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Poll panel, Gujarat government get notice on e-voting

Gandhinagar, July 7 (Calcutta Tube) The Gujarat High Court Tuesday issued notices to the Election Commission and the state government following a public interest litigation (PIL) that challenged the proposed process of e-voting, claiming it to be against the fundamental rights of a citizen.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice K.M. Thaker issued notices while acting on the PIL filed by former city mayor Himatsinh Patel and legislator Shailesh Parmar.

The petitioners claimed that the e-voting system sought to be implemented through recent amendments in Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporation Act was in violation of fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution.

‘Free and fair elections as well as secrecy of ballot is granted as fundamental rights in the constitution. But in the registration process of e-voters, a person is given a biometric card and a password. While casting a vote, there will be no superintendence or control of the election commission, and there are chances of coercion and influencing the voters,’ the petitioners’ advocate Ashish Shah said.

He submitted that the court should restrict authorities from allowing citizens to cast their votes online through the mobile or internet. Shah also said that there is no provision to verify the voting done online. He also added that secrecy cannot be maintained in e-voting as the services of a private service provider will be availed in this process.

Shah said: ‘A voter is expected to cast his vote from either home or cyber cafe or from mobile. In this situation, it is difficult to find out true identity of the voter and there are chances of dummy voters participating in electoral process.’

Further hearing of the case is likely to be scheduled in the first week of August.

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