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Supreme Court declines urgent hearing on PIL seeking use of totaliser for counting votes in polls

Lok Sabha elections 2019: A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi refused to list the plea.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: November 27, 2018 18:26 IST
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On a PIL seeking directions for common electoral rolls for Parliament, assembly and local body polls, the Supreme Court on Tuesday declined urgent hearing.

The apex court also declined urgent hearing on the use of 'totaliser' for counting of votes to save public money and manpower.

The plea was filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay, for urgent hearing.

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A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi refused to list the plea. A totaliser is a device which allows votes cast in 14 polling booths to be counted together.

"Nothing urgent about it," said the bench, also comprising Justices K M Joseph and Ajay Rastogi.

Besides seeking preparation of common electoral rolls for all elections, the PIL sought direction to the authorities to take steps to use 'totaliser' for counting of votes.

It had referred to the provisions of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, under which votes in the EVMs are to be counted polling station-wise, and said this led to situations where the voting pattern in various localities or pockets become known to everyone.

The plea also said the electors of a particular area who did not vote for the winning candidate may be victimised by the lawmakers later after the polls and hence, the use of totaliser was needed for counting the votes.

The Centre had on March 11 filed its response on the petition opposing the use of totaliser machines for counting of votes of several polling booths together and had said that it does not serve any larger public interest.

The team led by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had recommended that the use of totaliser does "not serve" any larger public interest and there was "no justification" for its introduction at this juncture.

It is pertinent to mention here that the decision of the court has come at a time when Lok Sabha elections 2019 is less than six months away.

(With PTI inputs)

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