The BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay has moved the Supreme Court in a Public Interest Litigation seeking to direct the Election Commission of India to nullify the election results and hold fresh polls if maximum votes have been polled in favor of NOTA (None of the above) in a particular constituency.
The petitioner Upadhyay has sought the apex court to use its plenary power under Article 324, to nullify the election result, in any case, the maximum votes would poll in favor of NOTA in a particular constituency and further to restrict the candidates who have participated in the invalidated election from contesting the fresh election.
“The Court may declare that if ‘none of the above’ (NOTA) gets maximum votes, then election to that constituency shall be nullified and a fresh election shall be held within six months; and the contesting candidates rejected in the nullified elections, shall not be allowed to participate in the fresh election,” read the plea.
Further, the plea contended that political parties choose contesting candidates in a very undemocratic manner without consulting electors, that is why many times people in the constituency are totally discontented with the candidates presented before them.
“This problem can be solved by holding a fresh election if maximum votes are polled in favor of NOTA. In such a situation, the contesting candidates should be considered as rejected and not be allowed in the fresh election,” asserted the petitioner.
“Right to reject and elect new candidate will give power to the people to express their discontent. If voters are dissatisfied with the background of the contesting candidate, they will opt NOTA to reject such candidate and elect a new candidate,” added the plea.
While citing that the percentage of candidates with criminal antecedents and their chances of winning has actually increased steadily over the years, the plea submitted that “The injury caused to public is extremely large and continue till date, as the right to reject is an integral part of Article 19, but the Centre and ECI did nothing to declare the election result invalid and hold a fresh election if maximum votes are polled in favor of NOTA.