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SC seeks replies from EC, others on plea alleging deletion of 46 lakh entries from electoral rolls in Andhra, Telangana

The Supreme Court docket on Wednesday sought responses from the Election Fee and others on a plea which alleged that the ballot panel had suo motu deleted 46 lakh entries from electoral rolls in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in 2015.

The plea, difficult the April order handed by the Telangana Excessive Court docket, which had stated it doesn’t discover any motive to grant the reliefs sought within the Public Curiosity Litigation (PIL) filed earlier than it on the problem, got here up for listening to earlier than a bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha. “Difficulty discover,” the bench stated whereas agreeing to listen to the matter.

Moreover the ballot panel, the bench has sought responses from the Centre, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and the respective state election fee of each the states. It posted the matter for listening to after six weeks.

The plea, filed within the apex courtroom by Hyderabad resident Srinivas Kodali, claimed that in an effort to ‘purify’ electoral rolls, the EC in 2015 had suo motu deleted 46 lakh entries from the electoral rolls in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and linked the electors picture id card (EPIC) with Aadhaar.

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It stated the ballot panel had additionally seeded EPIC knowledge with the state resident knowledge hub and allowed the state governments to entry and replica EPIC knowledge.

The plea stated the petitioner had filed a PIL earlier than the excessive courtroom apprehending that hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting voters could be unable to vote throughout the then upcoming state elections in December 2018. “Three years later, the excessive courtroom dismissed the PIL ostensibly as a result of it ‘was filed within the 12 months 2018 and far water has flown down the Ganges’,” it claimed.

The plea alleged that the EC’s motion to ‘purify’ electoral rolls, utilizing an automatic course of; from knowledge acquired from Aadhaar and state governments; and with out correct discover or consent from the voters is a “blatant infringement on the appropriate to vote”. It claimed that the excessive courtroom had refused to think about that the EC deployed an “undisclosed software program” to determine duplicate, lifeless and shifted voters.

“Likewise, second, the excessive courtroom failed to think about that the ECI facilitated voter profiling by creating digital linkages between voter data and delicate private knowledge held in state-owned databases,” the plea alleged.

It claimed that voting rights of hundreds of thousands of voters within the two states have been disadvantaged with out due course of and the ballot panel’s actions “threatens the sanctity and integrity of elections”. “In sum, the ECI abdicated its constitutional responsibility below Article 324 and statutory obligation below the Illustration of the Individuals Act, 1950 to organize electoral rolls with out the help or help from the federal government or digital databases below their management,” the plea alleged.



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