Advocate Joshi requested that the court call the EVMs, open them, remove bogus votes, and add tender votes.
Mumbai: It’s been more than a week since BMC election results on February 23 however Shiv Sena’s civic poll candidate Surendra Bhagalkar has refused to accept defeat and approached a small causes court, seeking direction for reduction of bogus votes from candidates’ accounts and counting of “tender votes” so as to freshly decide the winner of BMC ward number 220
Mr Bhagalkar, as Sena candidate, garnered 5,946 votes, and so did his opponent, Atul Shah, following which, BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta himself reached the counting centre and implementing a May 1996 notification, drew lottery declaring Mr Shah as the winner.
Mr Bhagalkar’s lawyer Balkrishna Joshi on Thursday filed an election petition in the small causes court saying that there were five “tender votes” (a tender vote is one where a person, after going to the polling booth finds out that some other person has already cast a vote on his behalf which is a bogus vote, and is subsequently allowed by the presiding officer of the booth to cast his/her vote through ballot paper) in his constituency and they should be counted to decide who is the winner. Advocate Joshi requested that the court call the EVMs, open them, remove bogus votes, and add tender votes.
The petitioner’s contention is that though the Mumbai Municipal Corporation does not have a provision to count “tender votes”, the high court and Supreme Court in the past have interpreted that in such situations, tender votes must be counted. The matter has been posted for hearing on March 20.