In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court recently held that the voters have right to reject all candidates contesting the elections. Consequently, it has directed the Election Commission to include “negative voting” by allowing voters to select None of the Above (NOTA) in EVMs and ballot papers.
Bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam, Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai and Justice Ranjan Gogoi ruled that negative voting would gradually lead to systemic changes as political parties will have to respect the will of the people in selecting their candidates. The judgment was pronounced by Chief Justice Sathasivam. The Bench held that Rules 41(2) & (3) and 49-O of the Conduct of Election Rules are ultra vires Section 128 of the RP Act and of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution to the extent they violate secrecy of voting.