Chennai: Counting of votes polled in the
election to the local bodies in Tamil Nadu on Octber 17 and 19
would be videographed at all the counting booths, the state
government informed the Madras High Court on Thursday.
The submission was made before a Division Bench comprising
Justices D Murugesan and KK Sasidharan while hearing a
petition by S Mohan Raj of Udumalpet taluk.
Advocates K Selvaraj and Sugirdha Selvaraj appearing for
the petitioner apprehended that in the absence of a specific
order for videographing the counting of votes, candidates
supported by the ruling party "would definitely influence the
counting officers" and get themselves declared as elected.
The Bench ordered that adequate police protection be
provided for the counting.
State Advocate-General A Navaneethakrishnan submitted that
counting at all centres would be videographed and hence no
direction was required.
On the question of appointing independent observers for
the counting of votes, the Judges made it clear that it was
not permissible under the law.
Regarding use of web cameras, they said no direction could
be given as the plea was made at the last minute.
On another plea for simultaneous counting of votes, the
Bench said the Tamil Nadu Panchayat Election Rules would be