Saturday, February 23, 2019

People's Union for Civil Liberties vs. Union Of India - Right To Reject Case

In the case of PUCL v. Union of India, the Supreme Court of India recognized the principle of right to reject for the first time.
The People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) had argued in the apex court that voters should have a right to vote negative.

The writ petition, subject to Article 32 of the Constitution of India, has been filed by the petitioners in which the Rules 41(2) & (3) and 49(O) challenging the constitutional validity of the conduct of election rules, 1961  to the extent that these provisions violate the confidentiality of voting.

The petitioners argued that it was a violation of the right to secret ballot protected by Article 19 (1) (A) and 21 of the Constitution. 

Before NOTA, still their was a concept available to the voters not to choose among the listed candidates But in that condition his vote is considered to be incompleted.


The Court struck down the constitutionality of Rules 41(2)&(3) and 49(0) of the Conduct of Election Rules,1961 as violates of the Freedom of Expression guaranted under article 19(1)(a) of the indian Constitution. 

Supreme Court said that negative voting is necessary and vibrant part of Democracy. The court directed the ECI(election commission of India) to introduce a button providing for NOTA (none of the above) in the EVMs and also in the ballot papers.

In this case, the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court is not only important because it presented the option of the NOTA on EVM but also because it dignified the right to vote. By declaring that the right to vote is essentially the right of free expression, they brought this right into the purview of fundamental rights. Apart from this, the court also declared that the right to vote includes the right not to vote.