Supreme Court says NOTA Option not applicable in Rajya Sabha elections

Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India, File Photo

New Delhi, Aug 21 : The Supreme Court on Tuesday overruled an Election Commission notification, saying that NOTA (None Of The Above) option cannot be allowed in Rajya Sabha elections.

A bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud delivered the verdict and ruled that said NOTA option is only available in direct elections.

“It is impermissible for the EC to have prescribed NOTA option in Rajya Sabha elections,, it being an indirect means for proportional representationof States in RS,” the top court observed.

The Supreme Court was hearing Gujarat Congress lawmaker’s petition challenging the Election Commission’s January 2014 order introducing the “none of the above” or Nota option in Rajya Sabha polls.

In his petition, Gujarat Congress chief whip Shailesh Manubhai Parmar has alleged that the Election Commission has become “a tool in the hands of the ruling dispensation”.

The poll panel had allowed the Nota option in Upper House polls in January 2014, citing a Supreme Court judgment. Parmar has sought a stay on the circular introducing Nota.

He has argued that the 2013 apex court judgment that directed the introduction of the Nota option, applied to Lok Sabha elections and not those to the Rajya Sabha.

Parmar has cited Article 80(4) of the Constitution, which says MLAs should elect Rajya Sabha members according to a system of proportional representation by a single transferable vote, through an open ballot.

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