The High Court of Karnataka directed the Election Commission of India (ECI) to rectify discrepancies in the voters list of the Shivajinagar and Shantinagar Assembly constituencies in Bengaluru to ensure free and fair elections.
Disposing of two petitions filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party and one of its party workers, the High Court recently directed the Election Commission to act swiftly and complete the process before March 26.
"The Commission must bear in mind that these discrepancies are to be rectified for the conduct of elections to be free and fair. Elections being free and fair is of paramount essence in a democracy. In fact, it is the lifeblood of a democracy, Justice M Nagaprasanna said in the common judgment on both petitions.
The BJP in its petition regarding Shivajinagar constituency contended that its complaints and representations about voter discrepancies have not been considered.
It was contended that voters who are either dead or have shifted out of the constituency have not been identified. Duplication of names on the voters' lists has also not been eliminated.
It was claimed that 26,000 voters who are either dead or have shifted from the constituency have not been removed from the voters' list by the Election Commission.
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In its inquiry, the EC found 11,000 such voters who are either dead or have shifted out of Shivajinagar. Of these, 9,195 have shifted their residence while the others are dead.
Notices were issued to those who were presumed to have shifted, but 914 of them confirmed that they were still staying in the same constituency. Action to remove the names of the remaining 8,281 is being taken, as per the HC order, it said.
In the case of Shantinagar, the Commission said that 2,773 voters have either shifted or have died.
The High Court ordered that the verification exercise should be completed by March 26, in view of the "impending urgency". The Assembly elections in Karnataka are due by May.
The Commission made a public announcement and published the list of these voters on Wednesday.
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