SC seeks govt’s reply on plea for common electoral rolls

New Delhi, Oct 13 (PTI) The Supreme Court today sought a response from the government on a plea seeking a direction to the Centre and the Election Commission for common electoral rolls for Parliament, assembly and local body polls to save public money and manpower.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud tagged the plea, filed by Delhi BJP leader Ashwani Upadhyay, with a similar petition pending before it.

The petition has also sought direction to the authorities to take steps to use ‘Totaliser’ for counting of votes.

‘Totaliser’ is a device which allows votes cast in about 14 polling booths to be counted together.

It referred to the provisions of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, under which votes in the EVMs are to be counted polling station-wise and said this led to situations where voting pattern in various localities or pockets become known to everyone.

The petitioner has also proposed that post offices be used as the nodal agency for voter registration and verification, saying it will not only overcome the issue of duplication and confusion but also save huge public money and manpower.

“There is a non-uniformity of practice amongst states, which causes duplication of essentially same task between the two different constitutional bodies, that is the Election Commission and State Election Commissions, that entails the same effort and huge expenditure again by the states,” the PIL said.

The plea sought that elections be held on a Sunday, like in several other countries, to enable maximum voter turnout.

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