Right to responsibly refuse to vote - request for EC public statement

Formal request for public clarification of procedure
for refusal to vote was made to EC today vide
following letter as well as by signed statements
apropos Pushta and DERC by voters inclined to refuse
to vote on those counts.

----------------letter 06.05.2004---

Legal Secretary, Election Commission of India
Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi ?110001

Sub: 'Refuse to vote'
Ref: My letter of 05.05.04 (enclosed)

Dear Mr Wilfred,
I had come to EC yesterday after someone told me about
a Form-12C for the above that I could not locate on EC
website but found instead the procedure in Chapter XX
in Handbook for Presiding officers, which you
confirmed to me. Subsequently I read newspaper reports
about some Form 17-A. In these election officials are
quoted and also at EC office yesterday officers I
spoke to before you were unaware of the procedure for
refusing to vote.

This is firstly to request EC to issue a public
clarification so that polling officers are informed
and voters wanting to responsibly refuse to vote are
not inconvenienced.

Secondly, yesterday's matter in High Court about plans
for Pushta polling and media reports thereafter miss
the point that only a fourth of the voters were
resettled. Representations have been made to EC,
inclusive of response to Public Notice pasted after
first demolition, about likely implications for polls.
Especially since EC had given clearance to Pushta
evictions and since violence is now expected at Pushta
booths I think free and fair Pushta poll pre-requires
EC to adequately inform Pushta voters, especially the
majority not in resettlement colonies. I am enclosing
a statement that some are using in this regard.

Thirdly, apropos other matters of unlawful schemes
that have a bearing on polls also some citizens are
seeking clarification about how to responsibly refuse
to vote. In this regard I am enclosing a statement
apropos an electrification scam and its politics,
about which some letters have been sent to EC,
including by me on 09.04.04.

I mention these in support of my request for the
option to refuse to vote to be widely publicized by EC
in the four days remaining before the poll. I
apologize for not having raised this earlier, but
media reports of NGO demands and PIL and EC proposal
for 'none-of-these' had given me the impression that
there is also no option in existing electoral law to
responsibly and constructively draw attention of
'all-of-these' to issues that the political agenda is
failing to capture. I do believe EC must inform all
voters of this option and I hope to be able to meet
you in this regard today.
Yours sincerely,

Gita Dewan Verma / Planner
B.Arch (SPA, gold medalist); M.Planning (SPA, gold
medalist); PG Dip-Research (IHS-Rotterdam, top rank);
Dip-Training (DoPT)
Formerly: Senior Fellow (HUDCO-HSMI), Visiting Faculty
(SPA, TVB SHS), Consultant (DfID, IHSP, Nuffic,
UNICEF, etc)
Currently: Independent researcher / writer and
consultant to citizens' groups synergising on Master
Plan Implementation Support Group

cc: Secretary (AK), also in hope of being able to meet
today about, especially, Pushta.

Do you Yahoo!?
Win a $20,000 Career Makeover at Yahoo! HotJobs

Partial thread listing: