Chennai: Wondering as to how the computers could delete the names from the voters list and fixing the responsibility on the officials from the level of district election officer, State Information Commissioner S.Muthuraj has directed the Chennai corporation to pay within 30 days, a sum of Rs 10,000 as compensation to a three-member family, whose names were deleted during the 2016 general assembly elections.
State Information Commissioner Muthuraj gave the directive while passing orders on an application filed by G.Masilamani.
According to Masilamani, he was living with his wife and son on 9th street in Anna Nagar for 30 years. They were given voters ID card in March 2016. While so, during the May 16, 2016, state assembly elections, their names were removed from the voters list and hence, they could not cast their votes. Therefore, he sent an application under the RTI Act to the Chennai corporation, seeking the reasons for the deletion of their names. In his response dated October 5, 2016, the public information officer said there names were present in the voters list. Since, there was delay and the reply lacked details. He preferred an appeal. Since there was no proper response, he filed the present second appeal, he added. The PIO and the assistant revenue officer, who were present during the enquiry before the SIC Muthuraj, submitted that none of the officials concerned had deleted their names. It got deleted due to computer error, they added.
Rejecting their submissions, the SIC Muthuraj said this showed the carelessness on the part of the officials concerned. No one can deny that there were several stages from the preparation of voters list and declaration of the names of returned candidates, in which computers were used. Voters participation in elections was the basic structure of the democracy.
This should be maintained at any cost. This commission concludes that putting the blame on the computers for deletion of names of voters was only to protect the officials, Muthuraj added....