The Supreme Court today ruled out Election Commission of India’s (ECI) notification allowing None of the Above Option (NOTA) option to exercise in Rajya Sabha elections. The apex court made it clear that NOTA would not be applicable from next Rajya Saha polls.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra set aside the ECI’s notification allowing NOTA option in the ballot papers for Rajya Sabha polls.The apex court had questioned the poll panel’s notification and said that the option was meant to be exercised by individual voters in direct polls.
While the Centre too had supported a petition filed by Gujarat Congress leader Shailesh Manubhai Parmar against NOTA in Rajya Sabha polls, the ECI opposed it, saying a member’s right to vote included his/her the right not to vote, which was not against the conduct of election rules.
Congress whip in Gujarat assembly, Parmar had also alleged that if the NOTA provision was allowed in the Rajya Sabha polls, it would encourage “horse-trading and corruption”. Attorney General K K Venugopal during the arguments had said that NOTA could be applied only in direct elections and there were practical difficulties in using it in indirect elections.