Petitioners alleged poll official issued it to support illegalities in local body election
The Telangana High Court on Friday suspended a circular issued by State Election Commission (SEC) declaring that ballot papers having a ‘distinguishing mark’ other than the instrument (arrow cross-mark rubber stamp) were also valid.
State Election Commissioner C. Parthasarathy issued the letter on Thursday, a day before counting of GHMC elections had begun. Justice A. Abhishek Reddy, who heard the petition filed by K. Anthony Reddy and K. Surender through House Motion, passed the interim order.
The judge directed the SEC to preserve all ballot papers having ‘distinguishing mark’ other than that of the rubber stamp mark provided at the polling stations. If the number of ballot papers with ‘distinguishing mark’ exceeds 100, the final result of that division should be kept pending, the order said.
The SEC was instructed to file its counter by Monday. The petitioners, both belonging to the BJP, alleged that the SEC issued the circular to support illegalities in the GHMC polls. They contended that the SEC authorities were required to issue a unique mark for polling to avoid confusion and malpractices like rigging.
However, the authorities decided to recognise any and every voting mark as valid, which amounted to illegality, they stated.