Election Commission writes back to Bhim Singh, Denies violation of SC judgment on ‘paper trail’

Election Commission of India in its reply to Prof.Bhim Singh, Chief Patron of National Panthers Party has denied that, “The Commission has taken no initiative to implement ‘paper trail’ as directed by Supreme Court of India in the judgment dated 08.10.2014”. The Commission in its letter signed by Shri Madhusudan Gupta, Under Secretary has claimed that the allegation is not true. Prof.Bhim Singh in his letter dated 16.01.2015 addressed to the CEC has accused Election Commission for holding Assembly elections in December, 2014 in violation of the Supreme Court direction which read as,

“….we permit the ECI to introduce the same in gradual stages or geographical-wise in the ensuing General Election. The area, state or actual booth (s) are to be decided by the ECI and ECI is free to implement the same in a phased manner…”  

Admitting that VVPAT (Voter-verified paper audit trail) system was used in 71-Gandhinagar, 72-Jammu East and 73-Jammu West only. That means Election Commission of India has used ‘paper trail’ system in 3 out of 87 Assembly constituencies. Prof.Bhim Singh said that Gandhinagar Assembly constituency recorded 60% voting percentage whereas in the hills like Bani (Jammu), Bandipora (Kashmir) and other Assembly constituencies crossed voting percentage by 80%. Even in Udhampur Assembly constituency poll percentage crossed 82% which was not possible at all. Prof.Bhim Singh regretted that CEC is adopting ‘paper trail’ system only in two Assembly constituencies in NCT of Delhi say 40-New Delhi & 38-Delhi Cantt. This clearly shows, said Prof.Bhim Singh that the party in power in the Centre is trying to avoid the implementation of SC judgment for the obvious reasons. EVMs were manipulated in J&K and same shall be the situation in NCT of Delhi.

Prof.Bhim Singh said that the Panthers Party is filing a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the validity of the elections held recently in J&K which gave undue advantage to the BJP for obvious reasons.

Prof.Bhim Singh regretted that Election Commission of India has decided to hold biennial election to the Rajya Sabha for four seats in J&K through three notifications which is quite improper, unconstitutional, illegal and malafide as it is done so only to benefit PDP-BJP (new unholy alliance in the offing). In 2009 the Congress as a ruling party in the Centre played the same trick and fraud to secure all the four seats between two alliance partners namely, the Congress and the NC.

 

Bhim Singh urges Election Commission to hold Rajya Sabha Elections in J&K through a single notification

In his letter, Prof.Bhim Singh, Chief Patron of National Panthers Party urged the Election Commission of India to hold Rajya Sabha Elections in J&K through a single notification in the interest of democracy and rule of law. The letter stated that,

“I am taking liberty urging your honour to kindly ensure that Rajya Sabha elections from Jammu and Kashmir are held through a single notification as a matter of equity and rule of law.

          All the four Rajya Sabha Members were elected on the same day, for the same period from J&K. Three notifications were issued last time where were opposed by the Panthers Party at different stages and from different platforms. The Panthers Party moved Election Petition challenging the validity of four Rajya Sabha Members from J&K in J&K J&K High Court. Unfortunately, three tribunals were changed for different reasons and the matter could not be decided. I myself argued the case twice as the First Judge (Tribunal) was transferred from J&K to Allahabad in the middle of the hearing. The second tribunal after having heard the matter could not deliver the judgment as he was retiring. Third Tribunal was again transferred and fourth one could not hear the matter at all in spite mentioning before the Chief Justice.

          This is sad how judiciary is, as the people say, is functioning in J&K. That is the sad end of the tragic tale of democracy in J&K.

          This is very important point which has not been settled till date that opposition/smaller groups in the states could only be accommodated if rule of law is ensured by the Election Commission of India.

          We have four seats in J&K in Rajya Sabha and we are holding election on the same day, same Electoral College, for the same period. What is the justification of issuing three notifications? This is only helping the ruling parties to keep the smaller parties out of contest. If there is one notification minimum number of MLAs would be about 18 but if there are three notifications then one Rajya Sabha Member would require + 44 MLAs. Naturally, two Members shall be elected by the ruling group or new alliance, BJP + PDP or anybody. The third notification to Rajya Sabha Members is only a mockery of the entire system. It shall encourage only horse-trading and daylight corruption horse-trading as it has been happening earlier.

          May I request your honour to kindly reconsider this matter, or you may refer it to the Legal Advisory Committee for their independent opinion in this regard. The present proposed elections for 7th February, 2015 may be postponed or may be held through one notification.

          Sir, wisdom lies in daring.”

NPP Supremo calls on Shri Brahma to greet him as new Chief Election Commissioner of India

Prof.Bhim Singh, Supremo of J&K National Panthers Party and Human Rights Lawyer today called on Shri H.S. Brahma, Chief Election Commissioner of India at Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi and congratulated him as the Chief Election Commissioner of India hoping that his initiative may bring desirable change in the electoral system particularly in respect of use of EVMs as per direction of the Supreme Court for the use of ‘paper trail’ in the system.

Prof.Bhim Singh in his letter addressed to the CEC stated that,

‘The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in its Judgment dated 08.10.2013 clearly laid down the law that,

“From the materials placed by both the sides, we are satisfied that the “paper trail” is an indispensable requirement of free and fair elections. The confidence of the voters in the EVMs can be achieved only with the introduction of the “paper trail”. EVMs with VVPAT system ensure the accuracy of the voting system. With an intent to have fullest transparency in the system and to restore the confidence of the voters, it is necessary to set up EVMs with VVPAT system because vote is nothing but an act of expression which has immense importance in democratic system.”

