DEOLALI CAMP: Every Cantonment Board in the country, including Deolali Cantonment Board, now awaits Supreme Court’s decision on the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by NCP district vice president Ratan Chawla against the Deolali Cantonment Board’s voter list. This step comes in response to the omission of almost 19,000 names from the board’s voters list due to technical reasons.
In 2016, the Supreme Court had directed the cantonment boards to omit the names of residents whose building completion plans weren’t approved by the respective board. Also, it directed the boards to remove the names of those who had encroached upon the government’s land. However, the DCB didn’t issue this order for the public and kept on publishing an updated voter registration list every year in June.
Residents, whose names have been omitted now, have regularly paid taxes. These residents have their names registered for Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha (assembly) elections but can’t vote in Cantonment elections. Chalwa and Baburao Mojad, Former Vice President of DCB had warned of appealing in the Supreme Court earlier. However, the board stated that it was the court’s order, and they need to abide by it.
On 10th July, Chawla contacted 60 persons, including Prime Minister, demanding that board’s residents need back their constitutional right to vote and elect their representative. Noting this, the apex court, on October 26, 2021, filed Chawla’s petition in the form of a PIL. Finally, Chawla has received a letter regarding the court’s hearing.
DCB’s Voter List figures
*YEAR - VOTERS
2017 - 32,180
2018 - 29, 243
2019 - 35,102
2020 - 31,043
2021 - 19,228