CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Thursday directed the Election Commission of India to file on February 20 detailed written submissions for conducting a free and fair by-election in Erode East Constituency which is to be held on February 27.
The first division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice T Raja and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy passed the direction on hearing a petition filed by AIADMK organising secretary and former minister C Ve Shangamugam.
The AIADMK leader alleged huge discrepancies in the voters' list of the Erode East Constituency and approached the court for free and fair elections.
The bench wanted the ECI to ensure a fair election after senior counsel G Rajagopalan for the ECI submitted that the commission is taking all efforts for ensuring the conduct of a by-election without any legitimacies.
According to the senior counsel for the ECI, about 409 Central Reserve Police Force have been deployed for the Erode East by-poll duty.
"Flying squads comprising local police, income tax, and the Election Commission of India (ECI) officers are working round the clock. All the movements related to the election are being monitored and it will be continued till the completion of the election.
The ECI is doing its best for the free and fair by-election," the ECI's counsel argued.
Recording the submissions, the bench directed the ECI to file a status report in writing pertaining to the steps taken by the ECI to conduct the free and fair by-election in Erode East constituency.
Senior Counsel Vijay Narayan for the petitioner submitted that about 30,000 to 35,000 names on the voters' list are non-existent in the Constituency.
"The total number of voters in the voters' list is 2,26,876. Dead persons whose names continue in the list are 7,947 and the names found on the voters' list and not in the constituency were about 30,056. It is also noted that 1009 names were entered multiple times in the voters' list," the senior counsel for the AIADMK noted.
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