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Plea in HC to remove election symbol from ballot paper, EVM

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 17-05-2019 20:04 IST | Created: 17-05-2019 18:59 IST
Plea in HC to remove election symbol from ballot paper, EVM
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A plea was filed in the Delhi High Court on Friday seeking to remove election symbol from the ballot paper, including the unit of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), in the municipal elections in the national capital. The petition, listed for Friday, could not be heard as the bench concerned did not sit and would hear it on May 27.

The plea filed by Alka Gahlot, who had contested and lost the MCD polls in 2017, said the state Election Commission puts the reserved symbol on the ballot paper in "blatant violation" of the provisions of the Constitution and the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act as there is no reference to political parties in the Part IX and IX-A of the Constitution and the Act. The petitioner said she wants to contest the election again in 2022 and there is a fear of losing as she would be allotted a new election symbol just 15 days before the polling day whereas some other candidates would contest elections on the reserved symbol.

The plea said that in the 2017 MCD elections, photographs of contesting candidates were put on the balloting unit of the EVM. "In the presence of photographs of the contesting candidates on the ballot paper, there is no need of any other election symbol. Even illiterate voters can identify their candidate by seeing the photograph of candidates and cast his vote in secrecy," it said.

The plea alleged that the presence of reserved symbols for candidates of recognised political creates bias and violates Article 14 (equality before law) of the Constitution and restricts the entry of individuals in the corporation. The authorities have failed to hold free and fair elections as it is absolutely rigged by the presence of reserved election symbol of recognised political parties and there placing on ballot papers, it claimed.


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