Plea To Use Name, Age, Qualification And Photo Of Candidates In EVM instead Of Party Symbol: Supreme Court Asks Petitioner To Serve Notice To AG

first_imgTop StoriesPlea To Use Name, Age, Qualification And Photo Of Candidates In EVM instead Of Party Symbol: Supreme Court Asks Petitioner To Serve Notice To AG Srishti Ojha19 March 2021 5:12 AMShare This – xSupreme Court has on Friday observed that it will consider the plea filed seeking directions to Election Commission to use name, Age, qualification & photograph of contesting candidates on EVM instead of Symbol of Political parties.The Court has asked the petitioner to serve a copy to the Attorney General and stated that it will consider the plea, but will not issue a notice at this…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginSupreme Court has on Friday observed that it will consider the plea filed seeking directions to Election Commission to use name, Age, qualification & photograph of contesting candidates on EVM instead of Symbol of Political parties.The Court has asked the petitioner to serve a copy to the Attorney General and stated that it will consider the plea, but will not issue a notice at this stage.A three-judge Bench of CJI Bobde, Justice Bopanna and Justice Ramasubramanian issued the direction while hearing plea filed by Advocate and BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay against the use of political party symbols on EVMs.”List the matter after one week to enable the petitioner to serve a copy of this writ petition upon the learned Attorney General for India”.During the hearing, Sr Advocate Vikas Singh appearing on behalf of the petitioner submitted that Brazil doesn’t have any symbol and only numbers are given for contesting. He added that there was no such mention in Constitution in 10th schedule in 1985 and even in representation of people act when the political parties were being registered for the first time.”We want to know how the Objection to having symbol on EVM, how does it prejudice electoral process?” the Bench asked.Singh responded by saying that the candidate’s value is not seen, his intrinsic value is not seen. It goes by the symbol. He added that they had also addressed a letter regarding this to the Election Commission on 4th April 2020, but they haven’t responded till date.”Serve a copy on the Attorney General or Solicitor General. We will consider it. We will not issue notice at this stage.” the Bench observed.The present plea has sought removal of political symbol from EVMs to provide equal opportunity to contesting candidates and to weedout the 7 menaces of democracy being corruption, criminalization, casteism, communalism, regionalism, linguism and nepotism.”Our democracy is suffering from seven menaces- Corruption, Criminalization, Casteism, Communalism, Lingusism, Regionalism and Nepotism and the best solution to weed these menaces is to replace political party symbols on Ballot & EVM with Name, Age, Education Qualification and Photograph of the Candidates. Ballot and EVM without political party symbol have many benefits” the plea has stated.According to the plea, filed by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Dubey, the injury caused to the public is extremely large because ‘free and fair election’ is the basic dictum of our democracy and ‘right to vote’ is an important statutory right of citizens but practically both have become a dead letter due to use of political party symbol on ballot paper and EVM, which leads to confusion among voters and result in casting of wrong votes.The plea has further argued that the use of party symbol on Ballot-EVM, breaches the rights guaranteed under Articles 14-15 read with Articles 325-326 as it prevents free exercise of right to vote due to use of money power by candidates. It also affects ordinary citizen’s rights to get elected and puts him to great disadvantage due to reduced win-ability factor as independent.The plea has stated that use of party symbol on Ballot-EVM is arbitrary and irrational because it invites and enables criminal backgrounds to buy ticket from National and State recognized political parties and contest election.The plea has added that as Political parties promote and propagate their election symbol throughout the year, even their criminal candidate has more probability to win than an honest patriot hard working independent candidateAccording to the petitioner, the Constitution was made after detailed discussion and framers didn’t feel need of political party/symbol which is why the Constitution has no mention of political parties and symbol. However, the current election system is revolving totally around them only.The petitioner has therefore contended that use of political party symbol on Ballot-EVM brazenly offends equity, equality and equal opportunity, guaranteed under Articles 14, 15, 21 & mentioned in Preamble of the Constitution. .The plea has therefore prayed for the following directions from the Court:Declare that use of party symbol on EVM is illegal-unconstitutional and violative of Articles 14, 15, 21 of the Constitution of IndiaDeclare that the words ‘and symbol’ occurring in Rule 49B(4)(a) of the Conduct of Election Rules 1961, are contrary to Articles 14, 15, and 21 of the Constitution, and hence void and inoperativeDirect the Election Commission of India to use the ‘Name, Age, Educational Qualification and Photograph’ of the candidates on EVM, in order to provide equal opportunity to contesting candidates and to weedout corruption criminalization casteism communalism regionalism linguism and nepotism, the 07 menaces of democracyIn the alternative, being custodian of the Constitution and protector of fundamental rights, direct the Election Commission of India to use its plenary power conferred under Article 324, to remove the symbols from Ballot and EVM and use Name, Age, Educational Qualification and Photograph of the contesting candidatesClick Hear To Download/Read OrderSubscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. 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