Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices Dipak Misra, Amitava Roy and A.M. Khanwilkar decided to freeze Congress’ plea to abolish None of the Above (NOTA) from the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections. NOTA will continue to feature as an option on the ballot paper, which was introduced by Election Commission (EC) in 2014.
Senior advocate, Kapil Sabil, argued that NOTA will foment to be a recipe for corruption, and it was the court’s responsibility to stop the rot at the stems. He raised the concern that MLAs might cross vote once again, throwing party directives to thin air or invalidate their vote by exercising NOTA.
Closely observing Sibal’s apprehensions, Justice Roy asked Sibal whether Congress is already forecasting a defeat.
The bench also argued that NOTA has been in place since Jan 26, 2014 and it didn’t understand why Congress is filing a petition at the 11th hour.
Although the BJP has supported Congress’ claims regarding NOTA, they have maintained a strategic silence in SC on the issue.
Rajya Sabha elections are due on August 8, with ten seats up for grabs; one from Madhya Pradesh, three from Gujarat, and six from West Bengal.
IMAGE CAPTION: ELECTION COMMISSION