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No repoll for voters left out of rolls

Mumbai, May 12: Bombay High Court today declined to order supplementary polling for voters in Maharashtra whose names were missing from the electoral rolls but asked the Election Commission to revise the voters’ lists with adequate publicity before the Assembly polls in October.

The court admitted a bunch of petitions filed after polling for the Pune and Mumbai Lok Sabha seats in mid-April, during which several thousand people could not vote because their names were not on the lists.

Ruling on the petitions, the bench said: “As of today, there is no notification declaring any elections to the Maharashtra state Assembly.

“In such circumstances, we are satisfied that there are several provisions both under the said Representation of the People Act as well as rules which would enable the respondents (EC) to undertake… revision of electoral rolls, so that names of persons which have been deleted can be once again included….”

The bench directed the poll panel to issue notices and advertisements in leading English and vernacular dailies in addition to the usual means it uses.

“We make it clear that this exercise shall have no nexus with the Lok Sabha 2014 election,” it said.

The petitioners had urged the court to direct the poll panel to conduct “supplemental polling” to enable people to vote before counting day.

A petition demanded a stay on declaration of the general election results on May 16 and urged that an SIT be set up to probe the “electoral scam”.

The court noted that a total of 6.57 lakh names had been deleted from and 7.39 lakh names included in the electoral rolls, and that the poll panel had conducted a special enrolment campaign in March by which 2.83 lakh voters’ names were included.

It rejected the demand for a “supplemental election”, saying “the petitioners have made out no case whatsoever to deserve the same”.