SC scraps Cong lead­ers’ plea on elec­toral rolls

The New Indian Express - - INDIA -

IN a set­back to se­nior Congress lead­ers Ka­mal Nath and Sachin Pi­lot, the Supreme Court on Fri­day dis­missed their pe­ti­tions seek­ing draft elec­toral rolls in a search­able text for­mat in poll-bound Mad­hya Pradesh and Ra­jasthan say­ing they were not en­ti­tled un­der the Elec­tion Man­ual.

A Bench of Jus­tices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said the de­ci­sion on the for­mat in which the rolls are pub­lished is made by the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion of In­dia (EC).

“Clause 11.2.2.2 of the Elec­tion Man­ual says nowhere that the draft elec­toral roll has to be put up on the Chief Elec­toral Of­fi­cer’s web­site in a search­able PDF. There­fore, the pe­ti­tioner can­not claim, as a right, that the draft elec­toral roll should be placed on the web­site in a search­able mode. It has only to be in text mode and it is so pro­vided,” the rul­ing said.

The Bench took note of the sub­mis­sions by the EC which said pub­lish­ing in this man­ner was not pos­si­ble due to con­cerns of voter pri­vacy and to pre­vent voter pro­fil­ing and data min­ing. “We are, there­fore, of the opin­ion that the for­mat in which the draft elec­toral roll is sup­plied ful­fils the re­quire­ment,” the Bench said.

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