HC upholds EC notification on postal ballot for TN polls

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Chennai, Mar 17 (PTI) The Madras High Court on Wednesday refused to interfere with an Election Commission notification on providing the option of voting through postal ballots to persons over 80 years, physically disabled and COVID-19 affected in the April 6 Tamil Nadu Assembly elections.

The first bench of Chief Justice Sandib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy expressed its disinclination while disposing of a public interest writ petition from DMK, by its principal secretary K N Nehru.

The petitioner contended that Section 60 (c) of the Representation of the People Act is against the basic feature of the constitution in as much as it violated the secrecy in voting.

Secrecy in voting formed part of the fundamental foundation for free and fair elections and the establishment of parliamentary democracy.

This section also gave the executive to name anyone to be entitled to postal ballot who can skip from visiting the polling booth and the audit of the political parties.

Therefore, such unbridled power is the antithesis and arbitrary to law and is liable to be quashed, he said.

When the matter came up on Wednesday,counsel representing the EC told the bench that the final list of persons eligible for voting through postal ballot would be furnished to the political parties concerned for their scrutiny by March 29, after the finalisation of the list of contesting candidates.

Recording the submission, the judges disposed of the petition, after directing the EC to supply the list before 6 PM on March 29, as agreed. PTI COR SA APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR