The Election Commission of India criticized the Congress party in the Supreme Court during a hearing on EVMs. The EC told SC that the elections cannot be carried out according to ‘personal whims’ of the Congress and their petition is a gross misuse of law. Earlier, the Congress party had filed a petition asking EC to hand them the list of the voters of the states in word format and increase display time of the printed paper slip on VVPAT from 7 to 15 seconds.
Following Congress’ petition, the EC filed its affidavit rubbishing the allegations thrown by the chiefs of Congress’ states units in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh- Sachin Pilot, Bhupesh Baghel and Kamalnath. The EC in its affidavits said it is doing everything in order to ensure the free and fair conduct of state assembly elections by expunging all the alleged fake and duplicate voters from the list.
Earlier in June, Madhya Pradesh Congress unit had approached to Election Commission and claimed that they have provided evidence to the Election Commission that there are 60 lakh fake voters in the state’s voting list. The Election Commission in no time rejected the bogus claim of Madhya Pradesh Congress of 60 lakh fake voters. The poll body in a letter to All India Congress Committee said, “The allegations of large-scale entries of multiple voters in these assembly constituencies are not borne out.”
Referring to the unexpected growth of voters the EC clarified that, “In addition to the complaint of duplication in the voters’ list, it was pointed out that there has been unexplained growth in the electors in the state of Madhya Pradesh as the EP (elector-population) ratio which used to be 52.76% in 2008 increased to 61.45% in 2018. This has been seen from the perspective of the census data, nothing unusual could be noticed“. The Election Commission finally concluded by saying that there is no basis to dispute current electoral roll.
For more details: Election Commission turns down Congress’ false claim prior to MP elections
According to a Times of India report, the affidavit, filed by advocate Amit Sharma, said, “It is therefore submitted that the present petition is completely misconceived and is a gross abuse of the process of law as the grounds urged by him (who is a member of AICC) has already been dealt with by the Election Commission and, therefore, the present petition is not maintainable as he has failed to disclose the prejudice caused or in what manner he or AICC is aggrieved by the reply of EC upon the representations of AICC.” The affidavit further said, “Petition filed by the petitioner is misconceived and malafide, as he is seeking to instruct/direct EC, which is a constitutional authority, to conduct elections according to his personal whims and fancies and that of the political party to which he stands affiliated… Thus, it is neither tenable nor proper that the petitioner (and the political party/organization to which he is affiliated) is trying to forcibly instruct EC as to how to conduct elections or is trying to impose his suggestions upon EC.”
Regarding the issue of increasing the display time printed paper slip on VVPAT from 7 to 15 seconds, it said, “Increasing the visibility of paper trail from 7 seconds to 15 seconds may lead to increase in polling time by another few hours, which is neither practical nor feasible.” The poll panel also said that it is open to suggestions in order to ameliorate electoral process but political parties and their leaders dictating terms to a constitutional body (EC) is unacceptable.