The Election Commission disputed the DMK’s claim on Friday in the Madras High Court about non-allocation of more than 5,000 fake voters from the electoral roll in the R K Nagar assembly constituency and said only 1,947 multiple entries had been found.
Since the byelection notice had been issued for December 21, the EC submitted that these names could not be removed but it will take care that none of the 1,947 voters cast their vote.
EC's counsel Niranjan Rajagopal made the submissions before a bench comprising Justices T S Sivagnanam and K Ravichandrabaabu when a memo filed was by the DMK alleging that the EC had not deleted the names of 5,117 bogus voters from the electoral roll of the constituency.
The R K Nagar bypoll has been required due to the death of sitting member and then chief minister Jayalalithaa on December 5 last year.
Originally, the DMK filed a petition in the high court seeking a direction to the EC to carry out door-to-door verification and clean the electoral roll alleging it contained a large number of bogus voters.
The first bench headed by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee had on November 21 disposed of the petition as infructuous after recording a submission by the EC that 45,819 voters' names had been deleted based on a complaint by the DMK.
However, the DMK filed the present memo seeking necessary directions to the EC, alleging that 5,117 bogus voters were yet to be deleted from the voters' list.
When the matter came up on Friday, senior counsel P Wilson for the DMK submitted that EC has admitted to 1,947 bogus entries.
The non-deletion had been done purposefully by the Chennai Corporation Commissioner in collusion with the EC officials to help the ruling party, he alleged.
The EC counsel submitted that factually, the petitioner was not correct. The EC now found that there were 1,947 multiple entries.
But, it could not delete them from the list now since there was a statutory bar under Section 23 (3) of Representation of People Act on inclusion or exclusion, after the announcement of the election schedule.
He, however, said a separate list would be prepared in respect of the 1,947 voters and it will be circulated to the booth officers and the political parties.
If a person from the list comes to the booth, the officers will be alerted and he/she would not be allowed to vote. Therefore, there will not be multiple voting, he added.
Directing the EC to file its counter, the bench adjourned the matter to December 11 for further hearing.