Acting on a letter sent by Nagrik Chetna Manch, the HC asked State Election Commission to look in the issues related electoral rolls. The Manch had said that an average of 35% electors in Maharashtra are either duplicate or do not exist
The Bombay High Court has asked State Election Commission to look in issues raised by Pune-based Nagrik Chetna Manch regarding electoral rolls and inform the action taken in the matter at an early date. On 30 April 2014, Dr Anupam Saraph has sent the letter on behalf of the Manch to Chief Justice Mohit Shah.
In a letter on 23 September 2014, the HC told the State EC "…the grievance/complaint of the applicant may be looked into appropriately. It would be appreciated if the applicant could be informed about the action taken in the matter at an early date."
Dr Saraph, in his letter had said, "According to Rule 6 of the Registration of Electors Rolls, electoral rolls should have been alphabetically displayed like in a phone book or arranged by house numbers for easy spotting of missing names and duplicates or suspicious entries. However, this system is not being followed. Neither the CAG, nor the ECI have audited a single Electoral Roll. They have not certified the Rolls as complete and correct representation of eligible voters for any election."
"For Lok Sabha elections 2014, the election staff did not accept from individuals Form 6 (for addition to the roll) and/or 7 (for deletion from the roll) for inclusion into the Electoral Roll because this task was “outsourced” to certain selected political parties who were allowed to submit these forms in bulk and without any scrutiny. This is clear conflict of interest because there is no stopping political party from selectively adding only those individuals that may vote for them and deleting those that may not," Dr Saraph had said.
The Manch even reproduced information from Census of India
and the population of a constituency published by the EC to show reveal some serious issues regarding electoral rolls.
From the numbers in the above Table, the Manch said following deductions can be drawn…
a) An average of 35% electors in Maharashtra are duplicate or do not exist as evident from the excess shown in the last column of the Table.
b) The Electoral Rolls are off by a whopping 60% because about 25% of the existing electors were deleted for no reason, as is apparent from the pdf lists found at the ECI website and as actually happened in Maharashtra in 2014.
c) Hence, if the declared voting is 50%, actually about 125% voting has happened; around 60% of which is bogus.
d) The declared turnout percentages are, therefore, misleading because these are based on unverified and unaudited Electoral Rolls.
Dr Saraph, in his letter, had said, "We are only fooling ourselves by electing our representatives based of faulty Electoral Rolls and calling it a free and fair election while actually it is a sham. Our netas have twisted the perspective of democracy by coming to power by 'virtual booth capturing'. The sole purpose of our 'democracy' appears to be the formation of local bodies, legislative bodies or the parliament by pre-arranged design. The administration believes that the netas, and not the people, 'own' the country and are their bosses. We are made to believe that that if you do not vote, you lose the right to participate in the Indian 'democracy'."
The Nagrik Chetna Manch had requested the Chief Justice to take suo moto cognizance of its petition and commence an intensive Court-monitored revision of electoral rolls.
Here is the letter sent by Dr Anupam Saraph for the Manch...