appearing for the Congress demanded an inquiry conducted by the CBI into the duplicate votes and also wanted to fix responsibility on the EC officials who are alleged to be involved in creating Bogus voters’ list.
Vikas Singh supported the call for a probe on the charges but also added that there should also be charges against people for false accusations and should be punished if their allegations turn out to be false. “The allegations should be taken to a logical end. Let there be an inquiry. If EC officials are found guilty, let them be punished. But if the petitioners are found to have made wrong charges, they should also be punished”, said Vikas Singh.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has announced the dates for the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Mizoram and Telangana. The states of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan will go to poll on November 28 and December 7 respectively and the results will be announced on December 11, 2018.