Expedite inclusion of Brus in electoral rolls rules Tripura HC 
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Agartala: The High Court of Tripura has directed the state election Commission to expedite the enrollment process of the internally displaced Bru migrants in the electoral rolls being prepared for the ensuing elections. Rejecting the argument of the State Election Commission that stated that enrollment of Bru migrants in the electoral rolls is subject to the construction of houses, the Court observed that construction of houses could not be the basis of inclusion in the voters’ list. 

“In the light of the above, the subject matter of communication dated 05.09.2022 regarding inclusion of persons belonging to Bru (Reang) community on the basis of RoR and completion of construction of houses cannot be the basis for inclusion or exclusion of the persons belonging to this community in the electoral roll. The State Election Commission is under obligation to include the name of all the persons belonging to Bru (Reang) community in the electoral rolls irrespective of their names in the RoR or whether he/she has been permanently residing in a constructed house or not. I reiterate that as per clause 4.9 reproduced here-in-above, under the Quadripartite Agreement, the person belonging to Bru (Reang) community has to be included in the electoral roll. The object of this clause in the Agreement is to treat them as a citizen of the State of Tripura having given them the right to exercise their franchise”, the Court order reads. 

The High Court Single Bench headed by Justice Arindam Lodh also directed the State Election Commission to expedite the process and hold the elections taking the grievances of the petitioner into account. 

“This object the government sought to be achieved should not be thwarted by the State Election Commission in a casual manner. I have noticed that a Division Bench of this court after consideration of all factual scenarios directed the State government as well as the State Election Commission to conduct Village Committee election “preferably within 1st week of November, 2022.”

I have considered that the election process has not been started. The process of preparing the electoral roll is going on. In view of this, I direct the State Election Commission to complete the process of preparing the electoral roll expeditiously and hold the election in accordance with law taking into account the grievance of the petitioners and also keeping in mind,” the order added. 

Earlier, the Court issued notice to State Election Commission seeking its reply on the concerns of petitioner raised in the plea. In its reply the State Election Commission submitted that inclusion of the Bru migrants now being permanently settled in 15 select locations of the state is underway. 

“Till date 5009 persons have been enrolled out of approximate 21703 eligible Bru migrants at different location. It is further revealed that enrollment of Bru migrants are being done where house constructions are completed and the families have been provided with the RoR which are being done by concerned Block Development Officers. The Electoral Registration Officers are ready to enroll the names of Bru migrants subject to completion of house constructions and where issues like record of residence are solved by the concerned Block Development Officers. It is also observed in the said communication that the Electoral Registration Officers are sending daily reports regarding the enrollment of Bru migrants who are being enrolled on the basis of RoR and house constructions are already completed,” the order adds. 

The High Court has also requested the Secretary State Election Commission to take necessary steps for immediate solution. 

“Lastly, the Secretary, State Election Commission was requested to take up the matter with the State government for immediate construction of house and issue RoR to the Bru migrants which may enable the concerned Electoral Registration Officers to register the names of rest Bru migrants as per guidelines framed by the Election Commission of India regarding registration”, the order reads.

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