SC asks Center and EC to respond to advocacy for new polls if most votes are NOT

The petition said candidates ‘rejected’ by voters should not be re-presented in the new polls.

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Center and the Election Commission of India to respond to a call for new elections to be held in constituencies where the maximum number of votes is NOTA.

The petition said candidates ‘rejected’ by voters should not be re-presented in the new polls.

During the hearing, Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde initially expressed doubts about the feasibility of lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay’s petition to endow the electorate with the “right to reject And to encourage political parties to offer voters a better choice of candidates. to choose.

Chief Justice Bobde said if voters continued to reject candidates, seats in Parliament / Assembly would continue to remain vacant, affecting legislative functioning.

“It’s a constitutional problem. If your argument is accepted and there are a number of NOTES, then the constituency will not be represented in Parliament …. How will Parliament operate then? Chief Justice Bobde asked Senior Counsel Menaka Guruswamy, who represented Mr. Upadhyay.

But Ms Guruswamy replied that “if voters have the power to reject, political parties will take care to present worthy candidates in the first place …”

The petition noted how the parties spent crore rupees on the candidates.

The CJI also raised during the hearing the question of whether a political party could encourage voters not to vote in a particular constituency.

However, Ms Guruswamy won, which led the court to agree to consider the issue raised in the petition.

“Political parties choose running candidates in a very undemocratic way without consulting voters. This is why, on several occasions, voters are totally unhappy with the candidates presented to them. This problem can be solved by holding a new election if a maximum number of votes are cast in favor of NOTA. In such a situation, the running candidates should be considered rejected and not be allowed to participate in a new election, ”says the petition.

Ms Guruswamy argued that the right to reject and elect a new candidate would empower people to voice their displeasure.

Lead counsel said that the “right to reject” was first proposed by the Law Commission in its 170th report in 1999. Likewise, the Election Commission had twice approved the “right to reject”.

Likewise, the “Reference Document on Electoral Reforms” prepared by the Ministry of Law in 2010 proposed that if a certain percentage of the vote was negative, the election result should be annulled and new elections should be held.

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