NOTA in indirect elections

Context:

  • Supreme Court scrapped use of NOTA (none of the above) option for Rajya Sabha elections, saying it defeats fairness in indirect elections, destroys democratic values and serves as Satan of defection and corruption.

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SC Pronouncement

  • It quashed June 2014 notification of Election Commission that allowed use of NOTA option in Rajya Sabha elections.
  • It held that NOTA will destroy concept of value of vote and representation, and encourage defection that shall open doors for corruption which is malignant disorder.
  • It held that choice of NOTA will have negative impact in voting process of Rajya Sabha where open ballot is permissible and secrecy of voting has no room and discipline of political parties matters.

 

Background

  • NOTA was introduced in Lok Sabha polls (direct election) by Election Commission of India (ECI) following 2013 Supreme Court decision.
  • It was extended to Rajya Sabha election (i.e. indirect elections) via notification in January 2014.
  • Election Commission in apex court had justified its decision of introducing NOTA in Rajya Sabha elections, mentioning that it did not make any distinction between direct and indirect elections.