The Supreme Court asked the Election Commission of India Secretary to appear before it on March 12 in connection with a PIL which alleges that several categories of people in Assam have been deprived of voting rights ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
The petition came up for hearing before a bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice AK Nazeer and Justice Sanjiv Khanna.
The bench sought the personal appearance of the secretary as despite the notice being issued on February 1 no one appeared to represent the Election Commission.
The petition was filed by two residents from Assam–Gopal Seth and Susanta Sen, reports TOI.
The PIL stated that there was a category of persons whose names had been deleted from the voter’s list but their names had been published in the draft NRC. It also stated that these persons had voted in the last Lok Sabha election held in 2014.
The plea also submitted that there were people whose names were not included in the complete draft NRC, but they subsequently filed claims for inclusion of their names in it. They had voted in the earlier Lok Sabha elections and were waiting for inclusion of their names.
The third category of people was those who have been declared as foreigners by the Foreigners’ Tribunal as well as by the Gauhati High Court but the court’s order was stayed by the Supreme Court.
The petition said it is the category of the persons whose names were appearing in the voters list from time to time.
The fourth category of people was those who had already been declared foreigners by Foreigners’ Tribunal and such declarations were set aside by the apex court.
However, their names have been deleted from the voters list pursuant to the order of the foreigners’ tribunal, the petition said.
The fifth category of persons are those whose names have not been included in the draft NRC but the names of their family members are present and who have filed claims for inclusion of their names.
“The above mentioned five categories of people whose names have not been included in the voters list are going to be deprived from their constitutional as well as statutory rights to vote in the forthcoming Lok Sabha election to be held in April 2019,” the petition said.