KALKA MLA Pardeep Chaudhary’s Haryana Assembly election was challenged by the Jannayak Janta Party candidate Bhag Singh on Tuesday before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, on the grounds that Singh had to withdraw from the polls, after his name was “illegally” deleted from the electoral rolls by the election authorities.
“A notice has been issued in the Election Petition and the matter is scheduled for hearing on February 4 on the judicial side,” said advocate Surjit Singh Salar, who represents Bhag Singh in the petition filed by him. Singh said in his election petition that he was not issued the requisite notice before the deletion of his name from the electoral rolls and no such record was available. The Panchkula Administration, in relation to the matter, conceded that the record regarding the deletion has gone missing. Initially, according to the petition, his name had figured in the electoral roll in April 2019 and in the revised roll as well in August 2019.
“The petitioner was shown as elector even upto October 7, 2019, on the website of the Election Commission. It is by way of mischief that without any authority and jurisdiction, the properly revised published list was meddled with and forgery was committed by printing it with the word ‘deleted’ against the vote of the petitioner,” the petition read. It added that the nomination papers of Bhag Singh were “illegally” rejected due to this action.
Following the “disappearance” of the record regarding the deletion, the services of an Election Kanungo and a Data Entry Operator were terminated. The Haryana CEO had also recommended action against the then SDO (C) Kalka and Electoral Returning Officer Virender Chaudhary, the then BDPO Raipur Rani Daljit Singh, who was the Assistant Returning Officer, and Nirmala Kumari, a Booth Level Officer posted at Kalka Constituency.
According to the norms, an electoral registration officer is required to “give the person concerned a reasonable opportunity of being heard in respect of the action proposed to be taken in relation to him”, however, Bhag Singh said that he was sent any notice. Moreover, Singh said that the officials have claimed that they are unable to find a record of the same.