No stay on the use of NOTA in the upcoming Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls

Supreme Court: Refusing to stay the use of the ‘None of the Above’ (NOTA) option in the Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls that are to be held on August 8, 2017, the Court asked the Gujarat Congress that why they were so late in filing the plea against NOTA when the Election Commission had issued the Notification in January, 2014.

The NOTA option, that will be introduced for the first time in the Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls, was directed to be included on the ballot paper or Electronic Voting Machines by Supreme Court in PUCL v. UOI, (2013) 10 SCC 1. The Court, in the said judgment, recognised the right not to vote and said that introduction of NOTA option will compel the political parties to nominate a sound candidate as by using NOTA option, the voter will have the right to reject all candidates. The Court said that this right was necessary for not only ensuring free and fair elections but also encourage the people in participating in the elections as many people tend to avoid voting as they not find any candidate worthy of their vote.

Source: ANI

2 comments

  • In the Rajya Sabha polls, the MLAs have to show their ballot paper to an authorised party agent before putting it in ballot box. If a voter (MLA) defies the party directive and votes for someone else or uses NOTA option, he cannot be disqualified as a legislator.

  • PTI further reported that the Supreme Court, however, agreed to examine the Constitutional validity of the Election Commission’s notification for NOTA in elections.
    A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra had agreed to hear the plea after senior advocate Kapil Sibal mentioned the matter before it and sought urgent hearing. Sibal had told the apex court that there is no statutory provision with regard to NOTA in the Constitution.

    As per government officials, the directions to use NOTA in Rajya Sabha elections were enforced in January 2014 after the Supreme Court in 2013 made it mandatory to have NOTA option in EVMs.

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