HC Asks Amol Palekar Why He Didn't Report Missing Name

HC Asks Amol Palekar Why He Didn't Report Missing Name

The Bombay High Court asked actor Amol Palekar here today about why he did not complain to authorities after he realised that his name was not present in electoral rolls.

"Why did you not complain or appeal to the authorities when you realised that your name was not there in electoral rolls," the Bombay High Court observed here today while hearing the plea of Palekar and his wife who intervened in public interest litigations (PILs) challenging deletion of names from the voters' list.

The names of Palekar and his wife were found to be deleted from the voters' list for the April 17 election in Pune.

Justice Abhay Oka and Justice M S Sonak asked, "Is it your case that your complaint was not redressed by the Election Commission? Even after realising that your name was not there, you sat on it."

The court is hearing a bunch of petitions filed from Pune and Mumbai about names wrongly deleted from the voters' list. According to the PILs, more than 2 lakh voters could not cast the ballot after their names were deleted from the rolls.

The PILs, filed by non-governmental organisations AGNI and Birthright, contended that people were not made aware about the final voters' list and no proper procedure was followed by the Election Commission in deleting the names.

Arguing for Palekar and his wife, advocate Rajshekar Govilkar said that voters' whose names were wrongly deleted, but have a voter's identification card as well as proof of residence that they have not shifted their residence, should be allowed to vote before declaration of results on May 16. 

The Election Commission and Maharashtra government opposed the petitions on the ground that due procedure was followed and that the final voters' list was advertised in newspapers as well as put up on the election website, besides the collector's website for the general public.

Advocate General Darius Khambata informed the court that "The Election Commission has done an excellent job and proper process has been followed."

The court, adjourning the hearing on petitions until tomorrow, directed the Advocate General to produce records of the procedure followed before deleting names of people from electoral rolls.

However, the court refused to grant any interim relief until then.

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