Double-voter MLA case goes to EC

SP's Behraj MLA Prem Prakash Singh voted in Uttarakhand by-poll at Sitarganj

The Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA from Barhaj constituency in Deoria district, Prem Prakash Singh, could be in trouble for having his name in the electoral rolls at two different places — in UP and Uttarakhand.

A week after Uttarakhand Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Radha Raturi sent a report to UP CEO Umesh Sinha stating that Singh is a voter in Sitarganj Assembly constituency there, Deoria District Magistrate Kumar Ravikant Singh today confirmed to the CEO that Singh is registered as voter in Barhaj constituency in UP also.

Officials said Singh may have to face action, as under Sections 17 and 18 of the Public Representatives Act, 1950, nobody is allowed to be registered as voter at more than one place.

Sinha referred the matter — with reports of Deoria DM and Uttarkhand CEO — to Election Commission of India for taking further decision on Friday.

While applying for inclusion of his or her name in the electoral roll, an applicant has to make a declaration in the application form that he or she is not a voter any other place. For making a wrong declaration, a person could face imprisonment of one year or penalty or both.

Singh's matter came into light when he allegedly cast his vote in Sitarganj Assembly bypoll in Uttarakhand on July 8. Taking cognizance of media reports published there in this regard, Uttarkhand CEO Raturi inquired the matter and sent a report to UP CEO last week, stating that Singh is registered as a voter at Dak Bangla-Basgar polling station in Sitarganj Assembly constituency there. Raturi had also sent photocopies of media reports.

The CEO had then sought a detailed report from the Deoria DM about the status of MLA's name in the electoral roll. The CEO received the reply today in which DM Kumar Ravikant Singh confirmed that Singh has his name enrolled in the electoral roll in Barhaj Assembly constituency. The DM also gave details of the part and serial number of MLA's name in electoral roll.

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