The Supreme Court today (August 21, 2018) said that the option of none of the above (NOTA)
cannot be permitted in the Rajya Sabha elections, opining that NOTA was meant to be exercised by individual voters in direct polls.
The Bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra
and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud
set aside the Election Commission's notification allowing NOTA option in the ballot papers for Rajya Sabha polls. The question on the poll panel's notification came up before the apex court in a plea filed by Shailesh Manubhai Parmar
, who was the Congress's chief whip in the Gujarat assembly during the last Rajya Sabha polls.
Parmar had challenged the poll panel's notification allowing the NOTA option in ballot papers alleging that if the NOTA provision was allowed in the Rajya Sabha polls, it would encourage "horse-trading and corruption". The top court had earlier said that by introducing NOTA, the poll panel was legitimising the act of not voting. The poll panel had argued that NOTA was first introduced in 2014 following an apex court verdict and they (the Congress) did not have any objection in subsequent polls as it suited them.