Chhattisgarh High Court Grants 78-Year-Old Woman Permission to Vote by Postal Ballot

In a significant ruling, the Chhattisgarh High Court affirmed that voting is a fundamental right of Indian citizens and cannot be denied to anyone. The court granted permission to 78-year-old Sarla Shrivastava to vote by postal ballot due to her inability to walk and arthritis.

Sarla Shrivastava, a resident of Mungeli Road in Bilaspur, had petitioned the High Court after her application for a postal ballot was rejected by the Bilaspur District Election Officer. The rejection was based on recent amendments to electoral rules, which now allow only voters aged 85 and above to use postal ballots, a change from the previous age limit of 80.

In her plea, Shrivastava argued that her right to vote should be upheld despite her physical limitations. The medical certificate issued by the health department supported her case by stating her inability to walk.

The court also stated that individuals who are unable to walk should not be required to repeatedly provide proof of their disability for each election. The Election Commission or district administration could review applications for postal ballots but must facilitate voting arrangements.

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