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The Delhi High Court today has dismissed a PIL that sought voting rights for prisoners, saying the facility was provided under the law and it can be taken away by law.

A Division bench comprising of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar was hearing a PIL filed by three law students Praveen Kumar Chaudhary, Atul Kumar Dubey, and Prerna Singh, challenging the constitutionality of Section 62(5) of the Representation of People Act.

However, the Election Commission opposed the plea, while referring to a 1997 apex court ruling which held that “the right to vote is a statutory right under Section 62 of the RP Act and being a statutory right (it) is subject to restrictions prescribed in the Act. Any person confined in prison while serving a sentence or is in lawful confinement in a prison or police custody is not entitled to vote in an election.”

After hearing both the parties, the high court stated that in view of the apex court rulings and the statutory position, it saw no reason to entertain the plea, and dismissed the petition. The court further held that the right to cast vote was neither a fundamental right nor a common law right and was only provided by a statute.

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