Saturday, Sep 14, 2002
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By Our Staff Reporter
Dismissing an election petition filed by the losing candidate of the DMK, S. Paulraj, Justice P. Thangavel said: ``Recount of votes cannot be ordered by the Returning Officer if a petition filed with vague allegations or if the petition is filed after declaration of results by the Returning Officer, even if such application contains sound reason''. (Mr. Hakeem won by 147 votes).
In his petition, Mr. Paulraj alleged that after the completion of 10th round of counting the Returning Officer had `unilaterally altered' the votes polled by candidates in the fourth round, ignoring objections from counting agents.
Mr. Gnanadesikan, senior counsel for Mr. Hakeem, said no alteration of fourth round figures was possible after the completion of 10th round since the details of polled votes are entered in Form 17-C and Form 20. These forms, duly entered by the counting supervisor, have to be handed over to the Returning Officer signed by the candidate or his agent.
Mr. Justice Thangavel noted, ``it is evident that there is no correction found in Form 20 and therefore the question of ordering recount of votes does not arise''. Ruling that the Returning Officer had not altered the figures unilaterally, he said, ``there is no proof of material facts to set aside the declaration of Mr. Hakeem as victorious candidate''.
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