The DMK on Monday instructed the Madras High Court that the Election Commission of India (ECI), by allowing COVID-19 sufferers to vote via postal poll, is placing election officials and others at risk of contracting the virus. It can be higher if these sufferers not come to polling cubicles and never vote at all, the social gathering stated.
Appearing earlier than the primary Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, senior counsel P. Wilson stated there was no readability on how election officials, videographers, cops and politicians would go to hospitals and people in dwelling quarantine, and the way they might give and take again the postal poll papers from these in quarantine. “Even within the Madras High Court, we’ve been preserving each paper filed on this court docket on quarantine for twenty-four hours earlier than touching them. But with regards to postal poll, there’s no readability on who will meet the sufferers in quarantine and acquire the postal votes. It is best that COVID-19 sufferers not come to the polling cubicles and never vote at all,” he instructed the Bench.
The arguments had been made through the listening to of a case filed by the DMK difficult Section 60(c) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which empowers the ECI to create a brand new class of voters similar to ‘absentee voters’ and provides the choice of voting via postal poll to these aged above 80 years, the bodily challenged, these affected by COVID-19, and so on.
Mr. Wilson argued that enabling each voter to go to the polling sales space and letting them really feel unbiased and free for just a few moments with the digital voting machines (EVM) alone would make sure that the voter will get to train his/her franchise with none strain. Such independence couldn’t be anticipated whereas voting via postal poll because of the chance of affect from household and buddies, he added.
There was completely no rationale behind the selections taken by the ECI on categorising absentee voters, he stated. Wondering on what foundation it had arrived at a conclusion that voters aged above 80 years may very well be given the choice of voting via postal poll, the senior counsel requested: “Why didn’t it give an identical choice to these affected by most cancers, blood strain and diabetes?”
Earlier, senior counsel G. Rajagopal, representing the ECI, and Additional Solicitor-General R. Sankaranarayanan, representing the Centre, contended that the ECI was effectively inside its powers to supply the choice of voting via postal poll to a choose class of voters. They additionally stated it was sufficient to take the choice after consulting the Centre and that there was no must seek the advice of the State governments.