Lok Sabha candidate from Hyderabad writes to Supreme Court requesting it to direct ECI to disclose Form 17C Part 1 data for the first five phases of LS polls

Hyderabad PC candidate Lubna Sarwath has written to the Supreme Court accusing ECI of court contempt as the latter fails to disclose Form 17C Part 1 data for all the five phases till date


On May 21, Lubna Sarwath, Lok Sabha candidate from Hyderabad Constituency, shot an email to the Supreme Court (SC) and Election Commission of India (ECI), asking SC to take strong action against ECI for its consistent refusal to publicly share the Form 17C data for the first five phases of the Lok Sabha Elections.

In its email to the apex court, Lubna alleged that ECI is in contempt of court by withholding the data recorded in Form 17 C Part 1. She noted that “till date no information pertaining to FORM 17C PART I ‘ACCOUNT OF VOTES RECORDED’ of all the Polling Booths of 5 Phases of elections held in India has been uploaded on website so far. Further, consolidated tabulated booth-wise data of voters (male/female/others) as mandated in https://encore.eci.gov.in is not available for public consumption.” The email also noted that critical information scrutinized by the Returning Officer after receiving booth-wise Form 17A and other documents, immediately next day of Election Day is not available in public domain.

Citing the SC judgement dated August, 19, 2023 in the case of Kishan Chand Jain vs Union of India, in which the court had ordered the Central Information Commission (CIC) and the State Information Commissions (SICs) to ensure proper implementation of the mandate of Section 4 of the Right to Information Act (RTE), Lubna noted that ECI is in direct contempt of court by not following the aforementioned court order. In the Kishan Chand Jain verdict, the SC had stated that all citizens have the right to information under Section 3 of RTE, and there is a co-relative duty of the public authorities to ensure its effectiveness under Section 4 of the same Act.

The epistolary address to the Supreme Court also averred to the ECI’s mandate, which as per its own website requires a proper data entry of voters every two hours starting from 9 am till 7 pm, and post-7pm as the data get updated. The ECI website says that “All these entries need to be filled without fail in a designated time slot by the Returning Officer /Assistant Returning Officers in the ENCORE Portal. The ROs/AROs enter the cumulative percentage of voter turnout for their respective assembly. After the end of the Poll, System allows entry of detailed turnout reports – Constituency wise and Polling Station wise, which include male, female, and third gender numbers against the total number of electors.”

In her appeal to the SC, Lubna said that scrutiny annexure I and annexure II submitted by the Returning Officer, on the very next day of election day, including “Form 17A, Register of Voters, Marked Registers, Form 17C, etc. are critical authentic information that should be available in public domain, withholding of which is an affront and defeats the purpose of free and fair polling, not to mention the contempt of court and dereliction of duty by violating existing Acts and Rules as already stated.”

In her address to the Chief Justice of India, she has requested the SC to issue directions to the ECI to suo-moto declare the requisite information. Lubna has made four specific demands in her letter to the SC:

“a) compliance of its own orders cited above, (compliance of Sec 4 suo moto proactive display of information that belongs to the public and has emanated from the public,) that is Form 17C PartI of all polling booths , Assembly wise and Parliamentary Constituency wise be displayed promptly,

  1. b) Consolidated tabulated data of all booths Ac wise and PC wise , gender wise be displayed promptly, as well as ,
  2. c) post-RO scrutiny Annexure I and Annexure II of all booths be uploaded promptly on the election website
  3. d) and, initiate steps for penalising of responsible officials as per due procedure for concealment of data from public in contempt of Apex Court Orders and against existing Acts and Rules dereliction of duty through concealing information in the largest exercise of franchise in the world as an affront to the poor and rich alike who trust in Indian democracy.”

Form 17C can be found here:



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