Election Commission of India clarifies its decision to hold the by-election in Karnataka
HYDERABAD: On Monday, the Election Commission of India told the Hyderabad High Court that it is urging the Center, the Law Commission and Parliament to impress at least four cut off dates in a year to influence the amendment of the electoral roll so that whenever the election is declared to be done, new voters, especially young and first-timers, who reach the age of 18 and are eligible to determine eligibility for becoming eligible to vote.
Avinash Desai, EC’s counsel, said to a bench of Chief Justice TB Radhakrishnan and Justice SV Bhatt that was hearing a petition filed by two young voters from Siddipet , Shashank Reddy and another, who would have become eligible to vote in the next assembly elections had they not been forced on people now and had the cut-off date for enrolment remained January 1, 2019. But, the early election process had advanced the voter enrolment cut-off date by a year and that rendered them ineligible in the current election.
“When Law Commission recommended two cut-off dates in a year, January 1 and July 1, we readily agreed for that too,” Avinash said. But even that did not become an Act so far, he added. “Hence, we are following the existing rules that gave us January 1 as cut-off date and it was in this process the cut-off date for current enrolment was decided as of January 1, 2018,” he said.
The Election Commission also filed its counter in another case filed by former minister and Congress leader Marie Sashidhar Reddy who accused of removing votes.