Delhi HC refuses to hear plea of students' body on DUSU election

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to hear a plea of a students' body of Delhi University seeking allotment of ballot numbers to candidates by draw of lots for the students union (DUSU) elections.

PTI| Updated: Aug 26, 2014, 21:05 PM IST

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to hear a plea of a students' body of Delhi University seeking allotment of ballot numbers to candidates by draw of lots for the students union (DUSU) elections.

A bench of Justice Manmohan refused the relief sought by two DU students and the Left outfit -- All India Students Union (AISA) -- saying it will not hear the plea now.

The judge, however, said that they can approach the court after the election.

The election is scheduled for September 12. Candidates are required to file their nominations by September 3.

The court was hearing a petition filed against the Chief Election Officer of DU in which AISA alleged that candidates, whose names appeared on the top of the list under the current system of allotment of ballot in alphabetical order, were getting "unfair advantage" in the elections.

"Article 14 of the Indian Constitution states that the state shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India, prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth," the petition said.

It said, "The allotment of a ballot number determines the position of a particular candidate on the electronic voting machine".

The petition said, "Candidates whose names appear first in the list of candidates on the EVM stand a higher chance of winning as there exists a significant number of voters who, being either unsure of whom they wish to vote for or being unaware of the relative merits or demerits of the various candidates, vote for the candidate whose name appears on the top of the list by default.

The students in their petition said, "Many of the voters are interested only in the college elections and are disinterested in the university-level elections (DUSU). This is also a widely-held perception prevailing among the contesting candidates."

"Such an unfair advantage results in elections being conducted in an unfair, arbitrary and discriminatory manner contrary to the mandate of Article 14 of the Constitution of India."

It further claimed that out of 47,000-50,000 votes, 5,000-7,000 votes would be cast in favour of such candidates.

"Realising this, many of the candidates are having their names changed legally to introduce the alphabets "A" or "a" before their real or original name. This causes their names to come on the top of the list. The legal procedure to change the name is initiated before the elections and, after the elections, persons go back to their original name by following the same legal procedure for change of name," the petition stated.

The NSUI is the student wing of the Congress and the ABVP is the student wing of the BJP.