Why in News?
The Supreme Court recently refused to entertain a plea seeking a direction to the poll panel to nullify an election result and conduct fresh poll if NOTA gets the maximum votes in a constituency.
FACTS FOR PRELIMS
What is NOTA?
The Supreme Court has upheld the right of voters to reject all candidates contesting the elections, through NOTA. The apex court has directed the Election Commission to have an option of ‘None of the Above’ (NOTA) on the electronic voting machines (EVMs) and ballot papers .Through the usage of NOTA, a citizen can choose not to vote for any candidates who are contesting the elections.
Rationale Behind The decision
The NOTA option on EVMs has no electoral value. Even if the maximum number of votes cast is for NOTA, the candidate getting the most of the remaining votes would be declared the winner.
According to the SC negative voting would encourage people who are not satisfied with any of the candidates to turn up to express their opinion and reject all contestants.
This will lead to a systemic change in polls and political parties will be forced to project clean candidates. Since the right to vote is a statutory right, then the right to reject a candidate is a fundamental right of speech and expression under the Constitution.