Madras High Court rejects plea by DMK to video record panchayat polls

The DMK has alleged severe irregularities in the conduct of polling in the rural local body polls.
Madras High Court rejects plea by DMK to video record panchayat polls
Madras High Court rejects plea by DMK to video record panchayat polls
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The Madras High Court on Thursday refused to entertain a PIL by the DMK, seeking a direction to the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission (TNSEC) to videograph with audio, the entire process of indirect election to the different posts in rural local bodies to ensure free and fair polling.

When the plea of the party's legal wing secretary R Girirajan came up for hearing before a bench of Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice R Hemalatha, counsel for the TNSEC R Nedunchezhian contended that the petition moved as a PIL cannot be entertained.

He said that in respect of counting for election to the posts of chairperson and vice-chairperson to district panchayat councils and panchayat union councils, CCTV cameras would be put in place for the purpose of video recording only.

Even during the election to the rural local bodies no audio recording facility was provided, he added.

Recording the submissions, the bench said, “This court is of the considered opinion that since the petitioner himself is said to have been aggrieved by the alleged irregularities in the recently concluded the local body elections, the relief cannot be sought through a PIL.”

The bench then directed the registry to list the petition before the roster judge for further hearing.

According to the petitioner, the indirect election to the post of chairperson and vice chairperson is scheduled for Saturday.

During the counting of votes conducted on January 2, many irregularities, malpractices, misuse of power and illegalities were committed by the election officials in collusion with the ruling AIADMK, he alleged.

Similar situation may arise in the forthcoming indirect election also, the petitioner apprehended.

Therefore, to ensure transparency, besides CCTV recording, the entire election process should be videographed with audio-recording which shall be preserved, the petitioner said.

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