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SC dismisses plea for repoll if majority exercises NOTA option

New Delhi, Nov 25 (PTI): The Supreme Court on Monday refused to direct the Election Commission to hold fresh polls in case the majority of the electorate exercises the 'None Of The Above Option' (NOTA) option recently introduced on its direction to allow voters to reject all the candidates.

A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam said it is for the legislature to amend the law as it is too early to pass such a direction.

It observed that NOTA has been introduced recently and it has to be seen how the people respond to it.

The court refused to entertain a public interest litigation filed by one Jaggan Nath, seeking its direction to the Commission not to declare the results when the majority of electorate goes for the NOTA option in the electronic voting machine (EVM).

On September 27, the court had held that voters have a right to reject all candidates contesting polls in a constituency by pressing NOTA, a button for negative vote.

It had said this would compel political parties to field “sound” candidates who are known for their integrity.

NOTA has been introduced by the Commission for the current Assembly elections.

The apex court had said that there was a “dire need” of negative voting which will bring “systemic change” in the election process as “the political parties will be forced to accept the will of the people” and field clean candidates when a large number of people express their disapproval with the candidates being put up by them.

The verdict, which was likely to encourage people to go to polling booths to express disapproval against contestants, had said “By providing NOTA button in the EVMs, it will accelerate the effective political participation in the present state of democratic system and the voters in fact will be empowered.”