Source: 
News9
https://www.news9live.com/india/legal-ngo-moves-sc-seeking-release-of-voter-turnout-data-in-absolute-numbers-within-48-hours-of-polling-2532458
Author: 
Nitish K Singh
Date: 
10.05.2024
City: 
New Delhi

The NGO has sought direction to the ECI to upload polling station-wise voter turnout data in absolute figures on the website of the ECI within 48 hours of conclusion of polling for each phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections to ensure that the democratic process is not subverted by electoral irregularities.

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an NGO, has moved the Supreme Court raising doubts on the inordinate delay in the release of final voter turnout data and an increase as compared to the initial percentage announced at the date of polling by the Election Commission of India (ECI) during the first and second phase of polling.

Plea has been filed to ensure that democratic process is not subverted by electoral irregularities: ADR

The NGO has sought direction to the ECI to upload polling station-wise voter turnout data in absolute figures on the website of the ECI within 48 hours of the conclusion of polling for each phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections to ensure that the democratic process is not subverted by electoral irregularities.

The ADR has moved an interim application before the Supreme Court in its 2019 Public Interest Litigation seeking directions to the ECI that scanned legible copies of Form 17C Part-I (Account of Votes Recorded) of all polling stations be uploaded immediately after the elections.

What petitioner NGO has sought?

“Direct the Election Commission to provide tabulated polling station-wise data in absolute figures of the number of votes polled as recorded in Form 17C Part- I after each phase of polling in the on-going 2024 Lok Sabha elections and also a tabulation of constituency-wise figures of voter turnout in absolute numbers in the on-going 2024 Lok Sabha elections,” the ADR said in its application.

Unreasonable delay in release of votes polled data has led to apprehensions in the mind of the electorate: ADR

The NGO has said in its application that the voter turn-out data for the first two phases of the ongoing 2024 Lok Sabha elections has been published after 11 days of the first phase of polling held on April 19 and 4 days after second phase of polling held on April 26 and that the data as published by the ECI in its press release on April 30, 2024 shows a sharp increase (by about 5-6%) as compared to the initial percentages announced by ECI as of 7 pm on the day of polling,

The plea has further said that the inordinate delay in the release of final voter turnout data and the unusually high revision of over 5 per cent in the April 30, 2024 press release of the ECI has raised concerns and public suspicion regarding the correctness of the data released by the ECI and the non-release of absolute number of votes polled and the unreasonable delay in release of votes polled data has led to apprehensions in the mind of the electorate about the sharp increase between initial data and data released on April 30 by the ECI.

“These apprehensions must be addressed and put to rest. That in order to uphold the voter’s confidence it is necessary that the ECI be directed to disclose on its website scanned legible copies of Form 17C Part- I (Account of Votes Recorded) of all polling stations which contains the authenticated figures for votes polled, within 48hours of the close of polling,” the NGO said in its application.

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