The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Thursday issued notice to State government and Election Commission of India for response to a petition seeking to declare election of National Conference candidate from Khanyar Assembly constituency as void on the grounds of alleged bogus voting.
The petition has been filed by Muhammad Khursheed Aalam, PDP candidate from Khanyar who lost to Ali Muhammad Sagar of NC in the recent Assembly election.
A bench of Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar, among others, issued notices to State through Chief Secretary, Election Commission of India through its secretary, Speaker of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, Chief Electoral Officer Jammu and Kashmir, District Election Officer Srinagar, Returning Officer for Khanyar constituency and Ali Muhammad Sagar.
The petitioner, through his counsel M A Shah, pleads that he had informed in writing the District Election Officer Srinagar after new 19 Booth Level Officers had been appointed that the fresh appointment of new Booth Level Officers seemed to be part of a game plan as already some of these had submitted the lists for correction of electoral rolls, recommending deletion of such bogus voters.
“My request did not yield the desired result and so on 13-11-2014, I again in writing informed the DEO Srinagar about the bogus voters by enclosing the lists of the same,” pleaded the petitioner.
The petitioner submitted that he had raised objection regarding replacement of Booth Level Officers in Khanyar constituency by highlighting that the same was against the guidelines of Election Commission of India.
“But no action followed and again on 17-11-2014 the petitioner informed the Chief Electoral Officer regarding the fraudulent entry of 800 bogus voters who had been reflected voters in 2 to 3 polling stations of the same constituency and on 01-12-2014 this illegal act of Respondent was brought into the notice of Chief Electoral Officer as well,” the petitioner pleaded.
The petitioner stated that he informed Chief Election Observer regarding the inaction of DEO Srinagar on the registered complaint in writing on 02-12-2014 informing him that formally a complaint was lodged with the DEO on 17-11-2014 along with documentary proof regarding the grave discrepancies in the voter lists of Khanyar constituency. “But despite assurance no action warranted under law was taken by DEO Srinagar just to pave way for the victory of NC candidate Ali Muhammad Sagar through Illegal and fraudulent acts of bogus voters,” he pleaded.
Referring to the documentary evidence collected in support of his claim, the petitioner pleads, “It is abundantly clear that there has been multiple entry of voters of 261+78 = 339, expired voters 97, non-existing voters 1381 and non-resident voters 2 besides as per the lists furnished by the BLOs. The number of such voters is 30+63+23+6+3+2 = 127. Thus the total number of such bogus voters is 339+97+1381+2+127=1946.”
The petitioner submits that Sagar was declared successful by 1167 votes and the result would have been quite reverse had bogus voters been deleted and the requisite correction in electoral rolls been ordered in time.
“Sagar, the DEO and their other collaborators besides having committed the penal offences have violated the provisions of J&K Representation of People Act 1957 and other Election Laws for which they are accountable and punishable besides declaring the election of Sagar null and void,” submits the petitioner, praying for fresh elections in the Assembly constituency.