SC scraps NOTA option for RS polls

SC scraps NOTA option for RS polls

News:

  1. Recently, the Supreme Court scrapped the use of NOTA for Rajya Sabha polls.

Important facts:

2. The three judge Bench was led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

3. The court was hearing a batch of petitions to ban persons charged with heinous criminal charges from contesting elections.

4. The apex court has given the following arguments for the same:

  • The option NOTA is meant only for universal adult suffrage and direct elections.
  • It is not for elections held by the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote as done in the Rajya Sabha.
  • In the voting of upper house elections, there is a whip and elector is bound to obey the command of the party.

5. Arguments against NOTA:

  • The Supreme Court criticized the Election Commission for introducing NOTA in Rajya Sabha elections.
  • The court said the Election Commission could not act against the court’s judgment on a PUCL plea, which introduced the idea of NOTA.
  • NOTA harm an electoral process where open ballot is permissible and party discipline reigns.
  • NOTA will destroy the concept of value of a vote and representation and encourage defection that shall open the doors for corruption which is a malignant disorder.
  • The Petitioner had argued that the Election Commission cannot sanction the use of NOTA in Rajya Sabha elections by way of mere of circular, which have the effect of overriding the provisions of Article 80(4) .

NOTA in an indirect election would not only run counter to the discipline expected from an elector under the Tenth Schedule but also be “counterproductive to the basic grammar of the law of disqualification… on the ground of defection.”

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