A plea has been moved in the Supreme Court against the provisional declaration of election results without actual and accurate reconciliation of discrepancies in polling data. As stated in the PIL petition filed by NGOs Association for Democratic Reforms and Common Cause,.“.. the petitioners see no valid justification in declaring the election results before releasing the final data on the vote count. To maintain the veracity of elections and to uphold voter’s confidence a statutory valid election result should be given importance over a few days of delay. That election results based on estimates and assumptions and without any statutory backing defeats the very purpose of elections.… the present system of declaration of election results raises massive confusion and potential arbitrariness. The infirmities in the existing system of conducting elections by declaring the election results even before the authenticated election data is released by the Election Commission is far more serious and an alarming trend and therefore, cannot be disregarded. That such a protocol is likely to create suspicion, confusion, conflict, and a very discredited electoral process.”.While clarifying that the petitioners are not disputing the final result of this year’s elections, the petition goes on to highlight that the early declaration of election results this year was riddled with discrepancies. In this regard, the petitioners referred to data obtained from the recently introduced “My Voter Turnout App” and the website of the Election Commission of India (ECI)..“as per the research conducted by a team of experts with the petitioner organization there have been serious discrepancies between the number of voters in different constituencies (i.e. the voter turnout data collated and provided by the Election Commission) and the number of votes counted”, the petitioners have submitted..While listing the various discrepancies noted following this study, the petitioners also highlight that in some areas, the discrepancy between the early results and the final tally exceeded the winning margin..“… as per the initial data collected by the petitioners on 28-05- 2019 through ‘My Voter Turnout App’, it was found that there were six constituencies where the discrepancy was more than winning margin.”.While this is the case, it has been pointed out that neither the statutory rules nor the 2019 Election Manual deals with such discrepancies arising out of the counting process. The matter is thus left to the arbitrary discretion of election commission officials. There is presently no prescribed system for compiling, reconciliation and publishing of poll data. Therefore, the petition states, the ECI has been evading placing the methodology followed by it in the public domain. It is further stated,.” (the ECI) does share the quantum of discrepancies encountered in the entire election process nor the methodology adopted by it for resolution of the same. The Press Releases of the Respondent No.1 (ECI) are the only source of information to the general public on the subject, which under the circumstances at best, are misleading.”.The petitioner has pointed out that the ECI declared election results this year on the basis of provisional figures and without determining the exact ballot count or reconciling discrepancies from various constituencies. This was in the backdrop of various reports concerning missing or unaccounted Electoral Voting Machines (EVMs), transportation of EVMs in violation of prescribed norms and other allied malpractices..“… a series of glaring examples as reported in several newspaper reports will also prove that how the biggest democracy like ours is decaying slowly and steadily. In our current electoral process voters have been reduced to merely people exercising their franchise once in five years and, once the vote is cast, then retiring in passivity.“.Moreover, the petitioner also highlights that some of the data on the cited discrepancies were thereafter taken down from the ECI website without any explanation..“… the lack of reasoned explanation by the Respondent No.1 on mismatch and the cleanup of certain data from its website has therefore, caused serious doubts in the mind of citizens about the entire process of counting and result declaration … the Election Commission of India is not justified in cleaning up its own data and change the methodologies at random and at will so as to reconcile the various figures held by it under different statutory forms.”.Additionally, the petitioners also claim that RTI queries filed for data on this year’s election results did not yield any response. In view of these concerns, the petitioners have now moved the Supreme Court, contending that,.“.. declaring results on unverified data without reconciliation of discrepancies is arbitrary, unjust, not transparent, illogical and unconstitutional … the discrepancies are too large in numbers spread across the board that it merits a close scrutiny and system to monitor and resolve for future elections to inspire public confidence in the system … declaration of the results by the Respondent No. 1 prior to receiving the actual data from all Returning Officers and its reconciliation in a systematic and transparent manner is unconstitutional, illegal, arbitrary and unjust.“.Therefore, the following prayers have been made;.That the Supreme Court directs the ECI to conduct actual and accurate reconciliation of data before the declaration of the final result of any election.That the Supreme Court directs the ECI to provide the following information in the public domain for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and for all future elections: (i) statutory forms 17C, Form 20, Form 21C, Form 21D & Form 21 E.That the Supreme Court directs the ECI to investigate the discrepancies which had taken place in the 17th Lok Sabha election results (2019 Elections).That the Supreme Court directs the ECI to formulate a robust procedure for all future elections for the investigation of all discrepancies in election data.