New Delhi [India], February 18 (ANI): Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the Union of India (UoI) and Election Commission of India (ECI) on a petition seeking a direction to take steps to ensure access to voting to registered voters who are stationed outside the constituency, including students, business personnel, NRIs and business personnel.
A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde and also comprising Justice A S Bopanna and Justice V Ramasubramanian issued notice to the respondents, UoI and ECI on hearing the petition filed by K Sathyan, through his lawyer, Kaleeswaram Raj.
"We issue a notice to the ECI and UoI and seek a response from them on the petition," the CJI led bench said today.
Raj, in his PIL, sought appropriate directions to the respondents, UoI and ECI, to take steps to ensure that, access to voting is ensured to all registered voters who are stationed outside the constituency like internal migrant workers, internal migrant employees and business personnel.
The petitioner also sought that a direction needs to be given to the respondents for the extension of postal ballot facility and/or Electronically transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) to all registered voters who are stationed outside their constituency.
The petition said also the respondents -- UoI and ECI -- be directed for the introduction of a secured remote electronic voting system and extending its benefit to all registered voters who are stationed outside their constituency.
The petitioner also sought a direction to the respondents to notify further classes under Section 60(c)of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, so that postal ballot facility is expected to classes and categories of registered voters identified who are posted outside their constituency.
The petitioner also sought that a double database for storing the transactions in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) should be made, namely a central database and a local database, which would drastically reduce the chance for manipulation of data and EVMS.
He also, in his petition, sought that the SC should pass appropriate directions for evolving an OTP based system for the purpose of fault free identification of voters without infringing their privacy right section.
The installation of CCTV in all the polling booths should be made, across the country so as to ensure probity in the process of voting, the petition said.
Steps should be taken to curtail misuse of the assisted voting for blind and physically challenged persons by notifying that a companion to such persons shall be given to either an immediate family member or an officer from the booth, the petition said.
The respondents should be directed to take appropriate steps to curb multiple voting by introducing double database of registered voters in an electoral roll, (both central and local) and by the introduction of a unique identification number or bar code for all the identity cards, the petition said. (ANI)