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SC notice to Centre on plea against supply of electoral roll to candidates

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New Delhi, Oct 25: The Supreme Court has sought response from the Centre and others on a plea challenging certain provisions of the Registration of Electors Rules 1960 by which the Election Commission is bound to supply two copies of the electoral roll to every contesting candidate.

The PIL filed by two advocates has sought an alternative to save the enormous expenditure as well as the usage of large quantities of paper. It alleged that the country had to bear a cost of about Rs 47.84 crore for printing electoral rolls and supplying it free of cost to the candidates of the recognised parties contesting.

SC notice to Centre on plea against supply of electoral roll to candidates

A bench of Chief Justice U U Lalit and Bela M Trivedi issued notices to the Centre and the Chief Election Commissioner on a plea challenging Rules 11(c) and 22(c) of the Registration of Electors Rules 1960.

"It is submitted that in terms of these Rules, the Election Commission is bound to supply two copies of the electoral roll to every contesting candidate who is assigned a symbol in terms of the Rules. It is further submitted that on this count alone, expenditure of Rs.47,84,38,000 was incurred by the Election Commission in the last elections.

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"Challenge is therefore raised as to the validity of these Rules and it is submitted inter alia that an alternative be devised so as to save the enormous expenditure as well as the usage of large quantities of paper.Issue notice returnable on November 28, 2022," the bench said.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by advocates Hargyan Singh Gahlot and Sanjana Gahlot challenging Rules 11(c) and 22(c) of the Registration of Electors Rules 1960. They claimed that about 31 trees are chopped every day for printing voter lists.

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