Blow to Political parties as Supreme Court denies immediate ban on ‘NOTA’
 Source : NewsBharati  Date : 03-Aug-2017

New Delhi, August 3: After rejecting the demands of political parties to do away with NOTA in the coming Rajya Sabha elections by poll panel, today Supreme Court refused a plea on immediate ban on None of the Above (NOTA). Notably, NOTA allows a voter to reject all candidates and was introduced in 2014.

A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra questioned the petitioner for approaching the court late since the EC had taken a decision in January 2014 and in November 2015.

“When it suited you, you didn’t come to court, but you came to court, when it affected you,” the bench observed.

The court also said since the EC’s decision pursuant to the apex court’s verdict in PUCL case in 2013, NOTA was allowed in several elections and being a conscious political leader, the petitioner should have challenged the EC circular in 2015.

“We are not going to stay. We will only hear the constitutional issue, “the bench said asking the EC to file its reply by September 13.

Earlier, The Election Commission has said that for Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat, the option of NOTA will be applicable. The Commission said this in the light of the Opposition raising objections against the insertion of NOTA option in the Rajya Sabha elections.

EC said, a doubt has been raised about applicability of NOTA option during elections to Rajya Sabha in the light of the Supreme Court judgment of 27 September, 2013.

Gujarat Congress petition was mentioned before the apex court yesterday seeking an urgent hearing on the ground that there was no statutory provision for NOTA option in the ballot paper for these elections.

Interestingly, Congress senior leader Ahmed Patel is one of the candidates along with BJP’s Amit Shah, Smriti Irani and Balwant Singh Rajput for three seats RS seats.