(a) whether any survey has been conducted to find out bogus voters in the country;

(b) if so, the details in this regard, state-wise;

(c) whether the States like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan where bogus voters have been registered from Pakistan and Bangladesh on the basis of Smart Cards issued by private firms; and

(d) if so, the steps taken to immediately stop the issuance of such Smart Cards in order to prevent the issue of bogus cards?

Answer given by the minister


(a) & (b): The expression `bogus` voter literally means `fictitious` voter and in this connection the Election Commission of India is of the view that there are hardly any fictitious electors in the electoral rolls. However, the possibility of duplicate or multiple entries of names, names of dead electors in the elector rolls cannot be denied. The main reason for duplicate or multiple entries in electoral rolls is that the electors, who shift their residence from one place to another, do not take care to get their names deleted from the previous electoral roll, before enrolling their names at new places. This is all the more true where the labour migrates either within the State or even to the other States in search of seasonal employment. However, some times during house to house enumeration or during the period of filing claims and objections, some names of ineligible persons find their way into the electoral rolls due to false information provided by the applicants and might have procured the Elector`s Photo Identity Cards. The Election Commission has no data of such cases. The Election Commission has taken several measures to remove the duplicate/multiple entries and names of dead persons from the electoral rolls. The electoral rolls are now being furnished to the Gram Sabhas, Resident Welfare Associations, local authorities, Non-Government Organisations, etc., apart from the recognized political parties. The names of electors of the concerned areas are being read out in the meetings of the Gram Sabhas, Resident Welfare Associations, etc. and they are now assisting the electoral registration authorities in getting the names deleted of those persons who are no longer residing in their areas or those who have died. The authorities concerned with the registration of births and deaths have also been directed to furnish lists of dead persons to the electoral registration authorities twice in a year - January and July. The Computer technology is also being used extensively and intensively to identify and weed out the duplicate/multiple entries. The electoral rolls are being revised now almost every year. During such revision, the draft rolls are displayed at a large number of designated locations very near the localities concerned enabling the residents to scrutinize those rolls and file claims and objections at those designated locations themselves. Special campaign drives are also carried out at a large number of designated locations on specified days, which are normally holidays for the general public. Apart from the other designated locations, even the post offices are now being used as designated locations and the assistance of the postal authorities is being utilized for displaying the rolls, receiving claims and objections and even for the local verification of those claims and objections.

(c) & (d): The Election Commission of India has informed that as per the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 and the Registration of Electors Rules, 1960, only Indian citizens are eligible for inclusion into electoral roll and only persons registered as such can obtain an Elector`s Photo Identity Card. As proof of residence documents like Bank/Kisan/Post Office Pass Book, Ration Card, Driving License, Passport, Gas Connection, Telephone/Electricity/Water Bill, etc. issued mostly by Government agencies are considered. The Election Commission has further informed that neither it has issued instructions for accepting Smart Cards issued by private firms as an evidence of proof of residence for the purpose of registration in the electoral roll nor it is aware of registration of electors in the electoral roll of the States of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan on the basis of Smart Cards issued by the private firms and as such the Commission is not concerned with the issuance and/or stoppage of issuance of such Smart Cards.