Source: 
The Newsminute
https://www.thenewsminute.com/news/sc-refuses-to-direct-eci-to-publish-data-on-total-votes-polled-per-booth
Author: 
TNM Staff
Date: 
24.05.2024
City: 

On May 22, the ECI told the Court that revealing voter turnout data based on Form 17C– which is the votes polled in each booth– will cause confusion among voters as it will also include postal ballot counts.

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The Supreme Court of India on May 24, Friday, refused to give directions to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to furnish the total votes along with the percentage in all polling booths. The court asked the petitioners to submit the applicants after the elections are completed. 

Pertaining to a 2019 case, Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) had filed an interim prayer seeking the disclosure of final data of voter turnout in all polling stations, including the number of votes polled in the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 within 48 hours of polling. A writ petition was filed by Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra in 2019 flagging discrepancies in the voter turnout data of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Hearing the plea, a bench of Justices Dipankar Datta and Satish Chandra Sharma told the petitioner that a similar petition was already pending before the Court since 2019 and refused to grant any interim relief. “In between elections, a hands-off approach has to be taken. Let the application be heard along with the main writ petition. We cannot interrupt the process. Let us have some trust in the authority," Justice Datta was quoted as saying by LiveLaw.

On May 22, Wednesday, ECI, in an affidavit, told the court that they are not mandated to publish the requested data. The poll body said that revealing voter turnout data based on Form 17C– which is the votes polled in each booth– will cause confusion among voters as it will also include postal ballot counts. They alleged that the application was based on "unfounded suspicions" and "false allegations." 

ADR’s application questioned the accuracy of the data and said that the final voting percentage published on April 30 showed a sharp increase (by about 5-6%) as compared to the initial percentages announced by ECI on polling day.

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