If such information about the contents of the affidavit are made available to the voters through the website of the State Election Commission, it would certainly help the voters to take appropriate decision at the time of voting, the bench said.
Gujarat High Court has directed the State Election Commission to make available all the Poll affidavits online, through the website of the commission, within six months. First bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel and Justice Vipul M. Pancholi said that such a facility would help the voters to take appropriate decision at the time of voting.
The court passed this judgement in a Public Interest Litigation filed by Gujarat Nagrik Sanghatan which urged that the affidavit of the contesting candidate should be made available to the voters at large through the website of the State Election Commission so that the voters if they are desirous to know the credentials of the respective candidate can visit the website of the State Election Commission and gather the information.
The petitioner had submitted that such information would enable the voters to take appropriate decision for casting of vote in favour of a particular candidate or none. He submitted that the Election Commission in the days of transparency with a view to see that a fair opportunity is given to all the voters should encourage the said aspect. He further submitted that unless the details are available of the contents of the respective affidavits of the respective candidates, the voters of the public at large would not be in a position to know as to whether the correct details are given or that any manipulation is made in disclosure or otherwise.
The court said that if such a course, as prayed for in the PIL, it would certainly help the voters to take appropriate decision at the time of voting. The State election commission submitted before the court that they are ready to carry out the directions issued by the court within six months.
The court said that details of all the candidates of elections held in 2015 shall be made available on website of the State Election Commission. The court however declined to issue the direction of uploading all the details of the elections prior to 2015 saying that such details can be availed of under Right to Information Act in accordance with law.
Read the order here.