It is submitted that after one year of the judgment no initiative has been taken to introduce‘paper trail’ in the EVMs which is threatening the credibility of democracy and people’s faith in the EVMs.

Elections in J&K were held in December, 2014 more than one year after the judgment of the Supreme Court. The polling percentage shown from 70 to 85% in the hilly areas of the state was alarming as there was no check because the ‘paper trail’ system was not introduced in the state. The faith of the people in democracy is fading particularly when the EVMs were brought to J&K via Gujarat and purchased without tenders from a particular company in the public sector. The Panthers Party has been demanding introduction of ‘paper trail’ system, cancellation of the present poll so that fresh elections may be held in the state with the ‘paper trail’ system.

It is submitted that general elections of Assembly in NCT of Delhi have been notified but there is no indication whether ‘paper trail’ system in the EVMs shall be followed.

It is submitted that the ‘paper trail’ system should be introduced without any further delay so that people’s faith in the electoral system is not completely demolished because in that case the entire democratic system shall be put under question on its credibility. Once the people loose faith in democracy, the violent forces and enemies of peace shall exploit the situation to add to the anarchy. That can endanger not only democracy but the unity of the country.”

 

Attached: Judgment of the Supreme Court on 08.10.2013.  SC Judgment on 08.10.2013 on EVMs

District Returning Officer favouring BJP, Congress & NC in J&K

Prof.Bhim Singh, Chief Patron, National Panthers Party in his letter addressed to the Chief Election Commissioner of India made a strong protest against the District Returning Officer of Jammu District who has been harassing the Panthers Party workers, creating hurdles in their movement to campaign for the party. NPP Supremo accused District Returning Officer who has got Panthers Party vehicles lifted from its office, NPP headquarters in Jammu District Returning Officer has threatened with dire consequences if all the flags, banners and posters are not removed from the party office. This party office (30-B, Gandhinagar) has been duly allotted to Prof.Bhim Singh by the state.
Prof.Bhim Singh in his letter to CEC accused that some observers are acting at the behest of BJP and the State government to harass the party workers. The District Returning Officer has got Panthers Party vehicles lifted and refused to return the vehicles in spite of the fact that the office of the Chief Electoral Officer has given appropriate permission to use the loudspeakers with PAS.

Bhim Singh meets CEC, demands re-poll in Udhampur Parliamentary Constituency in the interest of democracy

Prof.Bhim Singh, Panthers Party candidate from Udhampur Parliamentary Constituency this morning had 30-minutes meeting with Shri V.S. Sampath, the Chief Election Commissioner at Nirvachan Sadan, New Delhi and submitted a petition to the CEC urging re-poll in the entire Parliamentary Constituency for the reasons that the poll held on 17th April, 2014 was vitiated with rigging, fraud and EVM manipulation by the Congress and BJP candidates supported and abetted by Shri Omar Abdullah, the Chief Minister of J&K. Prof.Bhim Singh informed the CEC that Gulabgarh Assembly segment recorded 82% of poll which was a total fraud as almost all the male members had migrated to Punjab and Himachal Pradesh as they usually do in the month of April & May to seek work in the adjoining states. He also presented press clippings of local and national newspapers which have published stories on the rigging. He informed the CEC that almost all the 38 polling stations in Marwah Dachchan (Gulabgarh) were snatched by the local police officers and carried in helicopters which reached the office of Returning Officer after four days. The EVMs were taken away by the police leaving polling officers behind.

            Prof.Bhim Singh said that same thing happened with the EVMs which were used in Gulabgarh for recording votes. Some of the EVMs were taken to Rajouri District and then brought to Kathua after four days. This electoral crime was repeated by the Govt. of J&K after 26 years. In 1988, the Govt. of J&K headed by Dr. Farooq Abdullah joined by Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad the then General Secretary-AICC had manipulated and rigged the polls which remained on record. Prof.Bhim Singh had won by 32,000 votes in 1988 bye-election in the same parliamentary constituency still he was declared defeated by the power that be.

            Prof.Bhim Singh also presented a book on, ‘Murder of Democracy in J&K’ to the CEC which has carried the details on the murder of democracy by the Congress and the National Conference in 1988. The High Court Judge, Justice K.K. Gupta on an election petition filed by Prof.Bhim Singh had quashed the election by holding the election result as void. Since the Lok Sabha had dissolved by the day judgment was delivered on 15.10.1992, four years after the filing the election petition. The relevant Lok Sabha stood dissolved and replaced by this way.

            Prof.Bhim Singh urged the CEC to treat his petition as a challenge to the validity of polls held on 17th April, 2014 in Udhampur parliamentary election. He urged the CEC to issue notice to the main contenders namely, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad (Congress) and Dr. Jitendra Singh (BJP).

            Prof.Bhim Singh urged the CEC that rigging could be checked to some extent if the voters identity cards issued by the Election Commission of India are retained by the Presiding Officer at the polling station till the counting is over. He informed CEC that hundreds of dead persons in the hills of Gulabgarh, Marwah Dachchan, Padar, Bani and Banihal have cast their votes which should be verified from the record in the interest of democracy and rule of law.

            Prof.Bhim Singh said that he has been fighting against electoral fraud committed by the power that be in Delhi and Srinagar which may prove counter productive for national integration and country’s unity if remained unchecked.

            The petition to the CEC attached.

Attachment:Letter-CEC 

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