Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 24
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has made an alleged exception of its personal “policy and practice” and shared electoral database with images of voters of North-East Delhi with police for the aim of identification after February 2020 communal violence within the metropolis, revealed an RTI response acquired by activist Saket Gokhale.
Sharing a letter from the ECI on Twitter, Gokhale alleged that your entire voter checklist with images was handed over “illegally to the Delhi Police to enable identification of people”.
But the ballot panel, whereas responding to the allegation, in a press release asserted that it has not violated any of the rules on this regard.
In the letter, the ballot panel directed the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Delhi to “display the electoral roll along with images of electors of North-East Parliamentary Constituency” with the police.
“I am directed to refer to your letter No F 2.(12/CEO/ER/ 2012351 dated 06.03.2020, on the subject cited, and to state that the electoral database of entire AC/District should not be shared with the Police Authorities in accordance with the Commission’s prevailing policy and practice.”
However, the fee, holding in view of the request of Delhi Police that images of electors, as obtainable within the electoral roll of North-East Shahdara and East Delhi districts are to be matched with these of culprits captured by CCTV and different video footage obtainable with the investigation group of current incidences of violence in Delhi, “has directed to advise CEO Delhi to display the electoral roll along with images… before the investigating officer in his office. Action be taken accordingly”, learn the letter.
Gokhale tweeted saying: “The 1st line of the order itself admits that voter lists shared with police CANNOT contain photos. ECI broke these rules & made these full voter lists WITH PHOTOS available to police after the Delhi pogrom. This is an easy way to identify minorities living in any area.”
Responding to the allegation, ballot panel stated, “It is hereby clarified in view of the anecdotal reports which are not based on empirical facts that the commission has not in any way deviated from the original guidelines of 2008 and clarificatory orders of 2020 in any manner.”
The fee in its detailed assertion famous that so far as prison investigations by regulatory/enforcement businesses are involved, “it is under their own extant Acts, Rules and guidelines, which in any case can be challenged in the Hon’ble Courts of law”.
It additional stated, “In fact, the entire super structure of the criminal justice system is erected on this. It is only when the Model Code of Conduct is enforced that the Commission invariably takes note of any such event(s)/incident(s), which have the potential of disturbing and/or disrupting the smooth conduct of electoral process and ECI does not interfere in the day to day functioning of the regulatory departments/enforcement agencies.”