HYDERABAD: In response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed for seeking direction to the Chief Electoral Officer not to finalise the electoral rolls for Graduates’ constituencies for the State Legislative Council,the Telangana High Court sought clarity from the Election Commission and the Telangana government over this issue on Thursday.
In its orders the court issued notices to the Election Commission of India, State Chief Electoral Officer and the Principal Secretary to General Administration Department to file counter affidavits in the petition seeking clarification regarding submission of Form-18 or the relevant form regarding voting rights of graduates from foreign universities for Graduates’ constituencies, who are residents of Telangana. The matter was adjourned to January 7 for further hearing.
A division bench of the court comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy passed this order on Thursday in the PIL filed by one Adhiraj Parthasarathy, from Hyderabad. The petitioner said the qualifications for preparing the electoral rolls by relying on GOs (Nos. 536 and 22) issued in 2006 and 2011 was restricting the rights of many graudates from voting. As per the PIL only a few foreign universities are recognised in the State which would result in denial of right to vote for many graduates in the upcoming polls in Graduates’ constituencies. (With inputs from TNIE)
The Representation of the People Act, 1950 defines who is qualified to be enrolled as a voter for these constituencies. Section 27 (5) (a) of the Act specifies that only those who have been graduates for at least three years or possess a certificate that the state government and Election Commission recognize as equivalent to a degree are qualified to be enrolled in the voter rolls.