The Tamil Nadu State Election Commission (TNSEC) has informed the Madras High Court that the indirect elections to the posts of chairperson and vice-chairperson of District Panchayat and Panchayat unions on January 11 would be videographed sans audio and all steps are in place to ensure that the process is held in a free and fair manner.
However, the bench on perusing the submissions by TNSCE and the DMK held that the plea pertains to elections and hence cannot be considered as a public interest litigation. Based on this, the bench directed DMK to move the respective portfolio judge dealing with election matters.
DMK legal wing Secretary R Girirajan had submitted in the plea that during the counting held on January 2, many irregularities, malpractices and misuse of power were committed by officials in collusion with the ruling party candidates so much so that the ruling party candidates were illegally declared winners.
Following this, a representation was made to the TNSEC to record both audio and video of the indirect elections to the post of chairman and vice-chairman of both the district panchayat council and panchayat union counsel scheduled to take place in 27 districts. But with no response from TNSEC, the plea has been moved, DMK’s counsel said.
The plea also sought to record the process till the counting is over followed by the declaration of results.
To prevent illegal handing of ballot papers, there should be a barricade between the secured counting place and the place reserved for candidates. The returning officer should not delay in declaring the results once the counting is over, the plea said while seeking three tier security in all polling and counting places. The plea is set to come before the portfolio judge on Friday.