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election commission of india

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ELECTIONS = Introduction of EVMs with VVPAT system in Elections for transparency – DR. SUBRAMANIAN SWAMY Vs. ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA published in judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=40874

Introduction of EVMs with VVPAT  system  ensure     the accuracy  of  the  voting  system.  Necessary directions for implementation and  for necessary amendments in R.P. Act =       whereby the High Court  disposed  of  the   petition by  disallowing  the  prayer  made  by  the  appellant  herein  for   issuance of a writ of … Continue reading

Elections – Right of voter to vote none Candidates contested in Elections = None of the Above” (NOTA) may be provided in EVMs so that the voters= challenging the constitutional validity of Rules 41(2) & (3) and 49-O of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 (in short ‘the Rules’) to the extent that these provisions violate the secrecy of voting which is fundamental to the free and fair elections and is required to be maintained as per Section 128 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (in short ‘the RP Act’) and Rules 39 and 49-M of the Rules.- In the above backdrop, the petitioners herein prayed for declaring Rules 41(2) & (3) and 49-O of the Rules ultra vires and unconstitutional and also prayed for a direction to the Election Commission of India- Respondent No. 2 herein, to provide necessary provision in the ballot papers as well as in the electronic voting machines for the protection of the right of not to vote in order to keep the exercise of such right a secret under the existing RP Act/the Rules or under Article 324 of the Constitution.= we hold that Rules 41(2) & (3) and 49-O of the Rules are ultra vires Section 128 of the RP Act and Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution to the extent they violate secrecy of voting. In view of our conclusion, we direct the Election Commission to provide necessary provision in the ballot papers/EVMs and another button called “None of the Above” (NOTA) may be provided in EVMs so that the voters, who come to the polling booth and decide not to vote for any of the candidates in the fray, are able to exercise their right not to vote while maintaining their right of secrecy. Inasmuch as the Election Commission itself is in favour of the provision for NOTA in EVMs, we direct the Election Commission to implement the same either in a phased manner or at a time with the assistance of the Government of India. We also direct the Government of India to provide necessary help for implementation of the above direction. Besides, we also direct the Election Commission to undertake awareness programmes to educate the masses. 62) The writ petition is disposed of with the aforesaid directions.

published in http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=40835         REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA   CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION 1 WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 161 OF 2004   People’s Union for Civil Liberties & Anr. …. Petitioner (s)   Versus   Union of India & Anr. …. Respondent(s)   2   J U D G M E … Continue reading

What emerges from the above discussion can be summarized in the form of following directions: (i) The voter has the elementary right to know full particulars of a candidate who is to represent him in the Parliament/Assemblies and such right to get information is universally recognized. Thus, it is held that right to know about the candidate is a natural right flowing from the concept of democracy and is an integral part of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. (ii) The ultimate purpose of filing of affidavit along with the nomination paper is to effectuate the fundamental right of the citizens under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. The citizens are supposed to have the necessary information at the time of filing of nomination paper and for that purpose, the Returning Officer can very well compel a candidate to furnish the relevant information. (iii) Filing of affidavit with blank particulars will render the affidavit nugatory. (iv) It is the duty of the Returning Officer to check whether the information required is fully furnished at the time of filing of affidavit with the nomination paper since such information is very vital for giving effect to the ‘right to know’ of the citizens. If a candidate fails to fill the blanks even after the reminder by the Returning Officer, the nomination paper is fit to be rejected. We do comprehend that the power of Returning Officer to reject the nomination paper must be exercised very sparingly but the bar should not be laid so high that the justice itself is prejudiced. (v) We clarify to the extent that Para 73 of People’s Union for Civil Liberties case (supra) will not come in the way of the Returning Officer to reject the nomination paper when affidavit is filed with blank particulars. (vi) The candidate must take the minimum effort to explicitly remark as ‘NIL’ or ‘Not Applicable’ or ‘Not known’ in the columns and not to leave the particulars blank. (vii) Filing of affidavit with blanks will be directly hit by Section 125A(i) of the RP Act However, as the nomination paper itself is rejected by the Returning Officer, we find no reason why the candidate must be again penalized for the same act by prosecuting him/her. 28) The Writ Petition is disposed of with the above directions.

published in     http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=40768  REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION 1 WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 121 OF 2008 Resurgence India …. Petitioner (s) Versus Election Commission of India & Anr. …. Respondent(s) 2 J U D G M E N T P.Sathasivam, CJI. 1) This writ petition, under Article 32 of … Continue reading

