Govt opposes before SC plea for voting

02-09-2017
DH

Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, submitted before a bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Amitava Roy that Section 79(d) in the Representation of the People Act provided the right to a person to vote or refrain from voting at an election.

He said that after the 2013 NOTA verdict of apex court, a person has got the right to refrain from voting in any election and therefore voting cannot be compulsory.

On this, the bench sought to know whether it can hear a PIL seeking a direction to Centre for ensuring compulsory voting in polls when the issue squarely fell within the domain of the legislature.

The apex court observed that it is Parliament’s job to take a policy decision, but if it does not want to frame a law, can the court deal with the issue. “We believe in the legislature doing the job and we cannot compel it to frame a law,” a bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Amitava Roy said, hearing a PIL by Satya Prakash, who said it was in the interest of democracy that more people vote in the elections.

The bench, however, said it would hear the plea in detail on October 3.

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