The Supreme Court, on Friday, refused to entertain a plea challenging the constitutional validity of Section 61A of the Representation of the People Act (Act), which pertains to the use of EVMs in elections.
Noting that there is no merit in the present Public Interest Litigation, a Bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M.M. Sundresh dismissed it.
"We find no merit in the petition. Dismissed."
Advocate, M.L. Sharma, petitioner-in-person, referred to Article 100 of the Constitution of India and submitted that Section 61A of the Act is contrary to the Constitutional mandate.
Article 100 contemplates that all questions before either House or joint sittings of Houses shall be determined by voting. The relevant portion reads as under -
"100. Voting in Houses, power of Houses to act notwithstanding vacancies and quorum
(1) Save as otherwise provided in this Constitution, all questions at any sitting of either House or joint sitting of the Houses shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members present and voting, other than the Speaker or person acting as Chairman or Speaker. The Chairman or Speaker, or person acting as such, shall not vote in the first instance, but shall have and exercise a casting vote in the case of an equality of votes"
Seeking clarification, Justice Kaul enquired -
"You are challenging voting in the house or you are challenging general voting. What is it?"
Mr. Sharma responded that Section 61A was not passed in the House by way of voting and the same is in derogation of Article 100.
As Mr. Sharma urged the Court to consider his averments, Justice Kaul remarked -
"We keep saying this, every matter in the way of PIL is not to be entertained. Where there is something material, we'll consider."
[Case Title: Manohar Lal Sharma v. UoI WP(C) No. 33/2022]