The Special Committee of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (BCTN) has intimated that Justice (Retd.) A Ramamoorthy has been appointed as the new Returning Officer (RO) for the State Bar Council Elections.
This follows the abrupt resignation of RO Justice (Retd.) M Vijayaraghavan on Tuesday morning citing “personal reasons”.
A notification issued on Tuesday evening informs that Justice Ramamoorthy has acceded to takeover as RO in his stead, following the request of the Special Committee. Accordingly, it has been intimated,
“He [Justice Ramamoorthy] has graciously accepted to come to the Bar Council office by 9.30 a.m. on 16.05.2018 and commence the counting process on tomorrow itself with the assistance of two Assistant Returning Officers and other persons by 11.00 a.m. (approximately) as decided by him.
Hence, the candidates or their authorised agents are requested to assemble as usual in the Counting Hall by 10.30 a.m. for taking part in the counting process.”
Justice Ramamoorthy will be assisted by Assistant ROs G Ganesan and Emas Siddhrthar, who were appointed in this capacity last month.
The notification issued by Senior Advocate R Singaravelan on behalf of the BCTN Special Committee has also requested that bar council members to refrain from sending messages attributing motive against anyone in light of these developments.
“I humbly request the members of the Bar to avoid sending any wrong and baseless WhatsApp messages attributing motive against anyone as our life and respect towards each other are not going to be over with the election alone and it is to be remembered that human dignity is the fundamental right guaranteed to everyone under Art.21 of Constitution of India.”
Justice Ramamoorthy is the fourth RO to be appointed for the 2018 edition of the Tamil Nadu State Bar Council Elections. Prior to Justice Vijayaraghavan’s appointment, Justices (Retd.) GM Akbar Ali and T Mathivanan had occupied the post. However, both ROs resigned last month on grounds of health problems and illness.
Treat ambiguous votes as valid if voter’s intention clear, BCI
In the meanwhile, the Bar Council of India (BCI) has directed that if any ambiguity or doubt arises as to the validity of any vote, the benefit of doubt should be in favour of the voter by declaring his vote valid. The guideline has been issued through a communication made on Monday, based on a cited May 12 order of the Election Tribunal. Accordingly, the BCI has directed,
“No vote should be rejected or declared invalid if there is a slight inadvertent overwriting or ambiguity, if otherwise the intention of the voter apparently appears to be clear.
The Bar Council of India is of the view that this guideline being in the best interest of the voters and candidates alike, should be followed in all State Bar Councils where the counting of votes is still going on.”
Read BCTN Notification on appointment of RO Justice (Retd.) A Ramamoorthy:BCTN Elections RO - NOTICE-15.05.2018
Read official resignation letter of RO Justice (Retd.) M Vijayaraghavan:BCTN Elections - RO resignation - notice -15.5.2018
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