In August, the apex court had said that NOTA will not be applicable as a ballot option in the Rajya Sabha polls. Later on, following a Supreme Court directive, the Election Commission withdrew the ‘none of the above’ (NOTA) option from ballot papers of the Rajya Sabha and the Legislative Council polls.
- As per the court, NOTA defeats fairness in indirect elections, destroys democratic values and serves as Satan of defection and corruption.
- NOTA option is meant only for universal adult suffrage and direct elections and not polls held by the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote as done in the Rajya Sabha.
- NOTA in indirect elections, such as in the Rajya Sabha, would lead to horse-trading, corruption and use of extra constitutional methods to defeat a party candidate.
- NOTA also makes the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote nugatory and otiose.
What is NOTA?
- None Of The Above (NOTA) is a ballot option designed to allow the voter to indicate disapproval of all of the candidates in a voting system.
- It was introduced in India following the 2013 Supreme Court directive in the People’s Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India judgment.
- Thus, India became the 14th country to institute negative voting.
- However, NOTA in India does not provide for a ‘right to reject’.
- The candidate with the maximum votes wins the election irrespective of the number of NOTA votes polled.
Significance of NOTA option:
- NOTA option will force the political parties to select the honest candidates, i.e with no criminal records.
- NOTA ensures people’s ‘right to freedom of speech and expression’.
- NOTA will increase the polling percentage.