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  India   All India  22 Aug 2018  Supreme Court quashes EC order to allow Nota in RS polls

Supreme Court quashes EC order to allow Nota in RS polls

THE ASIAN AGE. | J. VENKATESAN
Published : Aug 22, 2018, 2:10 am IST
Updated : Aug 22, 2018, 2:10 am IST

The court said it was a well-settled principle that what can’t be done directly, can’t be done indirectly.

Supreme Court
 Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday quashed the Election Commission order providing for use of the “None of the Above” option (Nota) in Rajya Sabha elections, saying it would destroy the concept of value of a vote and encourage defection and corruption.

A three-judge bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Kanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud gave this ruling while allowing a writ petition by Shailesh Manubhai Parmar, Congress chief whip in Gujarat, challenging the EC order issued on the eve of the Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat.

Writing the judgment, the CJI said: “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 bench said: “We may immediately add that the option of Nota may serve as an elixir in direct elections but in respect of the election to the Council of States, which is a different one, it would not only undermine the purity of democracy but also serve the Satan of defection and corruption.”

The court said it has to be remembered democracy garners its strength from the citizenry’s trust, which is sustained only on the foundational pillars of purity, integrity, probity and rectitude. This, it said, can be maintained only by ensuring the process of elections remains unsullied and unpolluted so that the citadel of democracy stands tall as an impregnable bulwark against unscrupulous forces.

The court said it was a well-settled principle that what can’t be done directly, can’t be done indirectly. It is worth noting that in a vote for members of the Council of States, the nature of voting by an elector is a grave concern. It is because in such an election, there is a party whip and the elector is bound to obey the party’s command. The party discipline in this kind of polls is of extreme significance, for that is the fulcrum of the existence of parties, which is essential in a parliamentary democracy.

Tags: supreme court, election commission, rajya sabha