Top
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Top Stories

Plea To Replace Symbols With Details Of Candidates In EVMs : Supreme Court Asks Petitioner To Serve Copy On AG

Srishti Ojha
19 March 2021 7:30 AM GMT
Plea To Replace Symbols With Details Of Candidates In EVMs : Supreme Court Asks Petitioner To Serve Copy On AG
x

The Supreme Court on Friday asked a petitioner seeking directions to include the photograph, age and qualifications of contesting candidates in Electronic Voting Machines, instead of symbols, to serve the copy of the petition on the Attorney General for India.The bench comprising CJI SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian was considering a petition field by BJP leader...

Your free access to Live Law has expired
To read the article, get a premium account.
    Your Subscription Supports Independent Journalism
Subscription starts from
599+GST
(For 6 Months)
Premium account gives you:
  • Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.
  • Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.
Already a subscriber?

The Supreme Court on Friday asked a petitioner seeking directions to include the photograph, age and qualifications of contesting candidates in Electronic Voting Machines, instead of symbols, to serve the copy of the petition on the Attorney General for India.

The bench comprising CJI SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian was considering a petition field by BJP leader Advocate Ashwinin Upadhyaya seeking to replace political symbols in EVMS with the details and pictures of candidates.

When the matter was taken, the CJI asked petitioner's lawyer Senior Advocate Vikas Singh what was the prejudice caused by the present practice.

"The value of the candidate, his popularity, is not seen(in EVM)", Singh replied. He also submitted that the elections laws originally did not contemplate symbols.

"We are not issuing notice at this stage. You serve copy on the Attorney General", the Chief Justice of India told Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, who was appearing for the petitioner Ashwini Upadhyaya.

The plea has sought removal of political symbol from EVMs to provide equal opportunity to contesting candidates.

According to the plea, filed through Advocate Ashwini Kumar Dubey, the injury caused to the public is extremely large because 'free and fair election' is the basic dictum of our democracy and 'right to vote' is an important statutory right of citizens but practically both have become a dead letter due to use of political party symbol on ballot paper and EVM, which leads to confusion among voters and result in casting of wrong votes.

The plea has further argued that the use of party symbol on Ballot-EVM, breaches the rights guaranteed under Articles 14-15 read with Articles 325-326 as it prevents free exercise of right to vote due to use of money power by candidates. It also affects ordinary citizen's rights to get elected and puts him to great disadvantage due to reduced win-ability factor as independent.


The plea has stated that use of party symbol on Ballot-EVM is arbitrary and irrational because it invites and enables criminal backgrounds to buy ticket from National and State recognized political parties and contest election.

The plea has added that as Political parties promote and propagate their election symbol throughout the year, even their criminal candidate has more probability to win than an honest patriot hard working independent candidate

According to the petitioner, the Constitution was made after detailed discussion and framers didn't feel need of political party/symbol which is why the Constitution has no mention of political parties and symbol. However, the current election system is revolving totally around them only.

The petitioner has therefore contended that use of political party symbol on Ballot-EVM brazenly offends equity, equality and equal opportunity, guaranteed under Articles 14, 15, 21 & mentioned in Preamble of the Constitution. .

The plea has therefore prayed for the following directions from the Court:

• Declare that use of party symbol on EVM is illegal-unconstitutional and violative of Articles 14, 15, 21 of the Constitution of India

• Declare that the words 'and symbol' occurring in Rule 49B(4)(a) of the Conduct of Election Rules 1961, are contrary to Articles 14, 15, and 21 of the Constitution, and hence void and inoperative

• Direct the Election Commission of India to use the 'Name, Age, Educational Qualification and Photograph' of the candidates on EVM, in order to provide equal opportunity to contesting candidates and to weedout corruption criminalization casteism communalism regionalism linguism and nepotism, the 07 menaces of democracy

• In the alternative, being custodian of the Constitution and protector of fundamental rights, direct the Election Commission of India to use its plenary power conferred under Article 324, to remove the symbols from Ballot and EVM and use Name, Age, Educational Qualification and Photograph of the contesting candidates

Next Story
Share it