Cantonment boards have revised electoral rolls to remove encroachers: MoS Ajay Bhatt
The highest number of cantonment boards are in Uttar Pradesh at 13, followed by Uttarakhand which has nine. Maharashtra has seven cantonments, Madhya Pradesh has five, and Punjab has three cantonment boards.
Cantonment boards have revised their electoral rolls by deleting the names of encroachers on defence land following an order of the Supreme Court, the Defence Ministry informed the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
A member of the Upper House of Parliament asked whether the ministry was aware that several people living in cantonment areas were excluded from voting rights, and if there was any plan to hold the cantonment board election on the basis of universal adult franchise.
In a written reply, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt said in pursuance of the Supreme Court order dated September 27 in 2016, cantonment boards have revised their electoral rolls by deleting the names of encroachers on defence land.
The minister said that under the Cantonment Act, 2006, every person who, on such date as may be fixed by the central government, is not less than eighteen years of age and who has resided in the cantonment for a period of not less than six months immediately preceding the qualifying date shall, if not otherwise disqualified, will be entitled to be enrolled as an elector.
''The disqualifications for being enrolled as an elector are listed in sub-section (2) of Section 28 of the Act. Further, additional disqualification arises from the order dated 27.09.2016 of Hon'ble Supreme Court,'' he said.
In its order in September 2016, the apex court had held that the cantonment board is not authorised to include the encroachers in voters list.
On Friday, the Defence Ministry cancelled elections to the cantonment boards across the country.
According to the ministry, there are 62 cantonment boards across the country. The highest number of cantonment boards are in Uttar Pradesh at 13, followed by Uttarakhand which has nine. Maharashtra has seven cantonments, Madhya Pradesh has five, and Punjab has three cantonment boards.
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