Postal Ballot: Validity of Section 60(c) of the Representation of People Act challenged in Madras High Court

A petition has been filed in the Madras High Court, raising the question over the constitutional validity of Section 60(c) of the Representation of People Act, 1951, which enables the government to prescribe groups of voters who can vote by sending their votes using the postal services.

DMK has argued in the petition that Section 60(c) empowers the executive authority to incorporate groups of persons as postal ballot voters solely on the basis of its whims and fancies, without any guiding principle.

The complainant contends that there is a complete lack of clarity as to who can all be part of this “class of people” who are allowed to send the postal ballots.

In addition to challenging Section 60(c), the petition also challenged Rules 27A to 27L of the Conduct of Election Rules 1961 and the amendments to the Rules 2019 and 2020.

Under these laws, “absentee voters” have now been designated by the government to include individuals working in “essential services,” senior citizens, or persons with disabilities.

The DMK has expressed concern that these groups of citizens have not been clearly identified, which could lead to tampering with the introduction of fake voters or the impact of voters, thereby affecting the purity of elections.

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