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Plea seeking one date for counting of ballots discarded by Gujarat HC

(G.N.S) Dt. 20

Ahmedabad

A plea moved by Anand district panchayat members affiliated to Congress, seeking a uniform date for declaration of results for the elections to municipal corporations, taluka panchayats and municipalities has been discarded by Gujarat High Court.

Gujarat High court saw that its not at all possible for the State Election Commission (SEC) to control the minds of voters from being influenced by several factors and that the SEC should avoid taking a certificate from any court that ‘Rome burned while Nero fiddled’.

“‘Free’ and ‘fair’ are two small and simple words of the English language but the two words are so powerful that the entire democracy of this country is dependent on the same. Therefore, all the actions of the Election Commission must be of such a nature that they should instill confidence in the mind of the people including the poorest of the voters hailing from the most underprivileged and lower strata of society.

The State Election Commission, as far as possible, should avoid taking a certificate from any court that ‘Rome burned while Nero fiddled’,” the court observed.

The petitioners had challenged the two-phase counting of votes with results of elections to municipal corporations being Gujarat HC declared on February 23, before the municipalities, district and gram panchayats go to polls on February 28, primarily on the ground that it may result in influencing the “heart and mind” of rural voters.

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