NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court said that the option of none of the above (NOTA) cannot be permitted in Rajya Sabha elections. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the NOTA option was meant only for direct elections and not polls held by the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote.
The apex court had questioned the poll panel’s notification and said that NOTA was meant to be exercised by individual voters in direct polls.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud has set aside the Election Commission’s notification allowing NOTA option in the ballot papers for Rajya Sabha polls.
The apex court said if NOTA was allowed in the election of the members to the Council of States, the aspect of defection would “indirectly usher in with immense vigour”.
The idea may look attractive but its practical applications defeat the fairness ingrained in an indirect election,” the court said.
The verdict came on a plea of Shailesh Manubhai Parmar, who was the Congress’s chief whip in the Gujarat assembly during the last Rajya Sabha polls, in which the party had fielded sitting MP Ahmed Patel.
However, the EC said that NOTA was first introduced in 2014 following an apex court verdict a year earlier.