Supreme Court gives voters right to reject candidates, directs Election Commission

The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Election Commission to provide a 'none of the above' button in EVMs for voters to reject candidates contesting elections.

The top court said that if the right to vote is a statutory right, then the right to reject a candidate is the fundamental right of speech and expression under Constitution.

The court added that negative voting would lead to systemic change in polls and political parties will be forced to project clean candidates.

 

 

The court's decision is expected to be implemented in the upcoming state elections. The 'negative vote' may prove a gamechanger in elections, forcing election parties to pay greater attention to what voters seek from candidates.

'Right to Reject' is a proposed voting option in India that would allow voters who support none of the candidates available to them to register an official vote of "none of the above", which is not currently allowed under India election regulation.

Earlier in 2009, the Election Commission of India told the Supreme Court that it wished to offer voters a 'mone of the above' button on voting machines.

The government, however, has generally opposed this option.

Interstingly, Aam Aadmi Party has promised to bring the 'Right to Reject' law.

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