GHMC polls: Telangana High Court suspends State Election Commission's circular on 'special' ballot papers

"If the margin is less than the disputed ballot papers, then the disputed ballot papers shall not be taken into account and the result of the Ward may not be declared," the court order said.

Agencies
Voters wait with there voter cards outside a polling both for the GHMC Elections.
Hyderabad: Telangana High Court on Friday suspended a circular issued by the State Election Commission (SEC) which allows counting of votes with "distinguish marks" other than the standard Swastik symbol (crossed arrow mark), for the polls held for Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation on December 1.

Hearing a House Motion, Justice Abhishek Reddy while suspending SEC's circular said the ballots which have "distinguish marks" should be kept separately and if they are detrimental to the poll results, the outcome should not be announced.

"If the margin is less than the disputed ballot papers, then the disputed ballot papers shall not be taken into account and the result of the Ward may not be declared," the court order said.


Earlier some Returning Officers asked the SEC what they should do in case they find some "distinguish mark" instead of Swastik symbol on any ballot paper.

Based on that the SEC on Thursday night issued a circular saying "if the intention of the voter is clear on marking to a particular candidate the vote can be treated as valid since it is the mistake of the polling officer..."

The petitioners Antony Reddy and K Surender (a candidate in the GHMC polls) sought the court to declare the circular issued by the SEC as illegal, arbitrary and contrary to the election laws.
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Sources in the SEC told PTI that all the returning officers have been communicated about the High Court directive and act accordingly.

The matter was posted to December 7 for further hearing.
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