SC Trashes plea against EC Officials for not making ‘Clarificatory’ Changes in Voter ID Forms

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea for initiation of contempt proceedings against Election Commission officials for not making “clarificatory” changes in its forms which seek Aadhaar numbers for enrolling new voters and updating details of old ones.

In September last year, the Election Commission (EC) had told the top court that it would make “clarificatory” changes in its forms meant for adding new voters and updating records of old ones in the electoral roll, keeping in mind that providing Aadhaar numbers for voter ID cards is optional.

The poll panel had come out with a new rule on linking Aadhaar with voter lists to weed out duplicate entries.

On Friday, a bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and justices Manoj Misra and Satish Chandra Sharma was urged to initiate contempt proceedings against three EC officials for not doing the needful since September.

“The court had not fixed the time frame (for the EC)… Moreover, they (EC officials) have to do a lot of work ahead of the polls,” the CJI said.

“The contempt is always between the court and the alleged contemnors. We are not going to entertain this. Dismissed,” said the bench.

The contempt plea was filed by G Niranjan, senior Vice President of Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee, against the EC officials.

Earlier, the leader had filed the PIL on the same issue.

It was disposed by the bench after taking note of the submissions of the EC that it would make “clarificatory” changes in its forms.

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The PIL had sought such changes in Rule 26B of the Registration of Electors (Amendment) Rules, 2022.

Rule 26B was inserted for providing Aadhaar number and it says, “every person whose name is listed in the roll may intimate his Aadhaar number to the registration officer in Form 6B”.

The bench had taken note of the submissions of the lawyers for the poll panel that “the Aadhaar number was not mandatory under Rule 26-B of the Registration of Electors (Amendment) Rules, 2022, and hence, the Election Commission was looking into issuing appropriate clarificatory changes in the forms introduced for that purpose”.

The poll panel, however, had said that over 66 crore Aadhaar numbers were already uploaded in the process of finalising electoral rolls.

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