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SGPC Elections: Irregularities in voter lists, Complainants term probe an eyewash

April 15, 2011 | By

Amritsar (April 16, 2011): Even as an inquiry conducted by Deputy Commissioner KS Pannu into alleged irregularities in the registration of voters for the upcoming Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections has indicted junior officials for laxity, complainants have termed the probe an eyewash. They say the probe was conducted half-heartedly and all allegations were not probed; besides, they say, senior officials were spared the blame.
Baldev Singh Sarsa, special secretary, SAD (Panch Pardhani) head of Shiromani Panthic Council (SPC), had made numerous complaints to authorities regarding the registration of fake voters for elections and deletion of eligible voters. This elicited no response from officials and even Gurdwara Election Commission, responsible for holding free and fair polls for SGPC, which then forced Sarsa to file a writ petition before Punjab and Haryana High Court, seeking directions for inquiry.

The court disposing of his civil write petition no. 3094, dated February 21, 2011, directed the DC to act on complaints. Following this, the DC ordered probe into the SGPC constituency Ajnala and SDM, Ajnala, who is also Returning Officer of the segment was asked to probe the matter. “The SDM completed the inquiry and found the anomalies and action had been directed against the erring officials,’’ stated the DC adding that government staff showed negligence while performing their duties.

The inquiry looked into the allegations of 102 fake voters at village Chak Dogran and various adjacent booths. The SDM issued notices to all the voters and they were found to be clean shaven, and thus ineligible to be voters as only Keshdhari voters can vote. “Apart from them, the SDM has ordered to delete 175 more names from the voters’ lists at this village and in the villages of Khanwal, Ballarwal and Fattewal,’’ stated the DC’s inquiry report.

In the village Jassar, 64 voters erroneously figured in the voters’ lists twice, which had also been deleted. Regarding the allegation that there are only 1250 votes at village Sarangdev, including 642 males and 608 females, the SDM stated that the complaint did not noticed that there were two booths in the village.

While all these anomalies had been corrected and action recommended, Sarsa said the inquiry is conducted in a hush-hush manner. “My major allegations is that in the voters’ list no 33, the serials from 1-122 and from 221-326 are male voters, in list no 34 the serials from 609-831 are all males while serial 515-839 all are women, (thus) the inquiry was not conducted properly. There are instances when in one house more than 100 voters are shown to be living, which had also been ignored,’’ he said adding that he had made fresh representation to the DC to inquire into these matters or he will have to approach the Court again.

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