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Election Commission

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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

the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959 as amended by the Amendment Act No.31 of 2006 has no application insofar as election to the office of the President is concerned. The disqualification incurred by a Presidential candidate on account of holding of an office of profit is not removed by the provisions of the said Act which deals with removal of disqualification for being chosen as, or for being a Member of Parliament. If, therefore, it is assumed that the office of Chairman, ISI is an office of profit and the Respondent had held the said office on the material date(s) consequences adverse to the Respondent, in so far as the result of the election is concerned, are likely to follow. The said facts, will therefore, be required to be proved by the election Petitioner. No conclusion that a regular hearing in the present case will be a redundant exercise or an empty formality can be reached so as to dispense with the same and terminate the Election Petition at the stage of its preliminary hearing under Order XXXIX Rule 13. The Election Petition, therefore, deserves a regular hearing under Order XXXIX Rule 20 in accordance with what is contained in the different provisions of Part III of the Supreme Court Rules, 1966. = Election Petition does not deserve a regular hearing.

REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION ELECTION PETITION NO.1 OF 2012 PURNO AGITOK SANGMA … PETITIONER VERSUS PRANAB MUKHERJEE … RESPONDENT J U D G M E N T ALTAMAS KABIR, CJI. 1 1. The Petitioner herein was a candidate in the Presidential elections held on 19th July, 2012, the results … Continue reading

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