Bombay High Court disposes of PIL against non-compliance of voter enrolment rules in Amravati

The Bombay High Court disposed of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which alleged voters were being enrolled without complying with the prescribed procedure in the Amravati Division.

The petitioner organization (Yuva Vishwa Multipurpose Organization) claims the present proceedings have been filed in larger public interest of eligible voters in the Amravati Division in view of the election to the Graduate Constituency of the Maharashtra Legislative Council, Amravati Division, Amravati.

According to the petitioner, in the matter of registration of voters, bulk registration applications are being entertained and voters are being enrolled without complying with the prescribed procedure, as a result of which the names of voters are being repeated in the voting list and there is an apprehension that duplication of voters is with a view to gain advantage in the election.

In that backdrop, a prayer was made in the present proceedings to issue directions to respondents to consider objections dated 7/12/2022 and 9/12/2022 on behalf of the petitioner.

On 4/1/2023, the High Court had observed that the question whether the present proceedings could be treated as public interest litigation was being kept open.

However, the Additional Government Pleader was directed to obtain instructions as to whether the petitioner’s objections have been decided.

Accordingly, an affidavit has been filed by the Assistant Electoral Registration Officer on behalf of the respondents in which it has been stated that the objection raised by the petitioner dated 9/12/2022 has been considered and a compliance report has been submitted to the Divisional Commissioner on 12/1/2023. The final voters list has been now published and if it is found that any name of voter is repeated, then in such contingency, only one person would be permitted to cast vote.

The Division Bench of Justice A.S. Chandurkar and Justice Vrushali V. Joshi found that the representation of the petitioner being decided with the statement that the prescribed procedure was followed while registering voters, it would be necessary for the petitioner to point out individual violation, if any.

For the present, the High Court finds that the prayers made in the present proceedings are satisfied. The High Court observed that in case any individual breach is found with regard to a concerned voter, the aggrieved party is free to take recourse to legal proceedings in accordance with law.