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EC: Said no to police over poll rolls data in northeast Delhi riots probe

By: The Press Reporter News Service | New Delhi |

Revealed: August 25, 2020 4:33:52 am


Police sources mentioned an analogous request was additionally despatched to the transport division, which shared pictures from driving licences with the investigators.

IN AN uncommon request, the Delhi Police sought the digital electoral database of three districts in reference to its investigation into the Northeast Delhi riots earlier this 12 months, however didn’t pursue the matter after the Election Fee (EC) denied entry and provided bodily inspection of voters’ record as a substitute, The Indian The Press Reporter has learnt.

In response to a letter launched by activist Saket Gokhale on Monday, the Delhi Police sought the database in March to match the pictures of voters in Shahdara, North-East and East Delhi districts with the “pictures of culprits captured by CCTV and different video footage” accessible with the officers investigating the riots.

The Delhi Police had approached the state Chief Electoral Officer, and the Commissioner Of Police, S N Shrivastava, had additionally written on to the ballot panel within the first week of March.

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Police sources mentioned an analogous request was additionally despatched to the transport division, which shared pictures from driving licences with the investigators.

Sources mentioned the EC, nevertheless, denied entry to its digital voter database, in accordance with its present coverage. “The Delhi Police needed to test our database to confirm their inputs and knowledge. If an company desires us to cooperate in an investigation, we can’t be seen to be obstructing it. But it surely was ensured that we didn’t deviate from our established stand on sharing our database with the police. Solely a bodily inspection was permitted. Copies (of the electoral roll) weren’t allowed to be shared,” mentioned a supply within the ballot panel.

After the EC’s clarification on the matter to the Delhi Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), the police didn’t pursue the matter additional. In response to sources, the Delhi Police division was desirous about procuring a mushy copy of the electoral roll because it needed to make use of a software program to match the faces digitally to its record of riot suspects.

For the reason that EC’s letter solely advised that the police be allowed to view the record within the workplace, the method of digital matching by any software program wouldn’t have been potential and, subsequently, the police didn’t comply with it up, sources mentioned. In consequence, the record was not confirmed to them, sources mentioned.

On Monday night, the EC issued a press assertion saying that it had not, in any means, deviated from its authentic pointers of 2008 and clarificatory orders of 2020 on sharing of electoral roll and EPIC database with varied authorities departments.

“It additionally must be acknowledged that so far as prison investigations by regulatory departments/ enforcement companies is anxious, it’s beneath their very own extant Acts, Guidelines and pointers, which in any case will be challenged within the Hon’ble Courts of legislation. In truth, your entire tremendous construction of prison justice system is erected on this. It’s only when the Mannequin Code of Conduct is enforced that Election Fee invariably takes notice of any such occasion(s)/ incident(s), which have the potential of disturbing and/ or disrupting the sleek conduct of electoral course of and ECI doesn’t intrude within the daily functioning of the regulatory departments/enforcement companies,” the assertion mentioned.

In the meantime, police sources mentioned the pictures from driving licences, despatched by the transport division, had been forwarded to the Crime Information Workplace (CRO), which ran them by a software program to match them with the pictures of suspects. In case of a match, police sought particulars of the person for additional investigations, an officer mentioned.

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