If voters list in text mode given in Rajasthan, why not in MP, the apex court asks EC.

New Delhi : The Congress on Friday told the Supreme Court that it has been deliberately provided only scanned copies of the draft electoral rolls to cover up a large number of bogus duplicate voters.

When the Election Commission counsel claimed the scanned copies in the PDF format were provided to maintain “privacy” of the voters, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath shot back to show the technology that can be used to verify the rolls.

When he cited the rolls provided in the text mode in Rajasthan and also during the earlier Assembly elections in Karnataka, the Supreme Court pulled up the EC for not doing same in Madhya Pradesh. “If you have done in Rajasthan, why not in Madhya Pradesh? Electoral rolls have to be pure,” said the Bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan.

It adjourned the hearing to September 10, directing the EC to respond as to why it was preventing the political parties to help detect the duplicate names by not giving the rolls in the text format.

Both Kamal Nath and his Rajasthan counterpart Sachin Pilot are in the Apex Court, seeking directions to the ED for correction of the electoral rolls dotted with multiple entries of the same names. Singhvi said there are large number of duplicate entries in the Madhya Pradesh list as the same person has multiple entries 38 times and in another 27 times.

He cited the EC’s manual to point out that it was mandated to provide the draft electoral rolls in the text format for quick search to detect the duplicates while verifying the rolls. Another senior advocate Anoop Chaudhary told the Court that the electoral rolls were provided in the text mode in Madhya Pradesh in 2013 and so why not now.

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