46% of polling booths in Aroor to be webcast: ECI

Petition filed by Shanimol seeking steps to curb double voting

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday informed the Kerala High Court that webcasting of the polling process has been arranged in 46% of the booths in the Aroor Assembly constituency to check double voting and other electoral malpractices.

The court made the submission when a writ petition filed by Shanimol Usman, the UDF candidate in the constituency, seeking a directive to webcast the polling process as many as 39 booths with multiple entries identified by her came up for hearing.

Justice N. Nagaresh, however, directed the ECI to consider whether the polling booths identified by the petitioner were figuring in the list of 46% polling booths and if those booths were not included in the 46% booths, the ECI should consider the feasibility of webcasting or videographing the election process in such polling booths.

Disposing of the petition, the court observed that it was to be kept in mind that now only less than 72 hours were left for the conduct of polling. In such circumstances, there could not be any mandatory direction to the ECI, which would affect the free flow of election.

However, the ECI had a duty to see that double voting was not permitted and necessary effective remedial measures were taken in terms of the directives of the Division Bench.

The petitioner said that around 3,000 persons had double votes within the Aroor constituency itself which would lead to polling of around 6,000 votes. Besides, the constituency had voters whose names were figured in the voters’ lists of adjacent constituencies of Cherthala and Ernakulam. If the polling process in these booths were videographed or webcast, double voting could easily be curbed.

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