Chennai: The Election Commission yesterday informed Madras High Court that the entire proceedings in counting hall during the counting of votes polled in the April 24 Lok Sabha polls would be videographed and an observer appointed by it from outside the state would be available for each constituency.
In its counter affidavit filed in response to two separate petitions filed by former union minister and DMK candidate in Thanjavur T R Baalu, the EC said the petitions are not maintainable as there is a Constitutional bar in Article 329(b) which clearly prevents interference in the Electoral process right from the notification of Elections till the declaration of results.
Alleging that officials and police deployed on poll duty were acting in favour of ruling AIADMK, Baalu, in his first petition, in his capacity as candidate, sought a direction to EC to install video cameras in every counting table and ARO's table in Thanjvaur to record and display live counting and totalling of counted votes.
In his second petition, filed as the DMK Parliamentary Party Leader, he sought a direction to install cameras in all counting centres throughout the state and not to entrust any work on counting and declaration of results to officers against whom DMK have repeatedly levelled charges during the election process.
While rejecting Baalu's allegations that DGP elections had not been functioning with full powers, the EC submitted that all field officers in Law and Order wing were reporting to DGP Elections and there were no reports of DGP Ramanujam interfering in the Electoral administration.
With regard to the issues related to counting, the EC said it had framed necessary instructions to ensure accurate and error free counting and instructions will strictly implemented.
While referring to various allegations, the commission said every complaint was being looked into and appropriate action being taken to ensure free and fair elections. A Division Bench comprising Justice R Sudhakar and Justice K K Sasidharan reserved its orders on the petitions.