At present, a large number of people across the country stay away from their city or village due to employment, education. Due to which he is unable to vote due to not being in his place at the time of election. The Supreme Court has now agreed to consider a petition related to this.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has agreed to consider giving voting opportunity to all the voters who do not live in their constituency on the day of polling. The court today issued a notice to the Center and the Election Commission seeking an answer on this issue. The petition said that only a few government employees get a chance to vote through postal ballot. Whereas, in the current era, a large number of people stay away from their village or city due to studies, jobs or other reasons.
‘Millions of people are unable to cast votes’
K Satyan, a resident of Kerala, has cited the census data of 2011 in his petition. The petitioner’s lawyer Kaliswaram Raj told the court that at that time, about 45 crore people lived away from their original residence. This number would have increased even more now. In such a situation, crores of voters are deprived of voting.
‘Need for change in law’
The lawyer said that under Section 60 (c) of the Representation of the People Act of 1951, the Election Commission has been given the right to facilitate voting through postal ballot to the necessary people. It needs 2 types of improvement. One, only employees engaged in election duty should not be considered essential people. All voters should be counted in it. For people living in the era of technology, only the ballot vote should be removed. The Election Commission should be asked to use modern technology.
Judges’ initial disagreement
Chief Justice SA Bobde, presiding over the 3-judge bench, initially disagreed over the issue related to election reform. The petitioner asked the government to keep the demand. The judges also said that voting is not a fundamental right, for which a petition should be filed directly in the Supreme Court. The judges also said that if no one stays in their area on the day of polling, then it is their own case. He cannot be helped in this.
Lawyer called voting a fundamental right
The lawyer, with his strong pleas, convinced the judges to consider the case. . In this way, voting comes under the fundamental right of expression found under Article 19 1 (a). Article 19 1 (d) declares fundamental right to travel and move anywhere in the country and to do business or job of its choice.
In such a situation, no one can be forced to leave their employment and go to the polling area on the day of voting. Giving some government employees the opportunity to vote by postal ballot and depriving the rest of the citizens is a violation of the fundamental right to equality in the eyes of Article 14.
The court agreed to the idea
After the hearing which lasted for about 5 minutes, the Chief Justice consulted the judges AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramaniam sitting with him. After this, the court issued a notice accepting the case for consideration.
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