November 21, 2019

Two NGOs Move Supreme Court Seeking Probe Into Alleged Discrepancies In 2019 Lok Sabha Poll Voter Turnout Data

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


Two non-government organizations (NGOs) have moved the Supreme Court seeking a probe into alleged discrepancies in voter turnout data and votes counted in 347 constituencies during the 2019 general election.

“There have been serious discrepancies in the number of voters in different constituencies (i.e. the voter turnout data collated and provided by the Election Commission) and the number of votes counted,” according to a plea filed by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and another NGO called Common Cause.

The NGOs have clarified that their plea does not seek to challenge the Lok Sabha election results, or the process adopted to conduct the polls.

They contended that the Election Commission declared results of the election on provisional figures and without determining the exact vote count and without due reconciliation of the discrepancies in various constituencies.

“The Election Commission has not laid down any prescribed system for compiling, reconciliation and publishing of poll data and therefore, has been evading placing the methodology followed by it, in public domain", the petition stated.

It sought a direction to the EC to place the information in statutory forms -- 17C, 20, 21C, 21D and 21E -- for the general elections and all future elections, in public domain.

The discrepancies between the actual voter turnout and provisional data in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as pointed out were significant and couldn't be set aside without a satisfactory resolution of the same, it said.

“The current statute has a procedure for resolution of a dispute through an election petition, but no provision for resolution of the doubts arising out of discrepancies in a large number of constituencies all over the country,” it said.

The plea highlighted the dereliction of duty by the EC in declaring results of the Lok Sabha and Assemblies through electronic voting machines (EVMs) based on accurate and indisputable data which is put in public domain.

According to the petitioners said, the discrepancies ranged from 1 to 1,01,323 votes, which was 10.49% cent of the total votes.

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