Supreme Court Grants Election Commission One Week to Respond to Plea for Voter Turnout Data

National Desk, 18th May: On May 17, the Supreme Court gave the Election Commission one week’s time to respond to a plea by an NGO seeking direction to upload polling station-wise voter turnout data on its website within 48 hours of the conclusion of polling for each phase of the Lok Sabha elections.

A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra assembled at 6.30 pm to hear the plea of NGO Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) on the issue.

The CJI stated that the poll panel should be given some reasonable time to respond to the plea and listed it for hearing before an appropriate bench on May 24, one day prior to the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha polls.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing the NGO, sought urgent listing of the petition. Last week, the NGO filed an interim application in its 2019 PIL seeking directions to the poll panel that “scanned legible copies of Form 17C Part-I (Account of Votes Recorded)” of all polling stations be uploaded immediately after the polls.

According to fresh data issued by the Election Commission on May 17, 69.58 per cent of 8.97 crore men and 68.73 per cent of 8.73 crore women voted in the fourth phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

The voter turnout in the fourth phase stood at 69.16 per cent, 3.65 percentage points higher than the corresponding phase in the 2019 parliamentary elections.

The updated voter turnout figures for the third phase of polling in the Lok Sabha elections stood at 65.68 per cent.

In the second phase of the 2024 elections, the turnout was recorded at 66.71 per cent.

In the first phase of the ongoing general elections on April 19, a 66.14 per cent turnout was recorded.

The poll panel reiterated that the final turnout will only be available post-counting, with counting of postal ballots and its addition to the total vote count.

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