Cannot Direct ECI To Use Maha Bar Council List Of Advocates To Prepare Electoral Roll: Bombay HC [Read Order]

Cannot Direct ECI To Use Maha Bar Council List Of Advocates To Prepare Electoral Roll: Bombay HC [Read Order]

Asserting that people cannot be compulsorily made voters, the Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court recently refused to direct the Election Commission of India (ECI) to use the list of advocates prepared by the Bar Council of Maharashtra for preparing the list of voters for Graduate Constituency of Maharashtra Legislative Council.

The order was passed by a bench comprising Justice TV Nalawade and Justice Sunil K Kotwal, on a petition filed by one Shaikh Majit Sardar, who had submitted that since the Bar Council is a statutory body, the list of advocates prepared by it can be used to prepare the electoral roll.

The court, however, refused to accept this contention, pointing out that it is only the ECI which is empowered to prepare the electoral roll for any constituency. It observed,

"The elections to the aforesaid constituency are covered by the Representation of People Act, 1950. The provisions of the said Act and the Rules framed for preparation of the voters list viz. Registration of Electors Rules, 1960 show that only Election Commission is entitled to prepare the electoral roll of the aforesaid graduate constituency."

It further explained that even though the Bar Council of Maharashtra is a statutory body, the purpose of its creation is different. Hence, it cannot be made a part of the election process, it ruled.

Furthermore, the court emphasised on the right of people to decide for themselves to become voters, asserting, "No person can be compulsorily made voter and procedure which is required to be followed for enrolling a person as voter in electoral roll needs to be followed."

The petition was, therefore, dismissed.

Read the Order Here