In a statement to Moneylife Chief Electoral Officer of Maharashtra has defended mass deletion of 50 lakh voters from electoral rolls of Maharashtra,telling that it was publicised and the voters should have objected if there were incorrect deletions.
ERO Handbook, published by ECI, states “… before taking any action for amendment or transposition or deletion of an entry on the ground that the person concerned has ceased to be ordinarily resident in the Constituency or that he is otherwise not entitled to be registered in the Electoral Roll of that Constituency, the ERO shall give the person concerned a reasonable opportunity of being heard in respect of the action proposed to be taken in relation to him… It is very important that proper enquiry and verification should be made before deleting a person’s name from the electoral roll. The Officer ordering deletion should personally satisfy himself that the deletion is justified because the right to vote, which is a statutory right, is taken away by such deletion. ”
I suspect if CEO-MH has taken such due care before deleting the voters. If so, it would be good to see evidences of such actions. In the process of justifying his actions, CEO-MH seem to have forgotten the spirit of “Every eligible person shall be on the roll and name of every ineligible person shall be removed.” stated by CEC on 11 June 2012, as published at ECI website. Unfortunately we seem to have lakhs of eligible voters wantonly excluded from the rolls and lakhs of fake entries and duplicate records entering the rolls.
Deleting a voter without due diligence and then expecting the voters to object is like harassing an innocent by prosecuting and then making him to prove that he is not guilty.