"Why did you not complain or appeal to the authorities when you realised your name wasn't there in the electoral rolls?" the Bombay high court questioned actor Amol Palekar and his wife on Tuesday while hearing a petition by him on the same. They found their names deleted from the voting list in the election held on April 17 in Pune.
A division bench of justices Abhay Oka and MS Sonak said, "Is it your case that your complaint was not redressed by the Election Commission? Even after realising that your name was not there, you sat on it. Under the law, there is an appeal allowed."
The court is hearing a bunch of petitions filed from Pune and Mumbai highlighting the issue of wrongly deleted names of voters. As per the petitions, over 2 lakh people could not cast their vote because of this.
The petitions and a public interest litigation filed by NGOs AGNI and Birthright state that people were not made aware about the final electoral roll and the EC didn't follow proper procedure in deleting the names.
Advocate Rajshekar Govilkar, appearing for Palekar and his wife, has sought that those whose names were wrongly deleted from the list who have a voter's ID and can produce their proof of residence, indicating they have not shifted residence, should be allowed to vote before the declaration of results on May 16.
The EC and state government opposed the petitions on the ground that due procedure was followed. It stated that the final electoral roll was advertised in newspapers and put up on EC's and collector's websites for the public. Advocate general Darius Khambata informed the court, "Election Commission has done an excellent job and proper process has been followed."
The court, while adjourning the hearing to Wednesday, directed the advocate general to produce records of the procedure followed before deleting names of people. The court refused to grant any interim relief till then.