Removal of Name From Voter List Without Hearing Illegal: Kerala HC

In a significant judgement, the Kerala High Court has said that it is illegal to remove a voter from the voter list without giving him the opportunity of a hearing.

According to a Times of India report, Justice Shaji P Chaly gave the judgement hearing a petition filed by one A Subair, after his name was removed from the voter list while it was being prepared for the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections.

Subair had filed the petition ahead of the election but according to a Live Law report, the Election Commission informed the Court that there was a stautory bar in including voters in the list after the last day of filing of nominations.

Subair's name was struck off, even as the names of his daughter and wife were retained – something that the Court found "surprising".

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In its response, the Election Commission told the court that Subair’s name was deleted because he was found to have moved from the constituency he was enrolled in.

Moreover, Subair did not raise any objection to the removal of his name in electoral roll drafts that were published in October 2017, January 2018 and January 2019, the poll body said, adding that wide publicity was given to the first draft.

The Court, meanwhile, said, “It is also apposite to mention that, mere inaction on the part of the petitioner to restore the name removed from the voters list, is not a justification for removing the name, otherwise than in accordance with law.”

(With inputs from Times of India and Live Law)

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