Whether the promises at the time of election amounts to corrupt practices – apex court held No.: Whether the free gifts to the voters in their Manifesto amounts to corrputs practices – apex court held yes = distribution of free gifts by the political parties (popularly known as ‘freebies’). The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)- Respondent No. 8 herein, while releasing the election manifesto for the Assembly Elections 2006, announced a Scheme of free distribution of Colour Television Sets (CTVs) to each and every household which did not possess the same, if the said party/its alliance were elected to power. Thus, promises in the election manifesto do not constitute as a corrupt practice under the prevailing law.- the promises in the election manifesto cannot be read into Section 123 for declaring it to be a corrupt practice. ; Although, the law is obvious that the promises in the election manifesto cannot be construed as ‘corrupt practice’ under Section 123 of RP Act, the reality cannot be ruled out that distribution of freebies of any kind, undoubtedly, influences all people. It shakes the root of free and fair elections to a large degree. = we hereby direct the Election Commission to frame guidelines for the same in consultation with all the recognized political parties as when it had acted while framing guidelines for general conduct of the candidates, meetings, processions, polling day, party in power etc. = Model Code of Conduct for the Guidance of Political Parties & Candidates. We are mindful of the fact that generally political parties release their election manifesto before the announcement of election date, in that scenario, strictly speaking, the Election Commission will not have the authority to regulate any act which is done before the announcement of the date. Nevertheless, an exception can be made in this regard as the purpose of election manifesto is directly associated with the election process. We hereby direct the Election Commission to take up this task as early as possible owing to its utmost importance. We also record the need for a separate legislation to be passed by the legislature in this regard for governing the political parties in our democratic society. In the light of the above discussion, taking note of statutory provisions of the RP Act, which controls only candidate or his agent, mandates provided under the directive principles, various guidelines such as income limit, preference to women, agricultural labourer etc as detailed in the counter affidavit by the State, we find no merit in the appeal as well as in the transferred case. With the above observation as mentioned in paragraph Nos. 77-80, the appeal and the transferred case are dismissed. No order as to costs. of

 published in   http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=40527  REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION 1 2 CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5130 OF 2013 3 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 21455 of 2008) S. Subramaniam Balaji …. Appellant(s) Versus The Government of Tamil Nadu & Ors. …. Respondent(s) WITH TRANSFERRED CASE NO 112 OF 2011 S. Subramaniam … Continue reading

Order 6 Rule 16 of Code of Civil Procedure (CPC)- Madhya Pradesh High Court (Bench at Indore) allowing the application filed by the first respondent under Order 6 Rule 16 of Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) being I.A No. 7248/2012 for striking off certain pleadings from the Recrimination Petition filed by the Appellant herein.= a defective affidavit is not a sufficient ground for summary dismissal of an election petition as the provisions of Section 83 of the Act are not mandatorily to be complied with nor did the same make a petition invalid as an affidavit can be allowed to be filed at a later stage or so. this Court held that non-compliance with Section 83 is not a ground for dismissal of an election petition under Section 86 and the defect, if any, is curable = In view of what is stated above, the order passed by the learned Single Judge in allowing the application of the first respondent under Order 6 Rule 16 of CPC was clearly untenable and bad in law. The learned Single Judge of the High Court could not have entertained the application under Order 6 Rule 16 when this Court had restored the Recrimination Petition to the file of that Court by consent in order to decide it expeditiously. The learned Judge has erred in holding that the pleadings in paragraph 3 and 4 of the Recrimination Petition were vague, vexatious, non-specific and without any material facts. The appeal is therefore allowed. The impugned order is set-aside. The learned Judge of the High Court will now proceed to decide the Recrimination Petition as filed by the petitioner expeditiously. The parties will bear their own cost of litigation.

Page 1 REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3840/2013 Arising Out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 38061 of 2012 Smt. Neena Vikram Verma … Appellant Versus Balmukund Singh Gautam & Ors. … Respondent (s) J U D G E M E N T H.L. Gokhale J. Leave Granted. … Continue reading

The Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam and Colonel Edwin Jesudoss (Retd.), challenging the constitutional validity of the amendment of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, hereinafter referred to as the “Election Symbols Order, 1968”, vide Notification No.O.N.56/2000/Jud-III dated 1 st December, 2000, substituting Clause 6 with 6A(i) and (ii) and Clause 6B therein. The same was taken up for final hearing along with several other Writ Petitions on account of the common issue involved therein. The common grievance in all these writ petitions is with regard to the amendment which mandates that in order to be recognized as a State party in the State, it would have to secure not less than 6% of the total valid votes polled in the State and should also have returned at least 2 members to the Legislative Assembly of the State. – I would hold that the Symbols Order, insofar as it denies the reservation of a symbol for the exclusive allotment of the candidates set up by a political party with “insignificant poll performance”, is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

Page 1 1 REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA EXTRAORDINARY ORIGINAL JURISDICTION WRIT PETITION (C) No.532 of 2008 DESIYA MURPOKKU DRAVIDA KAZHAGAM & ANR. PETITIONERS VS. THE ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA RESPONDENT WITH WRIT PETITION (C) NOS.315 OF 2009, 422 OF 2009, 426 OF 2009, 444 OF 2009, 454 OF 2009, 463 OF 2009, 447 … Continue reading

elections =improper rejection of nomination papers =the Returning Officer erred in acting in hot haste in rejecting the nomination paper of the proposed candidate and not postponing the scrutiny to the next day, particularly, when a request was made by the authorised representative of the proposed candidate. The election petitioners have been successful in proving the improper rejection of the proposed candidate’s nomination paper. In other words, they have been able to prove the ground for setting aside appellant’s election to 89-Athagarh Assembly Constituency under Section 100(1)(c) of the 1951 Act.

