5May

NGOs challenge the mystery of disappearing voters in Mumbai

Voters queuing up in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Photo: Goutam Roy/Al Jazeera English on Flickr cc

Two NGOs have filed a petition with the Bombay High Court to challenge the deletion of 200,000 names from the electoral list in Mumbai.

Some 6,500 people who say they had their names “illegally” removed from the list of electors came forward to support the petition, which was started by the Action for Good Governance and Networking in India and Birthright.

Mumbai’s election day on April 24 saw many voters unexpectedly being turned away from polling stations, despite having been able to vote in the previous general election as well as the 2011 civic polls.

The Election Commission of India has apologised, but the public interest litigation filed by the NGOs calls for a special ballot to be held before May 16 to correct the error.

The PIL suggests either dereliction of duty or political conspiracy as the cause of the names being deleted. It has called for the formation of a special investigations team to look into whether the names were deleted in line with correct procedure.

The PIL has been scheduled for a hearing on May 6, following a decision to do so by a bench headed by the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court, Mohit Shah.

This is the second major controversy regarding the removal of names from electoral lists in this general election. A petition calling for an investigation into the removal of 100,000 names from lists in Pune was filed on April 21.

Photo: Goutam Roy/Al Jazeera English on Flickr cc

This story was also published on WoNoBo.com, our media partner.

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About Patrick Ward

Patrick Ward
I am a journalist originally from London, now in Bournemouth studying an MA in multimedia journalism. My interests include international politics, social movements and pretty much anything journalism related.

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