HC stays order of single bench on Panchayati Raj elections

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Patna, Feb 21 (UNI) Patna High Court today stayed the order of its single bench delivered earlier regarding the setting aside of the state election commissions directive to ignore ballot papers without the Swastika mark during counting in the 2006 Panchayati Raj polls. A division bench, comprising Chief Justice Rajesh Walia and Justice Barin Ghosh, stayed the order of the single bench which had quashed the directive of the state election commission(SEC) on February 4 regarding non cosideration of ballot papers without the Swastika mark.

Earlier, one Mira Devi and others had filed a writ petition in the high court seeking recounting of ballots, including those without the Swastika mark which were earlier ignored on the SEC directive. On the basis of their petition the high court had ordered counting of ballots even if the Swastika rubber mark was not printed on it. The printing of only the wood mark on ballot would be considered as valid, setting aside the Election Commissions previous order of not allowing any mark other than the rubber impression of the Swastika.

The Swastika mark could not be imprinted on the ballots due to poor quality seal supplied during the elections. As a consequence several thousand ballot papers were used without the mark and only the wood mark appeared on the ballots.


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