  REPORTABLE         IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4956 OF 2010 Ramesh Rout …. Appellant Versus Rabindra Nath Rout ….Respondent WITH CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4962 OF 2010 JUDGMENT R.M. Lodha, J. The returned candidate — Ramesh Rout – whose election to the 14th Orissa Legislative … Continue reading

Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 – Clauses 10A, 5, 6, 6A, 6B and 6C – De-recognition of Political party as a recognized political party – Challenge to de-recognition set aside right upto Supreme Court – In the meantime, by amendment of Symbols Order, Clause 10A inserted providing for retention of its symbol by a de-reorganiszed political party for six years as a grace period – Provision challenged as irrational, arbitrary and undemocratic – Election Commission as well as High Court setting aside the challenge and upholding Clause 10A – On appeal, held: The provision is not arbitrary, irrational or undemocratic – The grace period of six years for retention of symbol is rational – Reading down the provision by ignoring the limit of six years is not permissible since the language of the provision is clear and since such reading down will lead to absurdity in the wake of Clauses 5 and 6 – In absence of challenge to clauses 5 and 6 also, challenge to Clause 10A fails – The symbol of a political party cannot be treated as `intellectual property’ as it does not have the concept of monetary implications – Representation of People Act, 1951 – s. 29A – Interpretation of Statutes. After de-recognition of `Janata Party’ as a recognized political party, it lost its reserved symbol. Appellant (president of the party) approached the Election Commission asking for continuance of the reservation of its symbol. The order of de-recognition was also challenged before this Court by filing SLP. During the pendency thereof, Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 was amended, whereby clause 10A was inserted which allowed a period of six years as a grace period to retain its symbol, even after the party lost its status as a recognized party. Ultimately the SLP was dismissed in limine. Appellant approached Election Commission complaining against clause 10A and proposed the amendment so as to enable the once recognized political parties of national or State level to retain their reserved symbols permanently. Election commission refused the proposal. Appellant filed a writ petition, challenging Clause 10A as arbitrary. High Court dismissed the writ petition. Hence the present appeal. Dismissing the appeal, the Court HELD: 1. Theory of continuance and permanent reservation of a particular symbol for a particular political party cannot stand on the ground that after passing of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, the concept of recognition of a political party and the concept of a reserved symbol for that party must be treated to have amalgamated. [Para 17] [866-E] 2. There is no irrationality or arbitrariness in providing six years time as an additional period for retaining the exclusive symbol for the simple reason that within that period there is bound to be one or more general elections on the national level. So also, if any political party has lost its status in the State Elections, apart from the fact that upto the next general elections, it will not lose the said symbol, there is bound to be another opportunity by way of fresh elections within six years. It is on this rationale that the period of six years is provided. This is apart from the fact that in case of Janata Party it continued to have and enjoyed the status of said national or State party for the purposes of next general elections due to the saving clause vide clause 7. [Para 17] [866 A-C] 3. In absence of any challenge to the constitutional validity of clauses 5 and 6, the challenge to Clause 10A must necessarily fail. Reading these clauses together it becomes very clear that firstly the reserved symbol is meant only for recognized political party for its exclusive user. Again the second inference which comes out of such conjoint reading of two provisions is that if a particular symbol is not a reserved symbol, meaning thereby that it is not meant for a recognized political party, such symbol automatically become a free symbol. There is no challenge to this concept nor is there any challenge to the constitutional validity of Clauses 5 and 6. [Para 18] [867-A-C] 4.1 The exercise of reading down the provisions of Clause 10A so as to avoid the mention of six years in Clause 10A, is not possible where the language of the provision is clear, admits of no doubt and no situation warrants such reading down. Such reading down and thereby ignoring the limit of six years as provided in the Clause would render other provisions nugatory. Since the language of Clause 10A is extremely clear and its plain meaning does not, in any manner, bring out any absurd results, the court would have to rely upon the plain meaning which is the only meaning emerging out of the plain language of the provision. It is for this reason that the court was not in a position to read down the provision so as to ignore the words “six years” in Clause 10A. Apart from that, such reading down would lead to absurdity in the wake of other provisions. [Paras 18 and 20] [866 D-E- 869A-B] 4.2 It is trite law that a statute must be read as a whole in its context. Therefore, the provisions of Clause 10A should be read in the light of other provisions, namely, Clauses 5, 6, 6A, 6B and 6C. If the provision is read down ignoring the limit of six years, an absurdity would creep in vis-

1 “REPORTABLE” IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO._5803________OF 2008 (Arising out of SLP (Civil) No.3010 of 2008) Subramanian Swamy ….Appellant Versus Election Commission of India Through its Secretary ….Respondent JUDGMENT V.S. SIRPURKAR, J. 1. Leave granted. 2. Dr.Subramanian Swamy comes up before us challenging the judgment of the High … Continue reading

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