EC revises Summary Revision for J&K, final rolls to be published on Nov 25

Youth turning 18 on Oct 1 can become voters
*Aadhaar collection to link with voter cards
*Claims & objections between Sept 15-Oct 25
Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Aug 9: The Election Commission of India today revised schedule of Special Summary Revision in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir with November 25 as final date for publication of Electoral Rolls while draft rolls will be published on September 15.
The youth attaining age of 18 years on October 1, 2022 or earlier will be eligible to become voters in Jammu and Kashmir, an order issued today, said.
Political observers were of the view that with November 25 as date for final publication of Electoral Rolls whatever the possibility of holding Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir this year has ended and nearest months for holding elections could be April-May 2023.
As Electoral Rolls will be published on November 25, no time will be virtually left to start and complete the Assembly elections process before snowfall which starts around December 20 with Chillai-Kallan. The earliest time to hold elections will be April-May 2023, depending on the situation.
“The Election Commission of India in pursuance of legal amendments in Section 14 (b) of the Representation of People’s Act 1950 and consequent modifications in Registration of Electors Rules whereby a provision for four qualifying dates (January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1) as eligibility for youngsters to register in Electoral Rolls as opposed to earlier single qualifying date of January 1 only, has been made, revised the Special Summary Revision exercise for the UT of Jammu and Kashmir with reference to October 1, 2022 as qualifying date.
“This means that any person who attains the age of 18 years on or before October 1, 2022 and is otherwise qualified to be enrolled as an elector in the Electoral Roll, can apply for his registration during the Revision,” the Commission’s order said.
It noted that presently, the pre-revision activities as well as post-Delimitation follow up work is going on in Jammu and Kashmir wherein the existing Electoral Rolls are being mapped into newly delimited Assembly constituencies as per the Delimitation Commission’s final order made applicable by the Union Law Ministry with effect from May 20, 2022.
“As part of the pre-revision activities, the process of rationalization/re-arrangement of Polling Stations, removal of discrepancies of Demographically Similar Entries/Photo Similar Entries, Duplicate EPIC, preparation of supplements and integrated draft rolls with reference to October 1, 2022 as the qualifying date is going on at present in J&K. The integrated draft rolls with reference to October 1, 2022 as qualifying date shall now be published by all Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) of the UT on September 15, 2022, marking formal beginning of the revision activities,” the Election Commission’s order, reproduced by the Chief Electoral Officer’s office, said.
It added that the revision activities which shall begin on September 15 include disposal of claims and objections received after publication of integrated draft electoral roll.
And, in order to provide more opportunities to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir, the Commission has extended the period for filing of claims and objections from 30 days to 40 days i.e. September 15 to October 25, 2022, the order read.
During this period, it added, special camps will be organized by the CEO J&K on weekends for which the date will be publicized separately. During the period of filing claims and objections, any person desiring of getting his/her name include in the Electoral Roll or desiring to file any other claim for correction of an entry or any objection against any entry in the Electoral roll shall have multiple platform available for doing so.
The platforms include offline mode, by filing a hard copy of claim/objections in prescribed form before ERO/AERO or BLO concerned and online mode by logging into portal or by downloading Voter Helpline App.
“The final Electoral Rolls after due disposal of all claims and objections filed within stipulated time period shall be published on November 25, 2022.
With new amendments in the Law, the Commission has also made the registration forms more user friendly and simpler. The newly modified forms have come into force with effect from 1st August, 2022. Now, the Form 6 which was earlier being used for registration of new electors and for shifting from one constituency to another, shall be exclusively used for registration of new electors. There is no change in Form 6A. Form 7 which is used for objection to Proposed inclusion/for deletion of a name in existing Electoral roll shall remain to be for the
same purpose with a slight modification that a provision for attaching a death certificate has also been incorporated. Form 8 has under gone a major change. Form 8 now can be used for multiple purposes, viz; correction of any particulars in the roll, shifting of residence (within or outside constituency), replacement of EPIC, and marking of person with Disability. Form 8A which was earlier used for shifting within constituency has been abolished now, as the same provision is made in the new Form 8. In addition to these a new Form 6B has been introduced for capturing Aadhaar number of the existing electors. All Forms (wherever required) have been suitably modified to capture Aadhaar number from the new electors,” the order read.
It said for linking of AADHAAR number with Electoral Roll data, provision has been made in the modified registration forms to seek Aadhaar details of electors. A new Form-6B has also been introduced for collecting Aadhaar number of existing electors. However, no application for inclusion of name in electoral roll shall be denied and no entries in electoral roll shall be deleted for inability of an individual to furnish or intimate Aadhaar Number. It has been emphasized that while handling Aadhaar number of the applicants, the provision under Section 37 of the Aadhaar (Targeted delivery of financial and other subsidies, benefits and services) Act, 2016 must be adhered to. Under no circumstances should it go public. If the electors’ information is required to be put for public display, the Aadhaar details must be removed or masked. A time bound drive is being started for collection of Aadhaar number of the existing electors by or before 01-04-2023. Furnishing of Aadhaar number is purely voluntary. Objective of the programme is to establish the identity of electors and authentication of entries in Electoral Roll.
As per the order, for the purpose of improving the health of the Electoral Roll, the Election Commission has emphasized the need for field verification by the Booth Level Officers. There is a mechanism for supervision and checking for enforcing strict accountability of the work performed by different levels of electoral machinery, such as Supervisors, EROs and AEROs by field verification.
Similarly, DEOs, Roll Observers and CEOs also check the work done by EROs before the final decision on claims and objections is taken. Besides, officers from ECI and CEOs are also deployed to further random checks and to supervise. Respective Divisional Commissioners have been designated Roll Observers in their respective divisions for the purpose of supervision the Electoral Roll work.
Meanwhile, with a view to ensure more involvement of political parties, the Commission has allowed Booth Level Agents (BLAs) of recognized political parties to file applications in bulk, subject to the condition that a BLA shall not submit more than 10 forms to BLO at one time/in one day. If a BLA files more than 30 applications/forms during the entire period of filing claims and objections, then the cross verification must be done by ERO/AERO themselves. Further, the BLA will also submit a list of application forms with a declaration that he has personally verified the particulars of the application forms and is satisfied that they are correct.