HC Refuses to Entertain plea against use of Gram Volunteers in Electoral process in AP

The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to entertain a public interest litigation seeking a direction to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to not utilise the services of gram volunteers and village secretariats for preparing electoral rolls in Andhra Pradesh.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet PS Arora said the petitioner NGO has challenged an order issued by the State of Andhra Pradesh, therefore, the appropriate forum for raising the issue would be the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

The bench disposed of the plea while granting liberty to the petitioner to approach the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

The petition moved by NGO Citizens for Democracy, through its Secretary N Ramesh Kumar, a retired IAS officer and former state election commissioner, said it was filed to maintain the sanctity of the electoral process.

The petition sought restraining the Andhra Pradesh government from interfering in the process of preparing electoral rolls for parliament and assembly elections by involving gram volunteers/ward volunteers and village secretariats/ward secretariats, who it claimed are cadre of the ruling party, instead of engaging teachers in the exercise.

The petitioner sought a direction for setting aside the June 2019 government order to that effect, claiming that it was illegal, arbitrary and unconstitutional.

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