DMK against extension of postal ballot to select class of voters

The DMK has filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court, challenging a decision taken by the Election Commission of India (EC) to permit voters aged over 80, physically challenged persons and those under quarantine to opt for postal ballots for exercising their franchise.

Justices R. Subbiah and C. Saravanan on Wednesday adjourned the case to January 7, at the request of senior counsel P. Wilson, who urged the court to tag it along with a similar petition and take them together for admission on that day. The party apprehended that creating a new class for postal ballots might pave way for malpractices.

In his affidavit, DMK’s organising secretary R.S. Bharathi said the Representation of the People Act, 1951, permitted only a select group of people, such as voters on election duty and those in preventive detention, to cast their votes through postal ballots. However, Section 60 (c) empowered the EC to notify a new class of voters for postal ballots.

Urging the court to declare Section 60 (c) of the Act unconstitutional, the party wanted all consequential statutory rules made thereunder, and notifications issued by EC to be declared illegal. It sought for an interim order, restraining EC from processing applications for postal ballots under category of “absentee voters”.

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