May 14, 2018 07:24 PM

Chandigarh (Subhash Jindal)

Punjab and Haryana Highcourt issues notice to Punjab State Election Commission in Writ Petition for holding ensuing Panchayat elections in Punjab through EVMs, and counting of votes to be done at Block level: 

HC Bench comprising Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain today issued notices to State of Punjab and the Punjab State Election Commission for 28.5.2018 in a Civil Writ Petition filed by Gurinder Singh, Agriculture Master and 3 other staff member of Government Senior Secondary School, Bilaspur (Moga). The petitioners have demanded that voting in forthcoming Panchayat elections, which are likely to be held in July, 2018, should be conducted through EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) instead of Ballot Papers, and counting of votes should be done at Block level, instead of conducting counting in the concerned villages.

The petitioners have stated that voting through ballot papers leads to large number of disputes and filing of election petitions, arising out of situations when a voter marks the sign between two election symbols, and at the time of counting of votes, the rival candidates claim the vote to have been cast in their favour. They have also contended that huge expenses are made by the State Government for making arrangements for counting in every village. They have submitted that counting of votes, if done at block level, would minimize security expenses, and would also protect the counting staff from unnecessary attacks, which they often face during counting of votes over-night in the villages. The petitioners have stated that they have the experience that many of the candidates, or their supporters are under intoxication at night which vitiates the atmosphere, and leads to unpleasant situations during counting during night hours.

The petitioners have stated that they had submitted a representation to the Punjab State Election Commission on 23.11.2015 also raising the aforesaid demands, and the latter had sought comments from all the Additional Deputy Commissioners 9Developments) in the State, but the matter did not proceed further.

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