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Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | No special polling for Coimbatore: Madras High Court

The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjay V Gangapurwala and Justice G Chandrasekharan ruled that it cannot pass orders after the polling, while observing that the petitioner R Suthanthira Kannan, a Coimbatore native who is working as a doctor in Australia, had failed to check the draft and final voters’ list published by the ECI.
Last Updated : 30 April 2024, 15:24 IST
Last Updated : 30 April 2024, 15:24 IST

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Chennai: Madras High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition seeking a direction to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to conduct special polling for the Coimbatore Lok Sabha constituency to enable people whose names were left out from the voter’s list to vote in the Parliament elections.

The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjay V Gangapurwala and Justice G Chandrasekharan ruled that it cannot pass orders after the polling, while observing that the petitioner R Suthanthira Kannan, a Coimbatore native who is working as a doctor in Australia, had failed to check the draft and final voters’ list published by the ECI.

Kannan, who travelled to Coimbatore to vote in the April 19 Lok Sabha elections from Australia, couldn’t find his name in the electoral rolls. Last week, he moved the High Court, contending that his name was on the voters’ list in 2019 and 2021 and sought a special polling for people like him whose names have been omitted from the voter’s list.

The doctor also submitted that deprivation of the voting right amounts to infringement of fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution and submitted a list of 61 names found to be missing from the electoral list.

In the ruling, the court said the polling has already taken place and that the counsel for ECI has informed it that the final list was published in January this year. “The provisional list was published even before that. The petitioner did not raise any objection to the provisional or final list. In light of the submission and the facts of the case, no orders can be passed now,” the judges added.

The petition came close on the heels of Coimbatore constituency’s BJP candidate K Annamalai alleging that names of more than 1 lakh people have been deleted from the voter’s list. Such an allegation was also made by the BJP’s candidate from Chennai (Central), Vinoj P Selvam, immediately after polling concluded on April 19.

BJP cadres and Annamalai’s supporters also held a protest in Coimbatore against removal of their names from the voter’s list.

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Published 30 April 2024, 15:24 IST

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