Source: 
The Telegraph
https://www.telegraphindia.com/elections/lok-sabha-election-2024/election-commission-bristles-at-data-suspicion-accuses-association-for-democratic-reforms-of-carrying-out-consistent-mala-fide-campaign/cid/2022000
Author: 
R. Balaji
Date: 
24.05.2024
City: 
New Delhi

The EC has made the allegation in a sworn affidavit filed in the Supreme Court in response to an application moved by the ADR before the apex court raising suspicion on the percentage of polling reported by the EC during the first two phases of the general election

The Election Commission (EC) has accused the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a prominent civil liberties organisation, of carrying out a “consistent mala fide campaign” to raise “suspicion and doubt” about the conduct of elections “by creating false narratives”.

The EC has made the allegation in a sworn affidavit filed in the Supreme Court in response to an application moved by the ADR before the apex court raising suspicion on the percentage of polling reported by the EC during the first two phases of the general election. The apex court had earlier issued notice to the EC on the ADR’s allegations, pursuant to which the poll panel had filed the affidavit.

According to the ADR, the EC published the voter turnout data for the first two phases of the ongoing election on April 30 — 11 days after the first phase of polling and four days after the second phase.

The data, as published by the EC in its media release dated April 30, shows a sharp increase (by about 5-6 per cent) compared to the initial percentages announced by
the EC as of 7pm on the day of polling.

“It is submitted that the inordinate delay in the release of final voter turnout data, coupled with the unusually high revision (of over 5 per cent) in the ECI’s press note of April 30, 2024, and the absence of disaggregated constituency and polling station figures in absolute numbers, has raised concerns and public suspicion regarding the correctness of the said data,” the ADR had stated.

The EC affidavit stated that there are two sets of data released — one during the closing time of the polls so that the media and other entities get preliminary information and another after the conclusion of the polling process which extends upto 6pm.
At the time of releasing the preliminary data through a media release and other modes, it is made clear that the data is provisional. Yet, the ADR chose to mislead the court by filing the petition, the EC stated.

The Election Commission (EC) has accused the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a prominent civil liberties organisation, of carrying out a “consistent mala fide campaign” to raise “suspicion and doubt” about the conduct of elections “by creating false narratives”.

The EC has made the allegation in a sworn affidavit filed in the Supreme Court in response to an application moved by the ADR before the apex court raising suspicion on the percentage of polling reported by the EC during the first two phases of the general election. The apex court had earlier issued notice to the EC on the ADR’s allegations, pursuant to which the poll panel had filed the affidavit.

According to the ADR, the EC published the voter turnout data for the first two phases of the ongoing election on April 30 — 11 days after the first phase of polling and four days after the second phase.

The data, as published by the EC in its media release dated April 30, shows a sharp increase (by about 5-6 per cent) compared to the initial percentages announced by
the EC as of 7pm on the day of polling.

“It is submitted that the inordinate delay in the release of final voter turnout data, coupled with the unusually high revision (of over 5 per cent) in the ECI’s press note of April 30, 2024, and the absence of disaggregated constituency and polling station figures in absolute numbers, has raised concerns and public suspicion regarding the correctness of the said data,” the ADR had stated.

The EC affidavit stated that there are two sets of data released — one during the closing time of the polls so that the media and other entities get preliminary information and another after the conclusion of the polling process which extends upto 6pm.

At the time of releasing the preliminary data through a media release and other modes, it is made clear that the data is provisional. Yet, the ADR chose to mislead the court by filing the petition, the EC stated.

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