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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: SC declines to entertain YSRCP's plea on EC's circular on postal ballots

A bench of Justices Aravind Kumar and Sandeep Mehta dismissed the plea, saying it is of no merit to consider the matter in the facts and circumstances.
shish Tripathi
Last Updated : 03 June 2024, 10:53 IST
Last Updated : 03 June 2024, 10:53 IST

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain a plea by YSR Congress Party challenging the Election Commission's May 30 circular doing away with the requirement of putting a seal of attesting officer on postal ballots in Andhra Pradesh in counting of votes in 125 Assembly and 25 Parliamentary seats.

A bench of Justices Aravind Kumar and Sandeep Mehta dismissed the plea, saying it is of no merit to consider the matter in the facts and circumstances.

Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for the petitioner, contended the circular of May 30 only in respect of Andhra Pradesh, saying that even if Form 13A under the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 only contains the signature of the attesting officer, the same is to be accepted.

He said non-statutory amendment has given a go bye to statutory rules and diluted it. The counsel contended there can't be just scribble of the signature and there has to the be stamp and seal of the attesting officer.

The plea challenged the validity of the judgment of the Andhra Pradesh High Court of June 1, contending it is ex-facie unsustainable since the bar under Article 329(b) of the Constitution would apply only if the petitioner was seeking to impede the process of election or question the election itself.

On the contrary, the petitioner only challenged a circular issued by the EC and not any specific election. The challenge was made to ensure that a free and fair election process takes place without any semblance of malafide/ bias, the plea said.

The petition filed by advocate Mahfooz Ahsan Nazki stated the High Court's judgment was ex facie unsustainable because an erroneous counting of the votes (around 5 lakh votes) could change the result of the election.

The counting of votes in the State of Andhra Pradesh is scheduled on June 04, along with similar exercise across the country.

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Published 03 June 2024, 10:53 IST

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