Two separate petitions filed by senior Congress leaders Kamalnath and Sachin Pilot seeking orders to the Election Commission to provide the draft voter list in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan in text format were quashed by the Supreme Court on Friday.
Senior advocates Abhishek M Singhvi and Kapil Sibal represented the petitioners in the court. The petition claimed that there were a large number of duplicate voters on the voters’ list and urged the Supreme Court to make the voters’ list available in text format to ease scanning of names in the list.
In their petition, the Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Pilot had claimed that as many as 60 lakh names on the voter list in Madhya Pradesh were duplicate and that they had also presented the case before the Election Commission along with other senior leaders in the State in that regard. In addition to this, the petitions filed also implored for VVPAT slips to be verified with votes counted in at least 10 percent randomly selected polling stations in each Assembly constituency/ Assembly segment.
Representing the Election Commission, Senior advocate Vikas Singh stated that a large number of duplicate entries from the voters’ list were already weeded out by the EC without this issue being taken up by the Congress party.
Voter list matter: Supreme Court dismisses Kamal Nath’s and Sachin Pilot’s petitions seeking a direction to the Election Commission with respect to the upcoming Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan State assembly elections.
— ANI (@ANI) October 12, 2018
The order was passed by a Bench of justices AK Sikri and Asok Bhushan. The apex court had reserved its verdict on October 8 on the petition of leaders alleging duplication of voters in the list and sought a proper redressal of grievances to ensure free and fair elections.
In the past too, the Supre Court had rapped Congress on the knuckles for filing frivolous petitions. Just a week back, in a Supreme Court hearing of this case, the Election Commission had accused Congress leaders of fabricating the voters’ list. In another hearing of the same case on October 8, the Election Commission alleged that Congress was using forged documents to undermine the integrity of the EC. Last year, Supreme Court had slammed Congress over the issue of NOTA in Rajya Sabha.