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Supreme Court says NOTA option cannot be permitted in Rajya Sabha polls

Team SoOLEGAL 21 Aug 2018 4:00pm

Supreme Court says NOTA option cannot be permitted in Rajya Sabha polls

Setting aside the Election Commission's (EC) notification, the Supreme Court today said that NOTA (None of the above) voting option cannot be permitted in Rajya Sabha (RS) polls.

“It is impermissible for the EC to have prescribed NOTA option in RS elections, it being an indirect means for proportional representation of States in RS,” the Supreme Court observed.

The top court's order came on a plea filed last month by Shailesh Manubhai Parmar, a Congress leader from Gujarat.

Parmar, who was the Congress' chief whip in the Gujarat assembly during the last Rajya Sabha polls, had challenged the poll panel's notification for allowing the NOTA option in ballot papers.

In his petition, Parmar has alleged that allowing NOTA provision in the Rajya Sabha would encourage "horse-trading and corruption".

The SC bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, while hearing the Congress leader’s plea, questioned the EC’s notification and said it was meant to be exercised by individual voters in direct polls.

“Why should a Constitutional court be party to an unconstitutional act ... If a person does not vote, he could be expelled by the party. But by introducing NOTA, you (EC) are legitimizing the act of not voting,” the SC bench had said.

While the option of ‘none of the above’ for the Lok Sabha and assembly elections was prescribed by the apex court in 2013, it was introduced RS polls by the EC in 2014. However, the option of NOTA was opposed by Congress during last year RS elections in Gujarat. In fact, the BJP-led NDA government had also supported the Congress in opposing NOTA provision in RS polls in the top court. 

Tagged: Supreme Court   NOTA   Election Commission   Rajya Sabha   Gujarat   Shailesh Manubhai Parmar   Congress  
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