SC seeks EC’s response on duplicate voters in MP, Rajasthan

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday sought the Election Commission’s response on a plea by Congress leaders alleging the existence of a large number of duplicate voters in electoral rolls in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

A bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan also sought a response from the State Election Commission as senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the court that the EC was denying them the voters list in text mode citing privacy whereas in Rajasthan they had provided it in text mode.

Singhvi said the Election Commission manual itself mandates that text mode voters list would be made available to the contesting candidate and political parties. The court was informed that the last date for raising objections to the voters list ended on August 21.

Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath has moved to the top court raising issue of Madhya Pradesh and Sachin Pilot that of Rajasthan. Besides the voters list, there are other issues related to the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT).

The court was told that they had pointed to the presence of 60 lakh duplicate voters in 102 Assembly constituencies in Madhya Pradesh and 42 lakh in Rajasthan, Singhvi said.

Senior counsel Vivek Tankha said that after initially contesting the presence of 60 lakh duplicate voters in the voters list in Madhya Pradesh, they had deleted 24 lakh names.

Speaking to media persons after the hearing, Tankha said that besides duplicate votes, there were issues of fake votes as well.

He said in one instance in Madhya Pradesh, a small dwelling showed 20 or more voters while in Rajasthan there were 100 voters with the same address.